Tank& I

Getting in sync

Tank woke us up right after midnight panting and licking himself obsessively in his crate while his stomach savagely growled. For some reason I feel like Tank hates being in his crate at night. He has started ignoring me when I tell him to get, it takes me a good 5 minutes and treat bribes to get him to walk in with his head hanging low. I gave Lindsay a call but she didn’t pick up, so I let Tank out to relieve himself then let him sleep outside of his cage at the foot of our bed. He went to sleep right away. We got the best sleep since the first day we got Tank. Lindsay gave me a call in the morning and told me to do pretty much what I did.

I didn’t have to do much today. I had to meet with a hearing officer at the Hennepin county court office this afternoon about a speeding ticket I received back in October. In order to keep the ticket off my record I have to pay a $325 fine…JEEZ. I think I got away with more than I should have though. I have this thing with driving alone on a highway, it makes me hyper-aware of everything that I see on the road, sometimes giving me flashbacks if I see a box or dead deer on the side of the road. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in a convoy at night speeding on a highway towards Bagdad when we’d have to stop and call the bomb squad out to check for IED’s that are hidden underneath stuff. I was going 92 when the cop pulled me over. I’m blessed that he knocked it down to a 76 in a 65 MPH zone, so $325 isn’t too bad.

Two hours went by before I got back home. When I let Tank out of his crate he was overjoyed as usual, jetting around the house heavily panting. He ran in between my legs at least 10 times rubbing his head against me. I love him. He makes me feel good every time I see him. Lately, the anxiety that builds up inside of me while away during the day seems to be washed away when I spend time with him. I spent the rest of the day watching T.V. and rubbing tanks belly.

When I put Tank in his crate so I could pick Aleah up from school, he started whimpering. I spoke with Lindsay about what I should do and she said if he’s fed and has relieved himself then he’s just doing it to see if I let him out. It’s hard but I’ve almost gotten used to ignoring him, even though it sounds like a crying baby I need to tend to.img_0266Patti, the founder of Project Delta, text me a picture of the badges that will go on Tanks vest. I can’t wait to see it on him, then it’ll be official. Lindsay also text me to let me know next monday her and Patti will be over to finally let Aleah and my wife to interact with Tank. Aleah is super excited, Jessica is too but she doesn’t want to show it. I know it’s been hard for the both of them to not interact with Tank this past month. I’m really proud of them for sticking this out with me and I can’t wait to see them play together.

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Author of Combat Medic : A soldier's story of the Iraq war and PTSD.Served as a combat medic on the front lines in operation Iraqi freedom/ enduring freedom. Medically retired from the Army in 2006 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, retired from the VA hospital since 2013. After struggling with PTSD and suicide for twelve years I have made it my priority to share my story with as meany people as I can to help America understand what it's like being a combat veteran back home from war. It is my hope that other veterans can relate to my life and take use the same tools as me to live a better life with PTSD.

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