Written by Sean MacMillen
Between 2004 and 2008, I spent a majority of my time in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as an infantry officer. In July of 2008, I left the Army; however, not on my own accord. It is rather embarrassing to say this, but I had gone from being a respected leader and battalion executive officer to an Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) rehab failure. I did not realize the toll that multiple deployments took on my mental health, and I self-medicated with alcohol. I did not want to admit that I had any chinks in my armor like a drinking problem. The next several years were a blur, and I lost myself along the way because I would not reach out to others. My thought was that I was physically and mentally tough; I could not have any problems. Hell, I was an Airborne Ranger!