“I was a Security Force Member in the Air Force,” Chaney reports, “But then I retrained into be a Fire Truck Mechanic since I wanted to make a career out of the Air Force. Being a cop for 20 years in the Air Force on shift work wasn’t that great and I like to fix things, so I did the retrain.”
Chaney is someone who believes in military service. “I joined the military to serve my country before 9/11 because in my mind it was the thing everyone should do to give back to our country that has given us so much!”
The Pullman, Washington native recalls that in 2005, he was deployed to Balad AFB in Iraq. “I was lucky enough to have stumbled away from a mortar attack concussion that fell short of a barrier that I was on the other side of, but I sustained TBI and smoke and dust inhalation. I’m luckier than others.” His injuries include PTSD and bad joint pain. In addition, Chaney suffers from asthma.
Living in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Chaney is active in outdoor sports. “I live the outdoors,” he said. “Hunting is still one of my greatest things in life to do. I also love to ride my motorcycle with all my Veteran Brothers in the Combat Vet Riders Motor Cycle Club and helping out other Vets when I can. I compete in National 4 position small bore rifle shooting with the team here in Bonners Ferry.” In addition, Chaney spends time with his wife and three children on family outings.
Among his outdoor sports are mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, rappelling, whitewater rafting, body boarding, dirt biking, backpacking, paint ball, golf, and man tracking.
As one of the wounded warriors participating in World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ February, 2012 Soldiers to the Summit at Snowbird winter sports event, Chaney is excited. “This is a once in a life time chance for me to be able to hopefully regain some of my former self along with my little brother – just like when we were innocent and whole!”
Portrait image courtesy Tom Chaney.