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The mask I wore for more than 5 years. This picture was taken during the Christmas Holiday Season. My wife and I took our sons on a Christmas Story Train Ride.

Right off the back i want to thank Brock for all the talks we’ve had and for giving me the opportunity to tell my story and help others who are coping with the bitch know as PTSD.

Now, why am I here?

Why do the things that I do?

Why go Live on Facebook?

Why be a Sexual Assault/Suicide Prevention Instructor?

Especially, when I am a “Nonner”, a “POG”, and a “B.O.B. (Back Office Bitch)”.

My PTSD extends from a 2009 deployment. This was my first deployment as well. I was an excited E-4 ready to take on the world. I was going to go to war and make a difference. Just full of HOOAH!

To cut a six month story short, for 5 months I was a member of the Fallen Warrior Detail. I preformed more than 60 ceremonies and carried over 80 of our fallen. Not a job for the faint of heart.

When I came home, I thought everything was all good. Until, the night terrors started. Dreams of me carrying a transfer case to the Ice Box, popping the tags, and seeing one of my kids laying there.

They were in full battle rattle and had GSWs all over. I would wake up screaming and crying. My wife would ask what was wrong, but i would never give her a straight answer. i would just say “Nothing!” and roll back over.

I would be act this way for years. I had the belief that nothing was wrong and that the only people to get PTSD were those on the front lines. Those bad ass mother fuckers who came into PERSCO and took bullets out of themselves without any pain meds and ask only for some bandages and a sewing kit. (Yeah, that was a fun day.)

It took my wife leaving me and hitting rock bottom and almost becoming a statistic before I decided to get help. I leaned on those who were close to me for strength. And for food, because no matter how much we wished it was true…you cant live off of Vodka alone.

It took some friends, no scratch that, FAMILY to give me the kick in the ass I need to get my shit together and go seek some real help. I spent 2 months in an outpatient clinic and was put through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).

There is always help out there for us to combat the demons we keep locked up inside. I knew what was available to me, but I didn’t want to appear weak or have people thinking that I was making it all up just for attention. I mean, Support never gets PTSD, right. WRONG!!! No matter what your job is, PTSD doesn’t give a fuck! If she wants you, she will find you. And, her only mission is to Fuck you.

But there are ways of dealing with this bitch. Lean on your brothers and sisters through the tough times. Put your pride to the side and seek the help that you not only need, but that you deserve.

NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER GIVE IN! KEEP MOVING FORWARD! PLAY THIS GAME TO WIN!

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