Augusta man, Bronson Taylor, is Los Angeles because a film crew flew him there to promote a movie to which he contributed.

Bronsonn Taylor in LA to promote “The Portal

Taylor retired from the United States Army after more than 24 years of service. He completed more tours than he could count off the top of his head.

“Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, North Korea a couple times in the DPRK. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq,” Taylor lists.

Like is the case for so many soldiers, Taylor’s service came at a price– a struggle with PTSD. He reluctantly joined a program for help.

“Everybody is a combat veteran, tough guy, ranger, infantry… so nobody wanted to break,” Taylor says about the men in the program. “My best friend actually committed suicide and that’s what made me seek help so I just opened up. I was the first person. I opened up and I’m crying and everything else. I just laid it all out there and from that point forward every man in that room had a tear in their eye and they couldn’t believe, like me too so you’re not alone.”

Bronson Taylor in the film “The Portal”

Meditation helped Taylor find peace and his involvement with a meditation program is how a Hollywood film crew found him.

“[There were] hundreds if not thousands of people that they interviewed, so when they interviewed me, I didn’t think anything of it. Then they called me back.”

Taylor is now part of a documentary called “The Portal” that follows six people who transform their lives through meditation.

“It’s a collective story about 6 different experiences and how everybody had to overcome some type of challenge,” Taylor explains.

Taylor’s challenge was PTSD. Also, a refuge shares her story and a woman who trained her whole life for the Olympics, but failed to get there when she broke her back in car accident.

“What do you do? How do you pick up the pieces? How do you move forward? For me, I was in the military for 24, almost 25 years so from 17 years old, I was in the military,” Taylor says. “Now that your career is over, what do you do?”

Now, he shares his story in hopes of saving the lives of those suffering like his friend was.

“My best friend committing suicide, it jarred me,” Taylor says. “He felt he was alone, you know that he couldn’t reach out. I didn’t know that he was suffering. Why didn’t you just come to me? I just keep asking myself, why didn’t you say anything? But then I was suffering from the same thing and I didn’t say anything so I’m hoping that my story, my experiences, will help somebody else.”

The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta offers services to help you cope with PTSD. CLICK HERE for more information.

Music by Bronson Taylor