At this time last year, I just finished writing the final draft of Combat Medic. I remember thinking, ‘Finally, I did it! I wrote the book I talked about doing for years.’
After months of typing, re-reading and correcting three hundred pages of the hell I went through in Iraq, I was done for good.
I haven’t told many people about my mood during the whole process. Only my wife, daughter, and my good friend Shawn can attest to the anger and hyper-manic state I was constantly thrown into.
After writing about gunfights in a cemetery surrounded by dead people and bones for seven straight hours… I wasn’t really pleasant to be around.
One night after the fourth of July, I was having so many flashbacks I asked Shawn to come pick me up because I didn’t feel safe with crazy thoughts running around in my head.
I’m beyond fortunate that God placed good people like Shawn in my life who can relate to the situations I went through. He’s an Army Veteran as well.
He took me on a long car ride then to a bar to eat and drink while I sat and poured out the dread that was going through my mind.
By the end of the night he ended up dropping me back off at home in a lot better mood than I was. If Shawn hadn’t of come I don’t know what kind of trouble I would have gotten into.
Heroes on Water
That’s what every veteran needs in their life after the Military, someone who truly understands the struggle when life get’s tough. I have constantly made myself available to every veteran I meet to insure that they have someone to talk to.
That’s the reason Shawn started a non-profit organization called Heroes on Water. We take Veteran from all government services out to fish on kayaks. It gives us time to talk with each other and create friendships.
Good Ole’ Talk Therapy
I know that the VA has been taking the heat on a lot of their practices, they are good for one thing… talk therapy. There are hundreds of vets that trickle through the VA hospital waiting for hours everyday.
I can’t name how many times I’ve traded war stories with Vietnam and World War II veterans while waiting for appointments or going through group.
If you’re a veteran or you know someone who’s a veteran, please don’t hesitate to share this information. Lots of veterans don’t try to fuss with the VA because of their bad rep… I don’t blame them.
I’m not saying the VA is great, but the relationships you can make with fellow veterans are awesome and could possibly save a life one day, so why not try?