Ace's Story

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Ace's Story

Donation Goal


Hello! I am Petty Officer 3rd Class, Acilia (Ace) Wiles. I joined the Navy my Junior year in high school. I was the youngest of 7 and my parents hadn't been together since I was 4 years old. They both worked very hard to provide for us but raising 7 children wasn't cheap or easy. I was not prepared for college and knew I would probably flunk out if I continued my education immediately after High School. Also, The Navy gave me a hefty college education bonus on top of the all ready generous GI Bill.   I served 1 year in the delayed entry program and started my 4 years active duty in 2001 before 9/11. During which time I served one deployment in the Persian Gulf. I worked on F-14 Tomcats before they were decommissioned and HC60 Helicopters as an Avionics Electronics Technician (mechanic).  After 4 years of heavy lifting and wrench turning I had issues with my upper body and to date have had 10 surgeries between my shoulders and wrist. 

I exited in 2005 at the end of time served. Since then I have lived all over the US, Madison WI to Las Vegas, NV to Chicago IL and finally settled back in IA close to my family. Where I found the love of my life in my Junior year Prom Date (also a disabled Vet who served 5 years in the Army). 

I looked at the world differently, not good, not bad, just different. I started to have anxiety and deep depression. This was very strange for me as I was a social butterfly growing up. I noticed that I was wanting to stay home more and more. I don't like loud places or noises or crowds. I can't sit in places that I can't see an unobstructed path to the door, etc. As my pain worsens The deeper inside I go and the more debilitating my problems get. I pray for help, wisdom and strength every day.

I got to a point that I was so scared of what I might do that I finally reached out to the VA. They suggested I look into a service dog along with other ways to cope and get through the day. Consequently finding Retrieving Freedom. I called to inquire about some things and the way I was treated made me feel a sense of calm. As my training has gotten going and I am working more with the dogs, I feel grounded when I am with them. I feel comforted and safe. Therefore going into public will not be such a daunting task. I finally have hope that I can get to a place where I can possibly get back some of my old self.

I cant express what getting involved with Retrieving Freedom and the wonderful staff there has done for me. Help is out there! I no longer feel that my families lives would be better if I wasn't around to drag them down. 



  • bob weinewuth | Jun 4th 2019 @ 9:22 AM

    Blessings and relief come from God in unexpected ways. Be willing to accept them no matter how they come to you. My prayers go out to you and others who need God's help.

  • BILL MCGRORY | Jun 18th 2019 @ 8:57 AM


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