Ch.17 Danger


When I think of luck only one story comes to mind. This is a chapter from my book Combat Medic. Getting in gunfights had become a daily activity for my squad in 1-5 Cav. infantry. Our mission was simple, hunt down and kill any insurgents inside the Wadi-Us-Saalam cemetery and destroy they’re weapons cache. It was an experience I’ll never forget because I came close to death several times a day for a month straight. I don’t know if I was extremely lucky or extremely blessed, all I know is that I survived.

IMG_0002
Wadi-Us-Saalam cemetery- Largest in the world with a  7 mile radius

Chapter 17 begins after my sergeant took a bullet and fell off the ledge of the building. We came under heavy weapons fire that pinned us down onto of the roof. I’m the medic so I had to get over to him to patch the wound up and evacuate him. Enjoy!

Chapter 17: Danger

Bullets rattled the wall behind me, spraying chunks of rock and dust into the air. B was trying to stick his head up and look out but kept falling back flat on the ground when the rounds went pinging off the cement around us. The only thing I could do was picture the sergeant bleeding out to death.

Shit! I thought, I’ve gotta get over to him, what the fuck. I slapped B on the shoulder.

“I’m climbing over to Hunter! Give me cover fire.” I handed him the SAW and crawled across the floor. B planted the SAW on the roof and fired down range swearing and screaming. I was pinned down again when I came to the drop off; bullets ripped through the air above my head.

“Fuck!” I yelled, and then threw myself over the edge, landing hard on my side; knocking the wind out of me. I pushed myself up, and ran over to Sergeant Hunter, who was lying on the ground twisting and moaning. Blood was seeping out of his right shoulder. He was covered in dust.

I radioed to Martinez on my way over to him, “I need my bag and a Medivac. Sergeant is down. We’re by the blue door near the street.”

“On my way” Martinez radioed back.

I fell onto my knees next to Hunter, “I’m here Sergeant; let me take a look at you.”

He moved his hands off his shoulder; I tore open vest and blouse. “You feel hurt anywhere else?”

He shook his head, “No, just my shoulder.” I looked him up and down to see if he got hit anywhere else like I was trained.

“Here!” I heard Martinez yell from behind the door. I looked up to see the bag fly up and over the door, landing on the ground. I ran over and grabbed it then ran back to the sergeant.

I took the scissors from my bag and cut his shirt open; a bullet hole the size of a quarter was blown into his shoulder. Blood was slowly running out from the sides. I broke open a field bandage and pressed it on top of the wound. Martinez was trying to kick down the door without any luck.

“Here hold this tight and don’t let go,” I said, placing his hand on the bandage. The door had a metal chain looped through it and was padlocked. Martinez and I both tried kicking it open but it wouldn’t budge. We would need bolt cutters to get through the lock. Mortars started landing, scaring the piss out of me.

“How the fuck are we going to get out of here? Does the Bradley have a chain to tear the fucker off?” I yelled at Martinez.

“No!” he screamed. “There’s nothing!”

“Fuck!” I shouted, kicking the door. The ground shook underneath me over and over again; the explosions sounded close. I couldn’t think of anything but going back up top and jumping off.

“We’re going back over!” I yelled, “Give us cover while we jump off the other side!”

Martinez gave me a nod, “Shit, ok!” He radioed the lieutenant to help give us cover.

I ran back over to the sergeant, radioing B, “I need you to help me with Hunter!”

“Roger that!” he replied.

“We’re going to have to go back up!” I yelled to the sergeant. “There’s no other way out!”

He looked pale and frightened, “You ok?”

“Yeah, man. Fuck,” he tiredly replied. I tied his bandage the best I could and closed his vest. After I got him to his feet B yelled down to us, “Ok!” holding his hand over the edge. I handed B the sergeant’s rifle then lodged my pack up top. Next, I crouched against the wall with my hands clasped together and boosted Hunter up. He grabbed B’s hand and I pushed him until he was over the edge.

After a moment B reached down for me. I got a running start and scaled the wall grabbing his hand. With his help I pulled myself up; bullets zipped past as I dragged my body over the edge. All three of us were now up top hugging the floor.

With the mortars landing closer I knew it was only a matter of time before they started hitting the building. Rounds were bouncing off the wall, blocking the way we originally came up. We figured the only way down was to walk across the top of the wall we just climbed and jump off; like walking across a balance beam in clear view of the enemy. There wasn’t a floor on either side of us so we would take the chance of getting shot and ending up back were we started, trapped. But there weren’t any other options.

“Ok,” B said, “I’ll help Hunter while you lay down cover fire.”

“Ok! Let me know when you’re ready!” I grabbed the SAW then crawled over to the edge of the building. B strapped the rifle on his back and grabbed the ammo. On the count of three I started relentlessly firing downrange.

Once Hunter and B made it to the edge and jumped off, I strapped my bag on then shot a couple more rounds downrange. After slinging the SAW over my shoulder I took a second to pray:

Please don’t let me die; I don’t want to get shot. After a count of three I jumped up and started across. “Shit. Fuck this shit,” was the only thing I was thinking and said as rounds zipped past me. I tried my best not to fall off as mortars shook the wall. My heart sank when I almost slipped off, causing me to stop for a second. I felt like one of those ducks in a carnival game, running in clear view, hoping to not get shot.

“Shi-i-t!” I yelled as I jumped off the side of the building, landing hard on my legs next to a grave. My right knee popped, causing me to collapse in pain. I looked up to see a grave only yards away blow up from a mortar; another one exploded close by a second after. I forced myself up and ran over to B and Hunter. On the way a mortar hit the ground a couple feet from me and didn’t go off.

“Shit!” I screamed, jumping to the side. When I got to Hunter I threw his arm over my shoulder and started running. Rodriguez came around the corner of the building firing downrange then waved us over to him. We ran to the front of the building and jumped inside through a doorway inside a small room. Each of us hugged the walls in the shadows on either side. I watched as bullets zipped through the doorway and rattled the brick wall, shooting clouds of dust into the beam of light shining in.

Mortar rounds landed all around; the blasts shook the building, engulfing the room with dust and smoke. I thought the building was going to fall in on us as they came pounding in. Bullets kept hitting the wall between us, making Rodriguez and me jump back. We were trapped; there was no place to go.

Rodriguez was terrified; his face scrunched up as if fear was causing him pain. My body shook harder with every explosion; it felt like my brain was shaking against my skull. I closed my eyes and saw flickering lights. Suddenly a warm vibrating sensation ran through my body; I started reciting the Lord’s Prayer in my mind. Our father in heaven…

My grandma appeared in front of me, her face an array of different colors: Purple, white, blue and orange. We were engulfed in darkness. She rocked in her chair moving back and forth praying. A bright orange light shone on me as we prayed together, eliminating the darkness we were in. It was warm and peaceful, wrapping me with comfort. All my fear and pain were taken away, filling me with nothing but joy and love.

I heard explosions and felt the ground shake, but it was in a separate place. It was almost as if I were in both places at once. The thought crossed my mind that I died. My whole life was in front of me; it seemed like time was non-existent. I stood next to my grandma waiting, not knowing what was going to happen next. I didn’t care. Everything was going to be ok. It felt like I was there for hours, maybe days.

I heard tracks slamming against the pavement outside, its engine getting louder as it moved up the street outside. The Bradley’s gun got louder as they got closer. Martinez was muffled as he spoke, “Come on; let’s go!”

Everything disappeared. I was pulled back into the building as my eyes opened. Martinez popped two smoke grenades out the doorway for cover; thick red and yellow smoke filled the air. The medical track stopped and dropped its back hatch. Rodriguez and I lifted Hunter and ran him over to the track. Bullets came zipping by as we moved. We handed him off to the medic and threw his gear on the floor.

Martinez gave us cover fire while we ran back through the smoke, into the room. It sounded like our Bradley dozed over graves as it pulled up on the side of the building. I could hear bullets bouncing off its armor as it fired down range. We ran outside and jumped into the back.

The door slammed shut while the Bradley moved away; we watched the screen as white bodies darted away.

“Fuck!” Martinez kicked the metal seat before sitting down. We were all panting hard; I was worn out.

“Drink water.” I said, tiredly lifting my canteen up to drink. As we sat I finished closing up my pack, making sure all the medical supplies were in the right spot. I made a mental note to pick up an aid-bandage when we got back to base. When I went to close the pouch it was in, there were two small holes punched through it. I stuck my finger through them; it went clean through.

“Shit,” I said, tapping Rodriguez. He opened his eyes and looked at me.

“Look at this shit man; I can’t believe I got that close to getting hit.”

“Shit bro. I think we all got lucky. That shit was close.”

“Yeah man, I know.”

I sat back and closed my eyes, wanting so badly to go to sleep, but my mind kept racing. Thoughts about the guy I shot, how close I came to getting shot and the bright lights. What was that? It felt like I had died back in that room. How do I know I didn’t? I was going to say something about it before the lieutenant’s voice came blasting over the radio.

“Alright boys! Gotta go back out in 5.”

“Fuck man I’m tired!” Rodriguez shouted back. There was no response. I didn’t want to go back out, especially with a man short. B was lying back with his eyes closed shaking his head. We sat in silence for a minute; the only sound was the motor of the main gun moving around looking for targets. When I thought about Sergeant Hunter again I remembered something funny and started giggling.

“What’s so funny?” said B. “I’d like to hear something funny right about now in this shithole.”

“Did you guys hear Sergeant’s voice?” I asked; “he sounded like a little girl.”

I squeaked in a high-pitched voice, “I’m hit.” Everyone laughed. That opened up a doorway for more shits and giggles; it was like everyone needed to joke around to keep our minds off of going back out. Martinez took charge of the team since he had seniority. We were one man short and no one else was coming out to replace Hunter. We had enough firepower to keep going, so we filled our water and restocked ammo. The back door dropped open.

“Ok guys. Watch your six out there.
Luck

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-97032163-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Sinister Chucke

Danger – Gunfights in a Cemetery

In the 1-5 Cavalry Infantry, gunfights were a daily activity for our squad. Our mission was simple, hunt down and kill any insurgents inside the Wadi-Us-Saalam cemetery.

It was an experience I’ll never forget. I came close to death several times a day for a month straight. I don’t know if I was extremely lucky or extremely blessed, all I know is that I survived.

IMG_0002
Wadi-Us-Saalam cemetery- Largest in the world with a  7 mile radius

The chapter begins after my sergeant takes a sniper bullet to the shoulder and falls off the ledge of the building we were engaging from. We came under heavy weapons fire that pinned us down onto of the roof. I’m the medic so I had to get over to patch his wounds up and evacuate him.

Chapter 17: Danger

Bullets rattled the wall behind me, spraying chunks of rock and dust into the air. B was trying to stick his head up and look out but kept falling back flat on the ground when the rounds went pinging off the cement around us. The only thing I could do was picture the sergeant bleeding out to death.

Shit! I thought, I’ve gotta get over to him, what the fuck.

I slapped B on the shoulder.

“I’m climbing over to Hunter! Give me cover fire.” I handed him the SAW and crawled across the floor. B planted the SAW on the roof and fired down range swearing and screaming. I was pinned down again when I came to the drop off; bullets ripped through the air above my head.

“Fuck!” I yelled, and then threw myself over the edge, landing hard on my side; knocking the wind out of me. I pushed myself up, and ran over to Sergeant Hunter, who was lying on the ground twisting and moaning. Blood was seeping out of his right shoulder. He was covered in dust.

I radioed to Martinez on my way over to him, “I need my bag and a Medivac. Sergeant is down. We’re by the blue door near the street.”

“On my way” Martinez radioed back.

I fell onto my knees next to Hunter, “I’m here Sergeant; let me take a look at you.”

He moved his hands off his shoulder; I tore open vest and blouse. “You feel hurt anywhere else?”

He shook his head, “No, just my shoulder.” I looked him up and down to see if he got hit anywhere else like I was trained.

“Here!” I heard Martinez yell from behind the door. I looked up to see the bag fly up and over the door, landing on the ground. I ran over and grabbed it then ran back to the sergeant.

I took the scissors from my bag and cut his shirt open; a bullet hole the size of a quarter was blown into his shoulder. Blood was slowly running out from the sides. I broke open a field bandage and pressed it on top of the wound. Martinez was trying to kick down the door without any luck.

“Here hold this tight and don’t let go,” I said, placing his hand on the bandage. The door had a metal chain looped through it and was padlocked. Martinez and I both tried kicking it open but it wouldn’t budge. We would need bolt cutters to get through the lock. Mortars started landing, scaring the piss out of me.

“How the fuck are we going to get out of here? Does the Bradley have a chain to tear the fucker off?” I yelled at Martinez.

“No!” he screamed. “There’s nothing!”

“Fuck!” I shouted, kicking the door. The ground shook underneath me over and over again; the explosions sounded close. I couldn’t think of anything but going back up top and jumping off.

“We’re going back over!” I yelled, “Give us cover while we jump off the other side!”

Martinez gave me a nod, “Shit, ok!” He radioed the lieutenant to help give us cover.

I ran back over to the sergeant, radioing B, “I need you to help me with Hunter!”

“Roger that!” he replied.

“We’re going to have to go back up!” I yelled to the sergeant. “There’s no other way out!”

He looked pale and frightened, “You ok?”

“Yeah, man. Fuck,” he tiredly replied. I tied his bandage the best I could and closed his vest. After I got him to his feet B yelled down to us, “Ok!” holding his hand over the edge. I handed B the sergeant’s rifle then lodged my pack up top. Next, I crouched against the wall with my hands clasped together and boosted Hunter up. He grabbed B’s hand and I pushed him until he was over the edge.

After a moment B reached down for me. I got a running start and scaled the wall grabbing his hand. With his help I pulled myself up; bullets zipped past as I dragged my body over the edge. All three of us were now up top hugging the floor.

With the mortars landing closer I knew it was only a matter of time before they started hitting the building. Rounds were bouncing off the wall, blocking the way we originally came up. We figured the only way down was to walk across the top of the wall we just climbed and jump off; like walking across a balance beam in clear view of the enemy. There wasn’t a floor on either side of us so we would take the chance of getting shot and ending up back were we started, trapped. But there weren’t any other options.

“Ok,” B said, “I’ll help Hunter while you lay down cover fire.”

“Ok! Let me know when you’re ready!” I grabbed the SAW then crawled over to the edge of the building. B strapped the rifle on his back and grabbed the ammo. On the count of three I started relentlessly firing downrange.

Once Hunter and B made it to the edge and jumped off, I strapped my bag on then shot a couple more rounds downrange. After slinging the SAW over my shoulder I took a second to pray:

Please don’t let me die; I don’t want to get shot. After a count of three I jumped up and started across. “Shit. Fuck this shit,” was the only thing I was thinking and said as rounds zipped past me. I tried my best not to fall off as mortars shook the wall. My heart sank when I almost slipped off, causing me to stop for a second. I felt like one of those ducks in a carnival game, running in clear view, hoping to not get shot.

“Shi-i-t!” I yelled as I jumped off the side of the building, landing hard on my legs next to a grave. My right knee popped, causing me to collapse in pain. I looked up to see a grave only yards away blow up from a mortar; another one exploded close by a second after. I forced myself up and ran over to B and Hunter. On the way a mortar hit the ground a couple feet from me and didn’t go off.

“Shit!” I screamed, jumping to the side. When I got to Hunter I threw his arm over my shoulder and started running. Rodriguez came around the corner of the building firing downrange then waved us over to him. We ran to the front of the building and jumped inside through a doorway inside a small room. Each of us hugged the walls in the shadows on either side. I watched as bullets zipped through the doorway and rattled the brick wall, shooting clouds of dust into the beam of light shining in.

Mortar rounds landed all around; the blasts shook the building, engulfing the room with dust and smoke. I thought the building was going to fall in on us as they came pounding in. Bullets kept hitting the wall between us, making Rodriguez and me jump back. We were trapped; there was no place to go.

Rodriguez was terrified; his face scrunched up as if fear was causing him pain. My body shook harder with every explosion; it felt like my brain was shaking against my skull. I closed my eyes and saw flickering lights. Suddenly a warm vibrating sensation ran through my body; I started reciting the Lord’s Prayer in my mind. Our father in heaven…

My grandma appeared in front of me, her face an array of different colors: Purple, white, blue and orange. We were engulfed in darkness. She rocked in her chair moving back and forth praying. A bright orange light shone on me as we prayed together, eliminating the darkness we were in. It was warm and peaceful, wrapping me with comfort. All my fear and pain were taken away, filling me with nothing but joy and love.

I heard explosions and felt the ground shake, but it was in a separate place. It was almost as if I were in both places at once. The thought crossed my mind that I died. My whole life was in front of me; it seemed like time was non-existent. I stood next to my grandma waiting, not knowing what was going to happen next. I didn’t care. Everything was going to be ok. It felt like I was there for hours, maybe days.

I heard tracks slamming against the pavement outside, its engine getting louder as it moved up the street outside. The Bradley’s gun got louder as they got closer. Martinez was muffled as he spoke, “Come on; let’s go!”

Everything disappeared. I was pulled back into the building as my eyes opened. Martinez popped two smoke grenades out the doorway for cover; thick red and yellow smoke filled the air. The medical track stopped and dropped its back hatch. Rodriguez and I lifted Hunter and ran him over to the track. Bullets came zipping by as we moved. We handed him off to the medic and threw his gear on the floor.

Martinez gave us cover fire while we ran back through the smoke, into the room. It sounded like our Bradley dozed over graves as it pulled up on the side of the building. I could hear bullets bouncing off its armor as it fired down range. We ran outside and jumped into the back.

The door slammed shut while the Bradley moved away; we watched the screen as white bodies darted away.

“Fuck!” Martinez kicked the metal seat before sitting down. We were all panting hard; I was worn out.

“Drink water.” I said, tiredly lifting my canteen up to drink. As we sat I finished closing up my pack, making sure all the medical supplies were in the right spot. I made a mental note to pick up an aid-bandage when we got back to base. When I went to close the pouch it was in, there were two small holes punched through it. I stuck my finger through them; it went clean through.

“Shit,” I said, tapping Rodriguez. He opened his eyes and looked at me.

“Look at this shit man; I can’t believe I got that close to getting hit.”

“Shit bro. I think we all got lucky. That shit was close.”

“Yeah man, I know.”

I sat back and closed my eyes, wanting so badly to go to sleep, but my mind kept racing. Thoughts about the guy I shot, how close I came to getting shot and the bright lights. What was that? It felt like I had died back in that room. How do I know I didn’t? I was going to say something about it before the lieutenant’s voice came blasting over the radio.

“Alright boys! Gotta go back out in 5.”

“Fuck man I’m tired!” Rodriguez shouted back. There was no response. I didn’t want to go back out, especially with a man short. B was lying back with his eyes closed shaking his head. We sat in silence for a minute; the only sound was the motor of the main gun moving around looking for targets. When I thought about Sergeant Hunter again I remembered something funny and started giggling.

“What’s so funny?” said B. “I’d like to hear something funny right about now in this shit hole.”

“Did you guys hear Sergeant’s voice?” I asked; “he sounded like a little girl.”

I squeaked in a high-pitched voice, “I’m hit.” Everyone laughed. That opened up a doorway for more shits and giggles; it was like everyone needed to joke around to keep our minds off of going back out. Martinez took charge of the team since he had seniority. We were one man short and no one else was coming out to replace Hunter. We had enough firepower to keep going, so we filled our water and restocked ammo. The back door dropped open.

“Ok guys. Watch your six out there.”

Click to Order on Amazon !

Combat Medic
A soldier’s story of the Iraq war and PTSD

Next Up- Sinister Chuckles in the Middle of Hell

Treating a Massive Hangover


I remember the first time I started drinking with the big kids. After going through boot camp for a month I had to train, the military calls it Advanced Individual Training. I went to AIT in Fort Sam Houston, Texas to become a medic. After the first month of training we were allowed leave the base for the weekend so a bunch of us rented a hotel room and partied hard.

My head felt like it was bashed with a bag of screws, multiple times, and then proceeded to kick me in the stomach. So basically I felt like sh**. I remember trying everything: Drinking milk and eating a big breakfast, taking a shot of tequilla, I even went back to base and slept the rest of the day without much relief.

I remember curling up in a ball trying not to puke, praying to God not to let me die. I really hate hangovers. The worst part is it took me a year to learn how treat the symptoms. I learned that there are two methods to treat a massive Hangover. Some techniques are more advanced than others, but I’m sure if you go down any route you will get relief.

  1. Prevention- Don’t drink so much! Start out slow and increase your drinking to how you are feeling. If you start slurring your speech and stumbling around, you’ve had enough, quite drinking. You’ll notice that things will start feeling better after an hour so start drinking responsibly.
  2. Preparation– If you think you may go out and drink way too much because it’s your birthday and you deserve some ‘Damn fun’, make sure you have a large meal before you start throwing shots down the hatchet. Having food in your stomach helps dilute the breakdown of alcohol. After your last drink of the night make sure to eat a large meal again along with water, lots and lots of water. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to get rid of the booze and leave you with a slight headache in the morning. I think out of all my methods this has worked the best.
  3. Intervention- This last method is only available to people who have access to the equipment. I learned a lot as a medic after being at war in Iraq for over a year, one thing was how important an IV of Saline solution is for dehydrated people. So, yes if you can get a direct stream of Saline into your bloodstream then you can quickly rehydrated yourself and be hangover free within twenty minutes.bax

I wouldn’t recommend giving yourself an IV or getting one done without someone who is properly trained. I roomed with a bunch of medics and we were very skilled at IV’s, I’m so good at it I can  give them in the dark.

I hope my years of experienced drinking can help you learn how to treat your hangover. If you have any remedies don’t hesitate to comment, I would love to hear them.

Massive

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-97032163-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

How to: Trust your Instincts


Have you ever felt so strongly about a decision you had to make and yet there’s a small part of you that thinks you might make the wrong decision?

It’s hard to “Trust your gut!” when you have conflicting thoughts. There’s a part of you that knows what’s right, the part that reflects your morals in the decisions you make in life. But there’s another part of you that’s tempted to make the opposite choice based on outside influences or just the simple feeling of curiosity.

Most people want to think that every decision they make reflects their morals, but that simply goes against human nature. Why do you think the fall of Adam and Eve is the first scripture in genesis? Eve took and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree even though she knew for a fact that it was forbidden, the serpent tricked her with false scripture. Adam also ate the fruit even though God told him directly not to do eat. They both had that gut instinct, but curiosity and temptation got the best of them.

Because of that we are forever cursed with conflicting thoughts. God created us to listen to his words but also gave us choice, and he respects that choice. So how do you know when to trust your instincts when trying to make the right choice?

  1. Don’t be temptedStop letting curiosity get the best of you. God put you through every experience in your life so that you can be sure about yourself and the decisions you make. The only reason you struggle so hard with trusting yourself is because you don’t fully understand yourself yet. The next step can help that.
  2. Build a relationship with God- Don’t act surprised, most people don’t believe that God has a hand in every part of there lives, which is totally wrong. He knew the end before he created the beginning, so we all are apart of his creation and he instilled in us a natural instinct to do good. So if you have a stronger connection with him, you will learn how to better trust your instincts.

IMG_0021Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on the way to trusting your gut more often than not.

Instinct

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-97032163-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

combatmedic.org win at life

How To: Win At Life (2 min.)


For years after the Iraq war I was torn up inside. I had chronic back pain, daily migraines, constant flashbacks and night terrors every night. I was going through so much pain inside and out that I was pushing everyone in my life away, ruining relationships just to get away from everyone with their suggestions and comments. I basically turned into a hermit sitting inside my apartment for days on end forcing myself to relive every battle I went through.

It was no way to live. I found myself in the pits of depression thinking daily about ending the pain and torture forever by my own hands. It was only through the grace of God that I learned how to escape from that hell. It’s not like I don’t still struggle with it now and again. I have my days, but what I learned is so simple that anyone can do it.

I had to let go of the past in order to have a future, which is harder than it sounds when you have Combat PTSD. Staying in the moment and immersing myself in love, family, and salvation is  has changed me into a better person. It’s so simple if you really think about it. It’s what comes natural to us because that is how God built us.

IMG_0301
Grand canyon pic

As soon as I started changing how I thought and what I should believe in, my life did a complete 180. I’m married now and happier than  I have been in 12 years. Day in and day out I immerse myself with the love of my family, I volunteer to help fellow veterans, and I  to keep God in mind when I make every decision in my life.

I still have nightmares and flashbacks, but I’m living a better life because I choose not to immerse myself in the past and things that aren’t real. I feel the best mentally now than I have since getting back from war, I feel like I’m winning at life. Now take what I have learned and make it yours, start changing now, it’s never too late.
Immerse

Served in the military? Record your DD-214


Ever wonder why you hear of so many veterans being denied treatment at their local VA? Or why there are so many homeless veterans? Certainly if you fight for your country, put your life in danger multiple times for their freedom, you should automatically be set the rest of your life.

Well, in a way that’s true. When I got separated from the Army one of the last things my platoon sergeant told me to do was to bring all my medical records and DD-214 to the local courthouse when I get back home. He informed me on how important all the information was.

“If you lose those records, it’ll be like you were never in the military,” My sergeant said, ” You’ll have no record of going to war, no record of fighting on the front lines. So when you get out you go there immediately, its in your best interest”

I thanked him for the advice. I never knew that there was such a gap between the military and civilian world. I always thought everything I did was recorded somewhere in a computer, filed away forever for whenever I wanted to request them. I thought I just had copies. No one else had said a word to me about it, I guess my sergeant was the only one that cared.

I listened to him and filed my records with the county and I brought my medical files to the local VA Hospital where, still this day, I receive free treatment for the multitude of problems that keep popping up physically and mentally from the war. If I didn’t have those files when my chronic pain and flashbacks started, I would have never been seen at the hospital.

To take it even further, I would have never been able to receive compensation from the VA and I would for sure be homeless. I have been medically retired from work about three years now and I’m living off my compensation. I’m the backbone of my family now, my wife and daughter depend on me for food and shelter and I wouldn’t be able to provide for them if I didn’t have record of being a medic in Iraq.

So if you didn’t know how important it was, now you do. Spread the word to your friends and family to let them know to go file their records with their local veteran service office and VA hospital because they never know what could happen to them down the road. They just might lose out on the benefits that are due to them and slip through the cracks like many veterans do.

Record

Served in the military? Record your DD-214 before you lose proof of service


Ever wonder why you hear of so many veterans being denied treatment at their local VA? Or why there are so many homeless veterans? Certainly if you fight for your country, put your life in danger multiple times for their freedom, you should automatically be set the rest of your life.

Well, in a way that’s true. When I got separated from the Army one of the last things my platoon sergeant told me to do was to bring all my medical records and DD-214 to the local courthouse when I get back home. He informed me on how important all the information was.

“If you lose those records, it’ll be like you were never in the military,” My sergeant said, ” You’ll have no record of going to war, no record of fighting on the front lines. So when you get out you go there immediately, its in your best interest”

I thanked him for the advice. I never knew that there was such a gap between the military and civilian world. I always thought everything I did was recorded somewhere in a computer, filed away forever for whenever I wanted to request them. I thought I just had copies. No one else had said a word to me about it, I guess my sergeant was the only one that cared.

I listened to him and filed my records with the county and I brought my medical files to the local VA Hospital where, still this day, I receive free treatment for the multitude of problems that keep popping up physically and mentally from the war. If I didn’t have those files when my chronic pain and flashbacks started, I would have never been seen at the hospital.

To take it even further, I would have never been able to receive compensation from the VA and I would for sure be homeless. I have been medically retired from work about three years now and I’m living off my compensation. I’m the backbone of my family now, my wife and daughter depend on me for food and shelter and I wouldn’t be able to provide for them if I didn’t have record of being a medic in Iraq.

So if you didn’t know how important it was, now you do. Spread the word to your friends and family to let them know to go file their records with their local veteran service office and VA hospital because they never know what could happen to them down the road. They just might lose out on the benefits that are due to them and slip through the cracks like many veterans do.

Record

Lesson # 1: Letter To My Younger self


During a meeting with my life coach from Project Delta I got an assignment to write a letter to my younger self. The logic behind it is that it would help me put away horrible memories so I can get over the effects they have on my life. It’s not a magic trick that will make me forget what happened, it just helps me fill it away in the cabinet of useless information.

When writing the letter I couldn’t talk about an incident directly, I just had to write words of encouragement to let my younger self know everything will be alright in the future. I chose to write to my eight year old self right after my mom decided to move out of the house while her husband and three children were at Disney world.IMG_0380

I remember coming home and wondering where mom was, including half the stuff that used to be in the house. After my Dad explained what was going on, I can’t remember how long I cried for, I just remember the world being so dark uncomfortable. My chest burned in agony, that was the first time in my life I felt like my heart was being stabbed in pulled through my throat. I imagined my present self walking slowly on the creaky floorboards  inside that sesame street wallpaper room toward the whimpering sound of myself crying through the cracked closet door. As I open the door, my heart starts pouring out to him:

“Hey mini me! What are you looking so upset for. It’s done, they’re gone; you’re going to have to grow up and start looking out for yourself. It’s going to be a long, tough road. At times your going to want to quit so bad that death seems like a gift from heaven, but I’m here to tell you that if you can do more than you can imagine. Death is never the option because death halts life experiences and believe me, God wants you to experience an abundance of life. Trust me.”

“One day your mom is going to leave you again. The pain and hurt that follows isn’t because of what you did, she is just human and we all can make mistakes to get out of a rough situation. God never gives you anything you can’t handle. After that heart ache your Dad is going to move you away with him and help you achieve a sound mind and body. You’re going to learn how to stay healthy and you will be as handsome of a man as King David was.”

“You will go to fight in hell and come back a changed person once you graduate high school. I can’t tell you if the change is good or bad, it always fluctuates. I can guarantee to you that it’s an experience that few survive and non-forgets. Just remember, when the world starts crumbling down around you and the war inside seems like it’ll never go away, it won’t, but it will get easier. You will become strong with the powerful word of God. You will go out into the world with an affliction to save the lives of veterans with the same wounds.”

“Most of all, keep praying like grandma taught you to. Prayer will get you through the worst situations. Never let anyone tell you that your relationship with God is false because he is the realist thing in this life. No one can save you in the darkness except for the great I Am. Never give up hope that life won’t turn out well, because you are abundantly blessed and your life has just begun.”

Yours truly, S.M.Boney IV

God’s Orchestration of our Small World


First, let me start out with some good news. A couple of months back when I was at the Minnesota State Fair promoting my book I ran into an old friend of my dads. While I was drinking a beer flight an older man asked if he could stand at the table with me, I told him sure and then I started a conversation up with a different guy standing next to us.

After I gave this guy my card and told him my name, the older man asked if I would take a picture of him for his wife. After snapping a picture he asked for my card as well so he could grab my book too.

A couple of weeks pass before I receive an e-mail from the gentleman. Come to find out about 25 years ago my dad sang at this guys wedding, CRAZY RIGHT!? His wife used to work with my dad at Pillsbury and he wanted to get in contact with my dad to catch up on life.

Sam Boney wed2
My parents at the wedding 25 years ago
Sam Boney wed1
My dad and with bride and groom

After giving him my dads info he sends me another e-mail two weeks later with actual pictures of my parents at their wedding.

He let me know that he read my book and he loved it then he invited me to speak at his organizations monthly meeting. I felt like this was the reason why we ran into each other, like God somehow orchestrated us drinking beer at the same place and time so I could share my story with more people. I accepted his offer and threw together a presentation for the Chaska Rotary Club which included pictures of me from war.

The speech went well to say the least. I felt more confidant standing in front of that group than I ever have in life. Having Tank next to me laying on the floor gave me the security I needed to get through my speech without heightening my anxiety. I finally understood what my trainer said about Tank being a tool and not a fix.

When the audience gave me a standing ovation, I finally felt like I was making progress in life again. With the tools that God has given me, I  can start accomplishing the goals that are most important in my life. It was exactly what I needed to push out into the world to spread my testimony to help combat veterans who are struggling like me.

Sam at Rotary 2
Tank and I standing with my dad’s friends Ken and Barb

I was extremely proud of how calm Tank was with everyone clapping and walking up to shake my hand. Because of him I was able to sell out of all the books I brought as well as connect with multiple people who have friends and family in the military that need advice on how to handle someone with PTSD. The main reason why I wrote my book was to connect with other veterans to be a positive influence for them so they know they’re not alone in the fight and that change can always happen, they just need to want it more than anything else in life. Check out Rotary, Jan 12, 2017 for my feature in the newsletter.

Receiving Tools to win a war

My name is Samuel Murray Boney IV, Combat Medic veteran of the United States Army. I’ve struggled with Combat PTSD and severe pain for the last 10 years after serving with the 1st  Cavalry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom from 2004-05, the craziest 14 months of my life. I publishing my book Combat Medic: A soldier’s story of the Iraq war hoping to reach out to veterans to let them know that the fight with PTSD is real and that they’re not alone.

While out promoting I ran into an organization called Project Delta. They specialize in paring Veterans that have PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury ( TBI) with Dogs from local shelters to be trained service dogs. A week after signing up for the program I was brought to a shelter to be paired. Everyone in the program kept telling me that I didn’t have to pick him even before I saw him. But when I saw him I knew he was an awesome dog and I couldn’t let him go. I named him Tank, it suites him well.

My hope is that through this eight month process of training for certification to public access, Tank will become the tool I need to get out into the world to share my story. I can help save countless lives from suicide if I can get my story out to the right people. This will be my journey, the road Tank and I will travel to teach veterans these three simple values of life: Love, Family and Salvation in hopes that they can live better lives with PTSD like me.19168b73-9443-41a9-8b99-aa90005a4c50