Area series to share survival story

Shilo Harris

The 2019 season of the Profiles and Perspectives series by the Noble Foundation will continue on Thursday, Aug. 29 with “When Life Blows Up, Build a Tribe” by Shilo Harris, wounded warrior, veteran and motivational speaker.

The free program is at 7 p.m. at the Ardmore Convention Center.

Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris shares his ultimate survival story, one of much pain but also great strength, persistence, love and resiliency of the human spirit.

“I am a man who has lived through hell,” says Harris.

“It's hard to share this experience, but I will discuss what it means to live fearlessly with a clear understanding of the grace that can redeem mayhem."

In February 2007, Harris' Humvee hit an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol in Iraq. In that blast, he lost his ears, part of his nose and more than one-third of the skin on his body. Harris also lost three of his best friends.

What followed was an agonizing road to recovery, which began with nearly two months in a medically induced coma.

Harris comes from a family with deep roots in military service. As a son of a Vietnam veteran, he always knew he wanted to be a soldier. Harris' life changed forever on Sept. 11, 2001. Soon after he enlisted as a calvary scout in the U.S. Army, he was deployed to Germany then to war-torn Iraq.

Harris shares his full story in his memoir, “Steel Will: My Journey Through Hell to Become the Man I Was Meant to Be.”

“Every day, American soldiers face untold danger in service to their country,” said J. Adam Calaway, Noble Research Institute director of communications and public relations, and chair of the Profiles and Perspectives committee.

“Sgt. Harris' presentation offers a glimpse into the reality of a soldier's life, the struggles they experience when they return home and the life-changing impact of being wounded.”

The season will conclude on Nov. 5 with "Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us About Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom," by Fred Provenza, Ph.D., professor emeritus of behavioral ecology at Utah State University Department of Wildland Resources.

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