Robert McGinn was a Marine A4 Fighter Pilot for nearly 20 years.
When his son Jim got a football scholarship, Robert was as proud of his son as he could be, even thoough the scholarship was to the Air Force Academy, not the Naval Academy .
Due to an injury his freshman year, Jim never stepped foot onto the playing field, but he did soar into the wild blue yonder as a fighter pilot.
His last stop in the Air Force was here at Sheppard Air Force Base, but in tonight's Spirit of Texoma award we'll show you even in his retirement he is still serving others.
When he was just 17 years old, Jim McGinn signed up to serve in the United States Air Force.
His service as an f-15 strike eagle pilot took this Lieutenant Colonel soaring through several tours of duty.
During one of his many deployments to Iraq, Jim lost a very good friend and comrade.
Jim McGinn says, "I was actually treated for Post Traumatic Stress and as I went through that process I realized this is really the profession I need to be in, so I got helped I realized this is what I wanted to do for a living and changed my life."
That change encouraged Jim to go back to school and begin his new career as a counselor and he quickly realized helping others cope helped him do the same.
McGinn, "Helping someone is a way, a real tool toward happiness. When you really see someone struggling and you help them it really helps your own self esteem and your own ability to cope with life. "
That's why Jim and his wife Trena went on a mission to offer counseling... to folks who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
McGinn, "There is really a gap in the people who don't have insurance, but don't qualify for other government assistance and we felt there needed to be someone to fit that bill."
The couple also recently launched tools for success, where they offer just that.
McGinn: "I am most passionate about helping someone who doesn't see value in themselves, I think that is my greatest gift in everyone and letting them see themselves through my eyes. That is really my passion, once they can see their value, they really move forward."
The McGinns are here to encourage those advancements in life... through classes that help folks who may be stalled in life.
McGinn: "The class is called the life tool box and it covers basically life tools to deal with stress and anxiety, communication, relationships, assertiveness, things that are bothering people in general and it helps them get a more positive perception in life."
They also offer one-on-one counseling.
McGinn: "The counseling side is really designed to help people get past their past with different experiences in life, it is sometimes difficult for your brain to process everything without having a person to sit there and sift through the material with you give a different perspective."
They give that perspective to individuals or couples, they also do marriage and family sessions and offer counseling to some of the youngest members of our community.
McGinn: "In general if they have a lot of anxiety they can play through their issues and it really helps them work through things."
A bright colorful therapy room offers a comfortable and inviting environment for little ones.
Jim says regardless of the age or what might be the hold up in life he hopes folks understand there is no shame in seeking help.
McGinn: "If you had a headache you would take an aspirin, if had a medical problem or an infection you would go to a doctor, this is just something to process and move forward in life and it really is a good tool!"
A prescription for life from someone who with the help of his copilot in counseiling, is helping folks truly take flight in life.
In his retirment Jim also serves as a government civilian T-6 simulator instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in the Euro-NATO program.
You can find out more information about the Wichita Falls Community Counseling Center and tools for success by calling 716-0230 or swinging by their location at 3100 10th Street in Wichita Falls or by going to the links below--->
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