New Mission Helping First Responders, Veterans, and At-Risk Youth for Former Police Officer Kyle Hein
Kyle Hein Turns Battle WIth PTSD Into Hope For At-Risk Youth
Michigan – Kyle Hein was born with the heart of a warrior and a desire to serve. And he did, for about six years as a police officer in Michigan. But injuries, both physical and mental, took away one one mission and gave him another.
I talked with Kyle, and here is his story. Some of it is painful, and some of it shows God clearly at work.
Kyle has always had a desire to serve, since he can remember, and has always wanted to be a police officer.
When he was about 15 years old, he joined a city police department’s explorer program. He participated in boot camps and got that first taste of the ‘blue family.’
When he was 18, he was offered a position as a cadet with the city’s police department. Nothing major, but he was chosen first out of 400. And when he was 21, he was sponsored for the police academy, graduated, and went ‘on the road’, where he stayed, on the front line, serving and protecting.
It was his dream, and he hit the ground running. Through the years, as so many officers do, he had many major calls, and on some shifts, it was one call after another. Those calls took a toll.
There were other calls, life-or-death situations, that left him with scars that can’t be seen. Some left him with physical scars: minor traumatic brain injury, concussion, an injury to his hand that became severely infected.
After the last physical injury, his friends told him that he woke up and he was still Kyle on the outside, but he didn’t wake up the same. Kyle is like some officers – they get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and suddenly they don’t know why they feel the way they do. Their fight is a different one, and one that they’re not trained for. And it’s one they’ll always have.
Kyle started drinking after that last injury, and it was the first time he had ever drank alcohol. He tried to get help from his agency but that didn’t happen. He began having nightmares, and as he said “stuff just got deeper and deeper.”
He became suicidal, and finally got the help that he needed from a friend, who took him to mental health.
Kyle says he was ridiculed by co-workers, and eventually forced out of his job by his agency. All because he had PTSD.
It was difficult at first, adjusting to life and no longer being a police officer. He took a job as a janitor trying to pay bills, and police officers that he used to work with would drive by and laugh at him.
But Kyle told me that everything he went through made him stronger mentally and physically, and that it forged something greater in him. He realized that he still had that great calling to serve.
So he became involved in a planted church, City Harvest, and began going to PTSD groups. He said that he met other cops like him at these groups and that it was “a life-changing experience.” He said that it opened his eyes and he saw that he was not the only one going through PTSD.
And he found an answer to continue his calling – a program that he founded called The Hook. He described it as a program designed for first responders, veterans, and at-risk youth. His dad encouraged him and lets him use part of a factory and the property that it’s on.
Kyle said that when humans experience trauma, they act out. But perhaps, he said, that can be prevented through fitness and working out, and perhaps work with an at-risk youth. That gives a veteran or first responder not only a way to help deal with their trauma,but gives them a new mission.
It also has a two-fold advantage for that young person: it gives them a way to properly deal with their emotions, and it also gives them an opportunity to work beside a police officer, or other first responder, or veteran, and see them in a totally different light.
Kyle is a man of faith, and he said that God showed him another opportunity to serve. He gives God credit for where he is now in his life, and that he is alive to serve because of Him. Kyle said that it’s a higher calling, and that he’s going to continue to move forward.
Kyle compared his journey to that of the apostle Paul, who had a thorn in his flesh. It hurt, but he was compelled to continue moving forward. He said that his grandmother told him that God let him be a warrior one more time.
Here is the link to Kyle’s program’s gofundme link.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kyle, on your new journey, and with The Hook.