Project BeYouToFull is a project that celebrates authenticity. It includes a series of photos and interviews from people that inspire either me or you.
We live in a world where we are confronted in every direction by things/people/situations telling us who we should or should not be. In reality the more we embrace exactly who we are, the more we can vulnerably pour that into what we create and the more that will resonate with the people around us. Loving ourselves FULLY and then expressing ourselves vulnerably are the most courageous things a person can be. This project celebrates those who do just that.
Tyler J. Britton grew up in a small town in rural Kansas. After joining the Air Force at 18, Tyler was deployed for his first time to Afghanistan at the age of 21 as a respiratory therapist. He was on a Critical Care Air Transport Team, essentially a flying intensive care unit, with a physician and nurse. He took care of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, coalition troops, and local nationals while deployed. He returned back to his duty station of San Antonio, Texas in July 2010 and was redeployed to Afghanistan again in February-August 2011.
Upon returning to the States, Tyler was reassigned to Cincinnati, Ohio to teach other respiratory therapists, nurses, and physicians at the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills at University Hospital. Aside from teaching, he has been heavily involved in research and has been published multiple times in medical journals. He was deployed for a third and final time in November 2013 - May 2014. In total, he aided over 150 critically injured patients on over 90 combat missions. He separated off active duty in November 2015.
In Tyler’s personal struggle with coming home from Afghanistan, he created Veterans' Storytelling Nights to try and bridge the military/civilian divide. This was his way to help Veterans process their own experiences and for civilians to better understand Veterans. He has produced three events with Veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He has the fourth and final show slotted for September 11th and the Red Cross and hopes this serves as a model for people nationwide.
Tyler starts graduate school this fall at Xavier University for Health Services Administration. His goal is to manage a local Veteran’s Administration hospital and make care better and more accessible for other Veterans. He resides in the Clifton Gaslight district with his dog Chunk.
What makes you vulnerable?
Vulnerability breeds vulnerability so I know if I want someone to be vulnerable with me, I need to be vulnerable with them. It has to be a conscious thing though because my first instinct is to not express who I am or let people know who I am. I appreciate personal settings because I don't do well with small talk.
What is love to you?
Love is sacrificing something you have and expecting nothing in return and doing it time and time again.
What inspires you?
When I was in Afghanistan transporting patients around I saw men or women at their worst, post injury, missing both legs or an arm, essentially blown up. What inspires me now are men and women who have gone through PT or OT and have their prosthetics and are functioning and living real lives. Seeing that recovery inspires me. My work in Afghanistan meant something.
What has been your biggest lesson in life?
I had to grow up quickly when I was in Afghanistan. When I was there my motto was "don't count the days, make the days count". It is easy to take each day for granted but we are not guaranteed each day so taking advantage of each day and to be willing to go out of your comfort zone and make each day adventurous.
If you could say one thing to everyone what would it be?
Never stop serving others. I think the world would be a better place if we found better ways to truly love and serve others instead of it being "me me me".