September 13, 2012
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) — Dallas Cowboy legend and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker opened the Army Suicide Prevention Month Health Fair in the Pentagon courtyard here, Sept. 12, by penning autographs on posters, photos, magazines and replica helmets.
Suffering from dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder, Walker kicked off the Army’s efforts to eradicate suicide from its ranks by telling the story about how he proved himself a real “tough guy” by breaking through the stigma associated with asking for help.
In 2008, Walker published his memoir, “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder.” The book tells the story of how he reclaimed his life. In it, he explains how he came to recognize that his life was out of control at times because he couldn’t remember the good and bad events in his life, including the day he received the Heisman.
Though he had been successful in everything he did during and after his football career, Walker often felt angry, self-destructive, and unable to connect meaningfully with friends and family.
Eventually Walker sought out professional help and today feels he has regained control over his life. As national spokesman for Freedom Care, Walker has relayed his message to service members at more than 45 military installations.
“There is no shame in getting help, I did,” Walker said.