Thank you DV and I wish you the very best wherever you go and whatever you do.
Op Ed by Disabled Veteran
I wrote this piece in order to attempt to get a little bit of peace and closure. I have been a reader of this Blog along with many others in the Counter Jihad internet scene. This started as a comment but now I have been asked to turn it into an article. I am very honored to do this. It brings me a feeling like my beliefs, my sacrifices, and my constant pain are not totally in vain.
I was adopted by a wonderful blue collar couple at the age of 9 months. From what I know my birth parents were drug addicts and I was left at the Hospital. My adoptive parents who I will FOREVER consider my REAL Parents, have saved my life many times. My father dropped out of school in the 1950’s in 8th grade to help his family. Growing up my parents gave me a good life, but I did have traits from those birth parents. I was bullied in school like many are today. My solution at 9 years old was to punch my bully in the face in front of the entire class. Little did I know being an angry and dumb kid that turned me into the “bad kid”. I was never bullied again though, but I paid an incredible price for it.
Thank goodness somewhere in my family tree there was some intelligence. I was lucky enough to be a smart kid but angry. Fast Forward to my 18th birthday. I got drunk on a boat at a party and talked to this old man who told me all sorts of war stories about the military and Vietnam. Now with my experience I know he was a liar, a Stolen Valor scumbag, but at 18 his stories led me to show up at the Marine recruiters office Monday morning. He learned I had a police record for fighting a mile long and told me ‘no go’.
The Sailor in the Navy office grabbed me in the parking lot, told me a ton of lies, went to court to get my Juvi record expunged, and got me to sign my life away for 6 years.
I knew nothing about the military. I was a real cherry, scared of boot camp and all. 11 weeks later at Great Lakes IL I graduated as Honor Recruit, Ship 111, Division 444. I watched as tears of pride came down my Fathers eye, a man I constantly let down. He told me on his deathbed it was the proudest day of his life. While boot camp was easy, making my Father cry with pride was a crowning achievement of my life!
I went through some schools, and went to the Green Side Navy. That is Sailors who work in Marine Corps Commands. From then on I was finally home. I belonged. I went 100mph through the next 10 years, with the end goal to become a Master Chief. Living so fast one hardly has safety on your mind so I got hurt a lot. I broke bones, recovered and got hurt again and again. I was happy, life meant something. On 9/11 while terrible, to many of us or at least to me at the time it meant War, and it meant payback for 3000+ Americans, and if it meant my life well, that’s how it goes.
In 2005 I was on my 4th wartime deployment. I was back in Iraq a place I hated but I knew that it would be the most important time of my life. I read an article the other day of a Soldier who admitted he actually enjoyed war at times. I can honestly say I felt the same. Perhaps that makes me an immoral person but power even as a NCO is thrilling in war. About 4 months into a deployment I was smoking a Marlboro Light in the passenger seat and the next thing I knew everything stopped and went black. I woke up later in Germany in a hospital bed. I then went back to the US to another hospital to rehab, enjoy surgeries, and after about a year I was told that I was going to get out. I wanted to stay in the Navy, I was scared to get out. I felt like a total failure, I fell into severe depression which I live with to this day. I ended up walking out of the hospital a civilian, scared with no clue with what to do.
I moved back home of course. I found out my Father was dying of cancer and all I can say it was pure hell for 6 months watching him die. His last day on earth he asked me to look after my Mom and that he loved me. I knew nothing about the VA at all. I never got a briefing or anything. I lived for the next year spending my savings from my deployments. I ran into a guy who was a Vietnam Vet who told me to go to the VA to get medication and VA compensation. I was first granted %70 then it was increased to %100. I take about 8 different medications that cost me about $700 a month before that, and the VA started taking care of me. The VA is not perfect but they have helped me. I was still depressed, dreamed nightmares constantly which turned out to be PTSD.
In all I had PTSD, Chronic Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury, a Cyst about the size of a golf ball in the back of my brain that cannot be removed, a destroyed shoulder, back, neck, and hip. Money has never mattered to me too much. %100 service connected disability is enough for me so I never bothered with SSID. I never wanted to be nothing more than blue collar anyways. Perhaps both my arms being sleeved with tattoos certifies that.
I was always interested in politics and sided with the right since even before 9/11. Except that I am and have always been an Atheist. I took the insults by the right for not believing in their god with stride, and I read over and over again Right wing minded people accuse Atheists of being leftards and communists aligned with the islamists.
Since I have gotten out of the Military I have been harassed by my local police. Granted if you did not know I was a Veteran I may look like a thug. In 2011 I walked to the store to buy some smokes and walking home I got questioned by the cops. When searched they found my meds. I got arrested and spent 22 days in the county jail for carrying my daily supply of medication in a small Sucrets container in my watch pocket. Even though I paid thousands for a lawyer the case boiled down to this:
1. plead guilty and get out today, get back on your medication, get your apartment back, and spend a year on probation.
2. plead not guilty and stay in jail for months, lose your apartment in the meantime, lose every possession I ever owned because the apartment complex would just throw my belongings in the dumpster, and maybe win a case stacked against me.
Of course I had some common sense and took choice number 1. Now it is 2013, I got off a grueling and humiliating probation a couple months ago. My trust in Government is at an all time low. I recently got my passport, and I am moving to the Philippines soon.
While I do not own guns because of my depression I still have the right to own them. The Veterans Disarmament Bill, along with a basic disrespect of Veterans in general by the Government is the last straw for me.
I never failed my country, my country failed me. I live in a generation where not only do I not live better off than my parents, I live worse. Getting involved into politics I am attacked by the Left for being a warmonger and baby killer, and I am attacked by the right for not believing in any god or creator. I am attacked by my government for owning guns and being a disabled veteran. I usually feel totally alone.
Please don’t think I am ungrateful to be American. I love my Nationality but I came back to a much different America in 2006 and it just gets worse.
I go to my local military base and feel at home, people are polite and nice. When I go out in my neighborhood and I am surrounded by people who do not care about anything. I’ve felt trapped since 2006 on pause. When people ask me what I do for a living I have to tell them I am a disabled Vet. I get platitudes I do not even want. I get “thanks for your service” (which I do not want) then silence. I cannot relate to civilians.
My life stopped that night when the road exploded. I got forced into being a civilian again, and as one I get no respect. I’ve lived at home ever since to help my Mom like my Dad asked. Over Christmas (which I do celebrate even as a Atheist, I just do not believe in the religious fairy tales) I realized that I was overstressed. I was so unhappy, I even at times over the past year felt like I wanted to end it. So I am done. Beaten, perhaps to some, but with my health I cannot continue to fight. Especially when my local police puts me into a position where I lose a lot either way. Apparently the only way I could have my medication outdoors in my county was if I had all my scripts in the bottles properly marked, otherwise they assume I was selling them.
So once again, I am out, I’m done. Good luck to all fighting the Islamist threat and good luck fighting against ignorant liberals.
I will still read occasionally this and other blogs but not often. It stresses me out and saddens me to watch my country fall so far.
My solution lies 7000 miles away just north of Manila Philippines. I will live well due to the exchange rate and the people there are nice.
I want to end this with a point. My point is that I am just a man. A blue collar man who did a job that he loved, that was his entire life. Injury was always a possibility and I accepted it. I want no pity, and refuse it totally. I am also no hero. The heros to me came back to Dover in Caskets, and reside in cemeteries across the country. It was the biggest privilege in my life to serve with them, to be a Sailor, to share a long history and to just be a small part of it. I am thankful.
But if I stay here I will not be around in 2014. So I am starting over.