Heroes on Water

A Tail of Good Fortune

Good Fortune
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.

The Dilemma

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.

good fotune
My buddy Shawn taking a photo of the staff of Heroes on Water

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?

good fortune
(From left) Me and Shawn on a Heroes on Water fishing trip.

Fortune

Heroes on Water

A Tail of Good Fortune (Short Read)


At this time last year I had just finished up writing the final draft of my book. I remember thinking, ‘I finally did it! I finally wrote the book I’ve been talking about doing for years.’ After 4 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 the mood I was in during the whole process. Only my wife, daughter, and friend Shawn can attest to the anger and hyper-manic state that I was constantly thrown into. After re-writing a couple of chapters about fighting in a cemetery surrounded by dead people and bones for seven straight hours… I wasn’t really pleasant to be around.

I remember one night I was having so many flashbacks that I ended up having to call my friend to come pick me up because of the thoughts that were running around my head. I’m beyond fortunate that God has placed people like Shawn in my life that can relate to the situations that I went through.

He ended taking me on a joy ride and to a bar to eat and drink while I sat and poured out the wells of 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 he hadn’t of came I don’t know what kind of trouble I could have gotten into.

HOW
My buddy Shawn taking a photo of the staff of Heroes on Water

That’s what every veteran needs in their life after being discharged from the Military, someone else that can get on their level when life get’s tough. I have constantly made myself available to every veteran that I meet to insure that they have someone to talk to.  That’s why my friend Shawn started a non-profit organization called Heroes on Water. We take Veteran from all government services and take them out on kayaks to fish. It gives us time to talk with each other and create friendships.

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  waiting for hours everyday. I can’t name how many times I’ve sat down and traded war stories with Vietnam and World War II veterans while waiting for appointments or going through group together. I don’t know where I didn’t have anyone that could relate to me.

So if you’re a veteran or you know someone who’s a veteran, please share this information. A lot of veterans don’t try to fuss with the VA because of their bad rep… I don’t blame them. I’m not saying that they are great, I’m saying that the relationships you can make with fellow veterans are awesome and could possibly save a life one day, so why not try?

IMG_0340
(From left) Me and Shawn

Fortune

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