“I joined the Army in 2008. I was part of that time where everything went fast. Basic training for 9 weeks, Advanced Individual Training for 7 months, then a few weeks off. Next, a month at the National Training Center in California, a few weeks back, and then Iraq. Throw in a marriage, my parents’ divorce, and the loss of my grandfather. It was fast, and it was different.
I spent the better part of a year in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, from October 2009 to October 2010. After we returned home, the year took its toll. I had lost people I had come to know as family. I developed an intense drinking problem. I had disciplinary issues as well as a run in with the law. My marriage fell apart and my life went on a downward spiral. I got demoted and was forced to finish out my enlistment in the Army Substance Abuse Program. Things didn’t look good for me on the outside and in 2012 I left the Army Honorably just before I was forced out. (more…)