From Survivor to Thriver

Building Mental Resilience in Veterans and Healing Through Service with Sgt Q

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Episode notes

Depression and suicide rates among veterans are high, and not enough veterans get the support they need to heal from their experiences and trauma. 

In this episode of From Survivor To Thriver, we sat down with Sgt Q to talk about his journey through his own mental health struggles as a veteran and how he used his experiences and faith to help other people struggling by shifting from reactive to proactive responses when in mental health crises.

He is a firm believer in healing through service and has created an app that is changing the game for mental health emergencies.

Aaron Quinonez (Sgt Q) endured a rough upbringing before becoming a proud Marine right out of high school. He was trained to fight the enemy and was prepared for war. When he volunteered for a combat tour in Iraq, little did he know his real battle would be fought in his mind. 

After eight years of military service, Sgt Q suffered from depression, anger, and panic attacks and was diagnosed with PTSD. He nearly ended his own life in the parking lot of a church, where later he was redeemed by Jesus Christ, who gave him a new life. 

Sgt Q traded the battlefield for the mission field and found healing and purpose through building homes and churches, feeding children, and supplying precious hope to struggling communities worldwide. God then called him to form QMissions, a pathway for veterans—Sgt Q’s fellow warfighters—to replace the battle scars of their minds with the joy of serving. 

Now, Sgt Q is the award-winning author of Healing Thru Service originally aimed at struggling veterans, which also offers help for anyone in crisis and may be one's ticket to a more fulfilled life. He went from being homeless and on the brink of suicide to starting the multi-million dollar company with over 100 employees, Reliable Commercial Cleaning, founding the veteran non-profit, Q Missions, and the health-tech startup, Q Actual 2.0. 

In today’s episode we cover: 

  • Sgt Q’s experience in the military
  • The definition of service 
  • The app Sgt Q built to prevent suicide 
  • The toll war took on his mental health
  • Why helping other people makes you feel better
  • The different camps of people struggling with their mental health
  • The importance of sharing our experiences
  • Becoming proactive to mental health crises instead of reactive
  • Building mental resilience

We hope you enjoyed this episode. To learn more about Sgt Q and his app, make sure to visit his website and read his book. 

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


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“Look for your pain, and there your ministry will be also.” -Sgt Q

“We have to stop trying to do everything by ourselves.” -Marc

“If there ever was a story of hope and light, it’s Sgt Q’s.” -Erik