Silouan Green’s Story – Long Version

Using the trials and traumas of life as fuel to live with meaning.

“Surviving PTSD taught me how to live – deeply, with passion and purpose. Whatever life has thrown your way, you can use it as fuel to live free.

My body and soul were broken, literally, after a tragic jet crash. I overcame the demons of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, healed my body, and learned to use all the broken pieces as fuel for living. My mission is equipping people to rise up, live free, and help others do the same.”

Leading a workshop at the 2018 STARR retreat for survivors of families of service men and women.

Keep reading for the full story on Silouan’s life, or you can learn more through an interview with Los Angeles California’s number #1 morning drive host, Bill Handel: Click here to listen to Silouan and Bill.

“Silouan Green’s journey of overcoming incredible personal trauma to find passion and purpose in life is both inspirational and timely. I look forward to helping spread the word and reach those who need to hear his message.”
Sheron Bellio, Producer, Bill Handel Show, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment

An amazing journey:


A tragic jet crash while serving as a US Marine followed by a whole host of complications and medical conditions descended Silouan into the hell of post traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD), depression, suicidal impulses, long-term pain, and a completely shattered life. It was here, staring into the abyss, that he was given a choice, continue down the same devastating path, or live free. He chose to live free.

Silouan with a moose in Yellowstone National Park!
Silouan with a moose in Yellowstone National Park!

It began by buying a motorcycle and guitar after selling everything else he owned. As he learned to play the guitar and write songs he became more adept at riding the motorcycle and on the day he was disability discharged from the US Marine Corps he took off on an epic two-year trek.  He road for over 30,000 miles and packed a lifetime of adventure into just 24 months.

He met his wife on that trip and she joined him for almost 8,000 miles of the journey! Camping on the rim on the Grand Canyon, pitching a tent in Yellowstone surrounded by Buffalo and Elk, they trailblazed over mountain passes and many more incredibly vistas. Since then, they’ve been married 17 years and have eight children whom they home school! The adventure continues as they raise their children with a spirit that life was meant to be lived with meaning and purpose, each day an opportunity for something amazing. He is living proof God created us to live with purpose, and whatever the circumstances, we can use our brokenness as fuel to live free.

But it’s not just his own life and that of his family that Silouan’s journey has impacted. He has traveled over half a million miles the last decade helping thousands begin their own amazing journeys even when they were living in the darkest of places. Whether through his speaking, music, books, or workshops, his message is a flaming arrow of hope, direction, and practical advice.

Inspired by his own journey, Silouan created The Ladder UPP life skills program based on his own recovery and it has helped give people around the world hope and a plan to truly make the most of life’s trials and transitions. With The Ladder UPP, Silouan has worked at Walter Reed, with the US Marines, the Army, the National Guard, Willow Creek Community Church and various other groups, organizations and mental health professionals. He also speaks to police and other first responders around the country as a national lecturer for the Public Agency Training Council. The United States #1 public training agency.

Life is good when you make life a journey!
Life is good when you make life a journey!

He has the tools to help you make the most of your life. If you are living in a dark place, he can help get you out. Or if you are just tired of muddling, a new journey can begin today. Even if it seems overwhelming, every moment is a chance to take a step towards a life that matters. It could be picking up a guitar, volunteering, taking a long walk, stepping foot in that church down the street from your home. You are not alone, we all know what it is like to face our demons and feel like we are alone. But you are not alone, none of us are. You can prove that to yourself by reaching out to help someone just like you.

A message from Silouan:


A journey isn't an escape, it's a way to find life.
A journey isn’t an escape, it’s a way to find life.

“I survived severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a tragic jet crash to discover the ingredients we all need to reach our full potential – a life of passion directed by a clear identity and purpose.

When we are locked in the deep dark holes of life, it seems like nothing good can come from our despair.  Falling down the rabbit hole, it is here that the cold steel of a .357 magnum can feel like sweet relief.  So when the above mentioned TV report aired a few years ago, “Meet the man they call an Angel”, my first thought was of hell.  The one I had escaped.

It was a hell of insomnia, despair, pills, hallucinations, failure, fear, and an end to my pain. They gave it a label, severe post traumatic stress disorder, but it was more than that.  It was a problem that struck the core of my being:  WHO AM I?  I had never really answered that question.  In many ways, I had run from it.  The post traumatic stress was really just the end of a long crooked road. It was a devil that made me face myself or face death.

The shell cracked when I was in a training accident as a US Marine.  I had to eject from a jet not twenty feet from the ground.  My instructor was killed and I fractured my spine. The complications that followed left me a shell of a man and I began my descent into hell.

I would have died if I didn’t do what seemed incredibly rash to everyone at the time but me.  A few weeks before being disability discharged, I sold my possessions except one, my car.  Then on my discharge date, I met a flight surgeon at a motorcycle shop.  He paid me cash for my red Porsche. I took the money inside and purchased a motorcycle.  I spent the next two years on the road.

The best part of being on the road is getting off the road! On a stream somewhere near nowhere out west.
The best part of being on the road is getting off the road!

On the road, I was reborn.  I discovered my purpose, the love of my life, rediscovered by faith in God, and the will to not let the hell I had escaped define me. Riding across our great country, each mile allowed me the freedom to begin to dream again.  I felt like a child again.  I began to write, to sing, to learn the guitar – all the things I do today to make a living.

I met a girl and she joined me on the journey.  We traveled over 8000 miles together on that motorcycle and slept on the rim of the grand canyon, woke to moose in Yellowstone, and made nature our home.  And the journey hasn’t ended, we’ve now been married for 13 years and have seven children!

And this journey has led to many things the last ten years or so: I’ve published an internationally distributed outdoors magazine, Bearfoot Magazine-Journal of Northern California Outdoors, started a successful advertising and marketing business, SG Creative Group, began a 501-c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of psychological trauma, developed The Ladder UPP life skills program based on my own recovery, hosted a couple of radio programs, and most importantly, visited those suffering wherever I could and whenever I was called.

South of Yellowstone. Taken by my sweet heart!
South of Yellowstone. Taken by my sweet heart!

Maybe you know what it’s like to be falling down the rabbit hole with nothing in sight but a black hole. Maybe you are a college student who went to school because that is what you are supposed to do, but you don’t really like what you are studying and you are worried you won’t get all that you want out of life. Maybe you are in a career that provides money and security, but you are unfulfilled and fearful you’ll look back on life someday with regret. Maybe you’ve undergone severe trauma in your life and the pain and fear paralyze you and each day is just a long slow nightmare. Maybe you are muddling through life and you are sick and tired of feeling empty.

I want you to live free. I want you to find what I found on the back of a motorcycle – identity, purpose and most of all, passion.

Hopefully this blog will help. It is not only a testimony to my survival, it’s part of my mission to help others get their second chance, or start their first chance the right way.

My boy Isaac at Two. Aiming high, living free!
My boy Isaac at Two. Aiming high, living free!

Sometimes life can feel like you are wrestling with God himself, but in the end, peace is found when we discover the unique purpose and identity that we were created for. Please send me any questions you may have about escaping your demons, reversing the direction of your life, and finding hope in the midst of despair. You might just need a kick in the butt to leave the world’s rat race and chase after your dreams. I pray you find some motivation and may God bless your journey.”

For more on hope and overcoming the adversities of life, you might check out the following works by Silouan: Sycamore Hill, Who Am I?  and The Ladder UPP workbook. 

Also, check out Silouan’s article on PTSD in the Washington Post. Click here to go directly to the article.


  1. Jim

    Hi Siloaun,

    Heard you on Handel this am and want to say congrats for finding your passion and turning your life around. I am currently in my own black hole of despair and am encouraged by your story that there might be hope for me.

    I have lost my career, my health, and shortly my house ( which I am trying to sell before it forecloses). As a result of this and childhood abuse I believe I have symptoms that are similar to PSTD. A dark depression has set in that is almost debilitating. I think my biggest problem is I haven’t nailed down my mission in life as you have done.

    If my house closes without incident I will have some money that I can use to re- group. Although I am not into motorcycles I need to find a way to make the same spiritual journey that you did when you took off across the country.

    Thank you for being an inspiration


    1. Silouan

      Jim, I’m so greatful you were able to listen this morning. Please keep in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I know you will find your path and it will be an amazing journey! Silouan

    2. Dear Jim, I am hoping some will be praying for you (myself included) and I am sure Silouan will bring your name up to God also. When you are alone one evening (soon), pray and ask God to make Himself real to you. If you have a Bible, read the Gospel of John; also tell the Lord you would like to receive Him as your Savior and you would like to receive The Spirit. See what happens; I am sure if your heart is sincere, HE will come to you as He has to so many of us and has turned our lives around and given us a great hope. I am sure the Spririt of God is hovering over you right now and is waiting to hear from you. “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved.” Receive Him as your Lord and Savior and He will give you LIfe Eternal and save you to the uttermost. He will be in your heart and operate from within in your life. Take care and may God bless you!

  2. steven doran

    Silouan, we met you at the conference, held at Willow Creek Church , last spring/ late winter 0f 2013. There was never any follow up by WC Church, to continue your program. I am a in a bikers veterans organization, we helped a lady in the Pacific NW, called North West Battle Buddies, who trains dogs to be placed with veterans diagnosed with PTSD. She stated to me when talking with her over the phone, that there was a vet in Rhode Island, and she wants to get a dog as a companion for him. The problem is, she doesn’t think he can wait the process, and he has a real potential for being a suicide statistic, would you would be willing to talk to this vet ? Thanks again, keep up the good work. Have a Blessed Christmas and our sincerest wishes for you and your family. regards steven

    1. Silouan

      Steven, he can contact me anytime. Sorry Willow didn’t connect with you. We’ve actually been running some Ladder UPP classes since then, and have a new round coming up in the new year. Would love to see ya’ there. Thanks, Silouan

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