I achieved my dreams at an early age… I signed my contract at 17 but had to wait 2 months to be shipped to Ft Benning GA to become an infantryman. My military career was my passion, my life, everything I ever wanted.
After basic and AIT I attended Airborne school and Ranger Indoctrination Program then just as an E-2 I was selected by one of my instructors to transfer to his unit, C co 1/18th Infantry to be part of a small sniper unit serving the first infantry division. everything was going according to my plans.
I deployed with the 1st infantry division during the Yugoslav Wars in the late 90s and with the united Nations to patrol their newly established borders.
My life was good, i continued my training to reach my goals. I attended Belgium Commando School and I was finally an E-4…time for my next step!
SFAS, Special Forces Assessment and selection, I made it!!! this is where I wanted to be. upon returning to my unit in Germany the winter was finally over so it was time to take out my motorcycle and go out for a ride.
I remember a helicopter, I remember bright lights and people wearing masks over their face then I remember a soldier telling me that I was going to be ok, that I was going home.
I regained consciousness in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC but, this wasnt home! home was with my brothers. I was told that I had been involved in a terrible accident. I was hit by a drunk driver and they had to amputate my left arm, quickly i moved my fingers, they were all there, maybe they got the wrong guy??? but then they removed the sheets that were covering me and i realized they were right, I was just to high on morphine to understand.
my arm was gone but i had bigger problems, my left leg was so damaged that they even talked to me about amputating because I was never going to be able to put any weight on it… I refused that offer… many surgeries later and after inserting titanium rods from hip to ankle they also needed to do a bone graft to fill the empty spaces… whatever!
It was time for rehab, I started to walk again but I didn’t know where I was walking to. The medical evaluation board had my papers, they said I could finish rehab at home but as I said before, my home was with my brothers and I couldn’t go back. As much as I argued and try to stay I couldn’t… I had to retire.
I left to NY, it was a new city for me to start a new life. I enrolled in college and started a life I never wanted. I’m trying to live everything I loved behind… Oxycontin and anti depressants were great help!
I tried to continue my life, pain got worse, prescriptions got stronger…
This was my story for many years things kept getting worse until one day I decided that was it… I was convinced things would never get better… it was only logical to ended there. Why continue living in pain, what good was I for others? I wasn’t going to be able to care for my kids, I needed 80 mg of Oxycontin just to get out of bed.
Once again I woke up in a hospital… as i pulled a tube out of my mouth I couldn’t believe I had fail at this, suicide is supposed to be easy! now things were much worse. I was forced into a psych unit for a few weeks and then I was told that they wanted me to complete a 3 month residential program on the 5th floor in the VA Hospital… Fuck it, I had no where else to be. At least I had a bed and 3 meals a day.
I used to look down at people like this but being there made me realised what the problem was. I couldn’t hide behind meds anymore. As miserable as I was there I felt like I was home again, I was with my people.
We all struggled with different demons but we understood each other.
That was the beginning of a new life for me, I knew what i needed to do. Today I fight side by side with my brothers and sisters that are going through something similar because I know how it feels to be there. I’m constantly reaching out and trying to help. I am a strong advocate for depression, PTSD and I try to motivate others to continue the fight.
This is not a fairy tail, Its a constant battle but if I want a happy ending I now know that giving up is not a fucking option!