The Reynas' Story

If you’re in the military, there’s probably an emotional reaction when you hear the word resilience. For some, it’s something they are fighting to possess, for others, the word seems so overused that it’s almost meaningless. For me writing this, when I look for someone with the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties, I look no further than Jerami and Tammy Reyna. 

I met them way before we started Every Warrior. In fact, they helped us start it. He spoke at our first Warriors Thanksgiving Feast, sharing his story and being a public example of resilience. When I was going through my own struggles, he was one of the ones who stepped in and was there.

This isn’t a lesson in resiliency, rather, it’s a story of what one family walks through daily that both builds and challenges the very meaning of the word. You can actually watch the video interview we did with them several years ago at the link in this story. So go do that if you want and come back here. 

Amazing story, right? It really is. And it’s only gotten more amazing since then. 

The pain of losing dad still stings. 

Jolie is defying the odds every day.

Liliana is now enduring her own battle with a genetic condition. 

They have walked through retiring from the military.

Now Jerami himself is facing medical issues as we speak.

If you do not know them, then the words of this story are likely painting a picture in your mind. Let them. Their story is beautiful and the picture of their families’ journey is just as beautiful. 

But why? Families every day face issues like this. True! What makes their story beautiful is the fact that they are the first to tell you that on the overwhelming number of hard days, when resiliency is next to impossible, withstanding and recovering is something that is only possible because they have both surrounded themselves with people that have modeled withstanding and recovery. What has also contributed to

Their resiliency is the fact that they have used their pain to help others in pain. Myself included.  

How have they done this? By letting the trauma teach them that they are only strong when they allow the burden to be shouldered by others alongside them. This, in return, opens the door for them to give the same strength away. Was life wonderful for them when they helped me and my wife? Not at all! But, like a beautiful dance, the strength that helps build resilience is found in the back-and-forth shouldering of the weight that that trauma creates. Therefore, in the face of weakness, where individually they are crushed under the weight, they give and get true strength through living their lives in deep relationships with others.