Chess Johnson joined the Army right out of high school fast tracked his way from Private to SSG. On his second tour of duty to Iraq a sniper would change his world forever.
Chess received catastrophic injuries. He was initially told he would never have control of his motor functions or communicate effectively. What the medical team failed to realize was Chess’s sheer power of will, unwillingness to let doubt enter his mind, and above all his tenacious “Never, never, never give up!” attitude.
I met Chess through Higher Ground in 2011. I had the honor of serving in through
two programs and we have developed a strong friendship over the years.
Chess began competing in the Wounded Warrior games, Tough Mudder Competitions, and did a 60 mile Walk For Awareness with 2 other brothers in arms after a battle of self medicating with alcohol. Chess has been sober for years, and continues to serve his country and his fellow veterans with every opportunity he creates.
It’s my honor to do this tribute for Chess on Veteran’s Day. He is one of my personal heroes, and someone I’m proud to call a friend.