Meet the Black Army Vet Crowned Men’s Health Ultimate Guy 2023
Army vet and high school teacher Corwyn Collier is redefining his life after a near-death experience on the field and overcoming depression and PTSD.
In recognition of his resilient journey, Collier has been crowned as the 2023 Ultimate Men’s Health Guy, a title that acknowledges his efforts to become the best version of himself while living stronger, faster, and better, according to Men’s Health.
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On May 23, 2009, the former military police officer survived a bomb that exploded under the patrol truck he and his team were in, pinning his right leg between the door and the dashboard and severing an artery. He noticed that his hand was covered in mangled flesh before going into cardiac arrest. Fellow soldiers attempted to stop the bleeding, but he had already lost so much blood. Collier was then evacuated by helicopter to a combat support hospital.
Collier’s injuries were so extensive that he remained in the hospital for 10 months. The All-American college track athlete, who prided himself on being physically fit, became a partial amputee.
“When you identify yourself with being physically fit and now you can’t stand up or go to the bathroom by yourself, it made me lose hope,” Collier told Men’s Health.
“You don’t know how long (the recovery) is going to take. It made me feel like I’d rather be dead. That’s the depression and PTSD part of it all. That’s where my mind was at for a while.”
With the support of his wife, Iisha, the father of three sons, told the magazine that he went to counseling and was “able to get to the point where I realized I had to love myself and stop worrying about what everybody else thinks.”
Creating change through education
Shortly after his hospital discharge, Collier pursued his master’s degree in education and has been a history teacher at his high school alma mater, Maple Heights High School, since 2013. He also serves as the school’s head track coach, despite the bomb affecting his ability to run. Collier is proud to empower young people to be leaders by having his students demonstrate motions. One of those athletes is his eldest son, Malachi, 18.
“I get to do what I really love to do…being an educator,” Collier told Today. “I loved being a soldier. I loved serving and doing the things that I did prior to this, but now I feel like my life is in a different direction where I can actually be the person that I wanted to be growing up…creating change for other people.”