“There is no way I will ever feel like I have given enough to this country and to its service members. I will spend every day for the rest of my life trying to pave the way for a better and more successful transition out of the military, whether it be medically, economically or in any way I can think of.”
Spencer Milo is a medically retired, post-9/11 U.S. Army combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A passionate advocate and spokesman for veterans and veterans’ issues, he also serves transitioning military members and veterans in his civilian career today.
An Airborne Infantryman who was recognized as an exceptional leader in combat, Spencer held a number of command and control roles in military assignments that spanned the United States, Europe and Asia, in addition to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
In 2008, during a 16-month tour in Iraq where he saw action in Baghdad and Mosul, Spencer suffered a concussion and other minor injuries when a routine convoy of U.S. Humvees encountered small arms fire. It was while evading enemy contact that he got tossed around inside the turret, and his vehicle crashed. One year later, he was told by doctors stateside this his injury had caused a brain tumor and was given a 6-month terminal diagnosis. Heavily medicated and bedridden for months, he started having seizures. After his family fought for a second opinion, he was sent to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he was eventually told he had been misdiagnosed.
Cleared back for duty in January 2010, Spencer chose to continue following his passion for military service and he deployed soon after to Afghanistan. Less than a year later, in January 2011, he was on combat patrol in Spin Boldak, a district in Kandahar Province. That’s when an Afghan boy, who stood just feet away from Spencer, detonated himself as a suicide bomber. Thrown 15- 20 feet by the blast, he charged back into the smoke to find his wounded platoon buddy and drag him to safety. Among his injuries: small amounts of shrapnel to his left side and his face; injuries to his spine; hearing loss; Post Traumatic Stress; and, Traumatic Brain Injury.
Spencer was returned to the states for medical treatment at Fort Bragg and, after 6 months, he was transferred to the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed Bethesda, where he underwent four weeks of intensive treatments. Spencer was medically retired as a result of his injuries.
Today, he lives in Castle Rock, Colorado, where he continues to serve the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. He served as an Area Manager for Hire Heroes USA for 4 years, a national nonprofit that empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. and is now the Director of Veteran Programs, Communication and Strategic Development for the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, a medical institute focused on serving Military Veterans and retired elite athletes with primarily mild to moderate brain injuries, post-traumaticstress, depression and anxiety.
Spencer serves on the Board of Trustees for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund as an Honorary Co-Chair. His work with veteran service organizations also includes: The George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative (MSI); Warrior Canine Connection; Parker’s Platoon; and, Team Red, White and Blue.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Colorado, in Castle Rock, where he lives with his wife and two children.