The signs and symptoms of PTSD. Know them, save lives.

PTSD Symptoms: Know Them, Save Lives

The main reason I wrote Combat Medic was because God told me it would help save lives. It wasn’t easy sitting down every day for four months to write down the most dreadful memories that I remember. The only way I was able to bear it was keeping in mind that writing my story wasn’t just going to help me understand what happened to me, it was going to educate the world on what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so people can start getting the treatment that they need.

I took the time to write about PTSD at the end of my book to draw the reader’s attention back into the main focus of my story. If you would like more information on PTSD you can find it on wikipedia.

“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder develops in some people that have seen or lived through a scary or dangerous event. It causes people to isolate themselves from things that remind them of the experience. It makes a person feel numb and void, forcing them to be less interested in things they used to enjoy. It causes people to hear and see things that aren’t around in the form of a flashback making it feel as real as the first time. Recurring nightmares won’t allow a person to forget what happened. It’s a tough fight to go through on your own.

If you know someone who’s currently struggling with PTSD, be there. Even if they push you away because they think you won’t understand, be there with open arms to catch them when they fall, even if you don’t understand, because no one else will. Well over 22 veterans commit suicide each day in America, proof that war never ends; even after you’re safe at home. I almost became a statistic, but by the grace of God I was given the strength to fight and go after a better life.

In time I’ve found that talking to counselors has helped with sorting through the pain and darkness I’m feeling. It also helped that I had a loving girlfriend who was willing to listen and try to make things work as best as possible. If I didn’t have her I wouldn’t be here today.

If you’re a veteran and need help, go talk to someone. If you can be seen at the Veterans Hospital, talk to a counselor. Find out if they can get you help. If that doesn’t work, try talking to family or friends, anyone you can to get whatever you have trapped inside, out. Find God as well. Try to build a strong relationship with Him because with His help you can make it through the impossible.

If you are in need to talk to someone because you’re in a crisis, do what I did and call the Veterans Crisis line: 1-800-273-8255″


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.


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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.


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.