BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – ALCOVA Mortgage company thanked a soldier Friday for his dedication to our country and recognized the veteran for using his traumatic experience to help others.
Retired Army Sgt. Jason Hogancamp was supposed to give a speech about veterans and PTSD but ended up being the center of a surprise presentation. ALCOVA Mortgage is honoring him as its first hometown hero for 2019. Hogancamp was overwhelmed.
"There are so many people that's been before me and do more than me and just that I follow and I look up to and respect dearly. Just to be mention among these people is an honor in itself," said Hogancamp.
Hogancamp joined the Army in 1989 and served tours in Saudi Arabia, Panama and Korea. He was diagnosed with PTDS several years after his honorable discharge in 1999 and found himself in a dark place.
"Suicide. I tried to take my own life. I just couldn't deal with the loss. Couldn't deal with not being able to fit in anymore. Not having use, not having a purpose. And that's what brought me back. The love of Jesus Christ, the horses in therapy," said Hogancamp.
It's been his goal through recovery in PTSD and depression to give back to others like him.
"Every hour at the barn, every early and late night is worth it. Because I've been exactly where those men and women have been. I've been to the lowest of lows. I'll was right there looking for help," said Hogancamp.
And he found help at New Freedom Farm. A place to heal through horses. Becoming a co-director is a dream come true.
"Try to pick a horse to match a veteran. We try to tune them up together and let them work together. The horse does the magic," said Hogancamp.
Being called a hero is not a title Hogancamp takes lightly. He says the heroes are the one who didn't came back.
"To stand shoulder to shoulder with those giants in my opinion, is worth it all," said Hogancamp.
Rev. Brian Moore, a Purple Heart recipient, was at the event to support Hogancamp.
"Jason does a wonderful work with veterans. He obviously has a heart for veterans being one," said Moore. "I'm also 100% disabled when I was wounded in a wreck and been through my own traumatic events that I had to work through. So working with him and seeing what he can do and what Louis is doing at New Freedom Farm, it's been such a blessing."