RICHMOND, Va. -- U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program Army Veteran Sgt. 1st Class Robbie Myers puts his military culinary skills to work as host of the new cooking show "Come and Get It," a new series created to pay tribute to the men and women who have and are serving in the military.
"This show will be a Veteran run television show, from cameramen to set designers, everyone will be Veterans," said Myers, an Adams Center, N.Y. native. "The show will highlight Veterans because there are many out there who got out of the military for extenuating circumstances, but became successful business owners and valuable members of the community."
Myers served two combat tours in Afghanistan, in 2006 and 2009, where he was subject to combat stressors and the loss of fellow Soldiers while fighting in the Korengal Valley. He sustained post-traumatic stress disorder from his wartime experiences and has had a long road to recovery and a great deal of support from his wife, Jamie, and his family.
Jamie, said she is happy to see her husband doing so well after making it through many stressful times together. Jaime works for the Cerebral Palsy Association and as a substitute teacher for students with special needs in a local school district.
"She's my brain and has always been there for me through my recovery at every step," Myers said about his wife. "She is very supportive, standing by my side through everything."
Earlier this year, Myers competed against military chefs from other services on the Military Salute Edition of the Food Network show "Chopped." During the competition, he made appetizers, entrees and desserts within a limited amount of time with ingredients unknown beforehand by the contestants.
"I had just medically retired, and a friend sent me a link to apply," said Myers, who worked in the food industry before joining the military and during his military career. "I figured why not apply, and I was selected."
"I went in humble and didn't expect to win. It was three rounds, with four competitors," he added. "I was kind of sick and couldn't smell or taste anything, so I was happy as long as I didn't get eliminated first."
Despite his illness, Myers won the competition after competing one-on-one against a Navy chef in the final round when he created a "deconstructed sundae using pomegranates, pilot bread crackers, fruit chewy candy and dried carrots."
As the winner, he received a prize of $10,000 dollars, a significant achievement reflecting his strong skill in the culinary arts.
"I have loads of respect for his courage, perseverance and strength in working his recovery and overcoming many challenges on the road to recovery," said Jeff Johnson, Myers' Army Wounded Warrior Program, or AW2, Advocate. "Myers has been very active in his recovery and has put his culinary interests and the support of his Family to the forefront in moving on with life after the military."
The AW2 is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their families, wherever they are located, regardless of military status. AW2 supports these Soldiers and their families throughout their recovery and transition, even into Veteran status. This program, through the local support of AW2 Advocates, strives to foster the Soldier's independence.
"His strength and perseverance are evident in all he does for himself and his family, and he is an inspiration for others that you can realize your dreams and move on in your recovery," Johnson added.