I once considered myself normal. Living life one day at a time. Happiness was all around me. I had just bought my first house and car. I was living the life that most people dream of... then that summer I received,"The Letter". A letter that would forever change my life. My orders to deploy to Iraq had just arrived. I said to myself, " Finally... it was my turn to serve and protect those that needed it the most.
The monster inside of me was loose. I never felt this amount of rage, anger.
While in Iraq we soldiered... we saw a lot.. did a lot and helped a lot. There were days of happiness and days of sorrow. Emotions running high. Fear, anger and rage were my companions. The monster inside of me was loose. I never felt this amount of rage, anger, and such lows as I did that year. My body and my mind felt like they were on a roller coaster. There were days highs and days of deep lows. Confusion and depression started to settle in early. I would cry and not even know why.
While in Iraq I started seeking treatment for my anger and depression. I was suffering from severe combat stress. The only thing that I knew was that whatever was happening to me was taking over. I was losing myself.
You see... in Iraq or in any combat zone the primitive side of humanity comes out. This side of humanity allows us to survive at any cost. The monster within takes over on a limited basis... You can still function but the one in the driver's seat is always Monster.
I felt so alone. I was scared what was going on. I didn't know how to function.
After returning home it hit me hard. I went from being needed to nothing. From helping others to feeling helpless myself. But this time I had no one to help me figure out what was going on. I felt so alone. I was scared what was going on.
I didn't know how to function. It felt like when a person gets out of jail after they've been locked away for years. They commit a crime just so they can go back to where they feel normal. I was trying to volunteer to go back to Iraq because it was normal to me. That didn't happen...so here I am.
I wanted to help other people like me, people who had seen what I've seen, been where I had been, felt how I feel.
So I decided to make this site. A place where we can come together, help each other and support one another through the dark times. But also to celebrate who we are, what we've done and the difference we have made in the world.
My fellow soldiers.....I Salute YOU.
We invite you to share your story. You can remain anonymous or not. Your story might just be the one to help another service member in need.