Georgia Man Thanks Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative for his Bright Future
Glenn Wells is now thriving in law school.
The road from high school dropout to Marine special forces to law school student has been long and rugged for Glenn Wells, 42. It’s a journey Glenn says he wouldn’t still be on without the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on treatment for active duty or separated service members who have served in the U.S. military since September 11, 2001 and who are experiencing symptoms of or have a diagnosis of mild to moderate brain injury, or concussions and any co-occurring psychological or behavioral health concerns, including post-traumatic stress.
“They really saved my future,” says Glenn, who came to SHARE after his first semester at the Georgia State University College of Law. “If I didn’t have the Shepherd program I would’ve dropped out. Or I would’ve failed.”
Glenn grew up in Chicago poor enough that “I didn’t eat every day.” He dropped out of high school and left home at 16, enlisting in the Marines in 1995.
He deployed to Iraq after 9/11 and joined a special operations force. Part of its mission: capturing high value targets.
“I wanted to go above and beyond,” he says.
Serving in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, the physical and emotional demands took a toll. Exploding bombs twice knocked him unconscious. His body started breaking down. Twenty-two of his fellow Marines and Sailors were killed in his presence during his many deployments.
With two daughters at home and his marriage near divorce, Glenn transferred to an instructional position back home in the United States. Diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, he became suicidal. Treatment hardly helped.
In 2016, Glenn retired after 21 years of service. He’d earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees online, then enrolled in law school.
He started at Georgia State University in Atlanta in 2017. But problems from his TBI turned debilitating. He passed out twice in elevators. He did poorly on exams, not recognizing answers he’d written.
“My cognitive endurance dwindled to the point where I was processing information then writing something different,” Glenn says.
He soon had a hard time doing anything. A fellow student who’d been a patient at Shepherd Center told him about SHARE. He arrived in February 2018. It was unlike any other treatment he’d received.
“The number one difference is that the people with the SHARE program care,” Glenn says. “They taught me I’m important. I’m 42, and I didn’t think I was important until I came to Shepherd.”
Written by Drew Jubera
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 743 inpatients, 277 day program patients and more than 7,161 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.