FORT BRAGG, NC -- A cancer diagnosis was the last thing Sgt. Joshua Holloway wanted to hear as he completed his reenlistment and was getting ready for the civil affairs qualification course. However, this was the report he received as he was laying in the hospital. Holloway like other Soldiers would complete physical training and then on to the task for that day, but on this day his schedule would change. He started to develop breathing difficulties after completing physical training and had to go to the hospital. It was then that they noticed an abnormality and suggested that he return to the hospital for further testing.
Holloway believed his military career was over, and the thought of not knowing how he was going take care of his family was shattering. He began to question himself.
“What am I going to do, how am I going to take care of my family?” said Holloway.
However, there was a glimpse of hope when he got a call from his Platoon Sergeant that recovery help was available to him. Despite his diagnosis, hearing that he would receive help from a specialized unit gave him confidence.
“I would later learn that if I could be medically cleared, I could return to duty,” Holloway said.
Holloway was sent to the Fort Campbell, Kentucky Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU), and soon after the Fort Bragg, SRU. He underwent chemotherapy for eight months before transitioning to the world of adaptive reconditioning at the Fort Bragg, SRU. This was not easy for Holloway, who struggled to do exercises and activities previously done with ease, but this did not deter him. He had a goal of returning to active duty.
“When I just got here, I couldn’t do one single pull up, or run one hundred yards without getting out of breath,” Holloway said.
Determined to meet his goal, he worked with the SRU team who met him where he was and helped him to reach his desired objective.
The activities that he participated in, included hunting and surfing, which he said helped him to gain stamina and upper body strength.
“Doing all those different activities gave me a morale boost; being able to get out and do different things versus being stuck at home or in the hospital,” Holloway said.
He credits the program for providing them with a team, focused on providing specialized care to everyone, caring for their physical, mental, and social well-being.
“The adaptive reconditioning program benefits you mentally because they give you an entire team of people who come together to meet each Soldier’s specific needs,” said Holloway.
Adaptive sports continue to play a major role in the recovery process of Soldiers who are ill, injured or wounded.
The SRU teams focus was to help him to develop gradually and get him back to his normal way of life.
“I am thankful for the SRU, they are amazing, they really go out of their way to help Soldiers set and achieve realistic goals,” said Holloway.
Today Holloway is reenlisted and is awaiting his orders for school.
“I am 100% better, I have a school date and I am very excited to be back on track to progress in my Army career,” said Holloway.