faith saves 22

Motivational Speech by Combat Veteran

Motivational speech by Combat Veteran S.M. Boney IV – Ending veteran suicide.

Motivational speech on how faith saves lives.

I encourage everyone to purchase my book to educate yourself on the invisible war our American troops fight every day.

Share to help spread the word of how faith can stop suicide.

Click to order on Amazon!

Combat Medic
A soldier’s story of the Iraq war and PTSD
Other than playing loud music and using drugs to help me get through fireworks on this Fourth of July, I did something different.

Fireworks and Combat Veterans Don’t Mix

Other than playing loud music and using drugs to help me get through fireworks on this Fourth of July, I did something different.
Fireworks and Combat Veterans Don’t Mix

Fireworks and Combat Veterans Don’t Mix

Other than playing loud music and using drugs to help me get through fireworks on this Fourth of July, I did something different.

This is my explanation of why fireworks and combat veterans don’t mix !

Please help me raise awareness for C-PTSD and share this video with friends and family. The only way to cut veteran suicide is to be aware of the problem.

Thank you!

Click Here To order on Amazon

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

Next Up- Sinister Chuckles in Hell 

Loving Tank

What Tank wants

It’s getting down to my final weeks with Tank. I still remember the first day we met and the immediate connection we had together. Ever since that day I’ve tried my best to give Tank what he needs so that he’ll be a happy, loving dog.

I’ve lived day in and out with him for the past four-month and I have to say that Tank is a very picky, sensitive dog. I don’t mind it though because that’s what makes him special. He has a personality that I’ve never seen out of a dog before. There are certain things he needs done for him to be comfortable; so, I decided to make a list of all the special things I do for Tank so that he can feel at home with his new owners.

First and foremost it is extremely important that Tank gets let out in the morning for a long walk or run so that he can poop and his anal glands can be expressed. He poops at least two times during our mile walk. If he doesn’t poop at least twice he will feel uncomfortable and in turn will start whimpering and licking his butt uncontrollably because his glands are swollen. It took me two months of being in the winter when it’s too cold to walk far to figure this out. I was taking him to the vet every month for them to express them.

Second, he loves his sleep in the morning and he doesn’t usually eat until after 1 o’clock. Speaking of eating, he is extremely picky. I buy Nutri-Source dog food, any flavor will be fine for dry food. He also needs wet food or else he will starve himself until he has to eat the dry food.83F5ADFA-5C36-4028-A248-AF5BAC114CAA

He was on a wet food only diet, 3 cans a day because of a large pancreas that the vet found by x-ray and I haven’t been able to break him from it. He is stubborn sometimes, especially with food.

I usually give him a cup and a half of dry and mix in half a large can of the wet food in with it. The mixing is important because he’ll just eat the wet food and leave the dry food and stare a hole through your head when he’s hungry until you give him something enticing.

The third thing that he needs is some solid attention every day, an hour at the most or he’ll whimper and start rubbing his head   On the carpet and start rolling on his back trying to itch. I usually call him over and start scratching his head, he loves it when you rub up and down from his forehead to his nose as well as the corners of his eyes.

He’ll eventually plop down onto his side then raise his leg to get his belly rubbed its his favorite thing on earth. A good belly rub paired with his wildly kicking leg equals a happy Tank. He’ll even thank you by pressing his front paw into your chest or he’ll try for your face. He turns into the biggest baby in the world when he’s on his back getting his grey and white-haired belly scratched.

The fourth thing is that Tank loves to chew on raw hides. I usually give him 1 or two a week. They have to be basted in beef or chicken, he won’t touch the plain ones. I bought the plain ones before and spread peanut butter on it. He licked off the peanut butter and left the rawhide. I found good ones on Amazon.com by Digestez, the chicken, beef, and pork filled rawhides. He’ll chew one up in less than two hours. And don’t worry, he chews the rawhide until its small enough to swallow.

The fifth thing that Tank needs is a car ride. He loves car rides just as much as a belly rub. He sticks his head out and likes to get a big wife of the air around. He looks like he wants to fly off or something, he’s too funny.

The last and final thing that Tank needs is to sleep on the ground next to the bed, he likes to be next to someone at all times of the day. He gets scared being by himself. He sleeps through the night if you take him out to relieve himself before going to bed.

If all of these needs are met, than Tank will be a happy camper every day. I’m so jealous of the next couple who has the privilege of having him in their life.

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Noticing a Change Within

I’m having good days more often than usual. I’m sleeping better because I’ve let Tank sleep outside of his crate at the foot of our bed. I really believe he doesn’t like to be in his crate when I’m in the same room so he can sleep outside of it as long as he’s sleeping all night.

Training went well today. Tank is making strides in his progress. He is showing me everyday how smart he is by memorizing cues I give him within a day. The only problem I can see that he has is with other dogs being in the same room with us. Josh’s service dog was in the room with us today and Tank wouldn’t stop growling at her and he barks at every person that passes by outside. I think he’s easily excited because he doesn’t see other people and animals much. We’re starting public training with in our next session so hopefully he will start learning to keep calm in those situations.

I gave Tank a break from his muzzle today when we were in the house alone. He still walked with me wherever I moved. He’s a really good dog, I think he is ready to start going out in public with me. I found that the only rawhide he likes to chew on has to have some type of meat flavor on it or he won’t chew it. I bought peanut flavored rawhides and Tank literally just licked the bone a few times then pushes it aside. I’m glad I only bought a pack of two so throwing them away doesn’t seem too wasteful. I gave him a beef and chicken flavor rawhide and he chewed it up in less than an hour. He is such a picky eater.

I have a sleep study scheduled for tonight at the VA hospital to test for sleep apnea because I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. The nightmares and night sweats have gotten so bad I feel like I’m not sleeping at all at night. Lindsay came to take Tank for the night. I spent an hour petting him and giving him lots of love before he left.

Driving to the VA was a challenge as always. I started having an anxiety attack halfway there which pissed me off. I felt like I was high because everything I looked at was in a haze. I tried grounding myself with breathing techniques , but I found it hard to even breath. I met with my psychiatrist when I first arrived at the hospital. I let him know I stopped smoking weed a few months ago because it was getting too expensive. Now that I haven’t smoked my PTSD symptoms have increased. He increased my medications to help compensate for what the marijuana was helping with.

I drove over to the Mall of America for dinner after that appointment. I tried a new sushi restaurant and it was pretty good. I drank sake in order to calm my nerves. I felt so different without Tank, sort of feels like being in a gunfight without a gun, super uncomfortable. I’ve noticed how bad I get without him which makes me anxious to get his vest so he can go everywhere with me.

img_0277Lindsay sent me a couple of pictures with Tank and her two labs. She said he was doing excellent and he was getting along with everyone. I bet he was excited to play with other dogs for a chance. He’s been stuck with me for the past month not receiving any attention from anyone.

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Getting in sync

Tank woke us up right after midnight panting and licking himself obsessively in his crate while his stomach savagely growled. For some reason I feel like Tank hates being in his crate at night. He has started ignoring me when I tell him to get, it takes me a good 5 minutes and treat bribes to get him to walk in with his head hanging low. I gave Lindsay a call but she didn’t pick up, so I let Tank out to relieve himself then let him sleep outside of his cage at the foot of our bed. He went to sleep right away. We got the best sleep since the first day we got Tank. Lindsay gave me a call in the morning and told me to do pretty much what I did.

I didn’t have to do much today. I had to meet with a hearing officer at the Hennepin county court office this afternoon about a speeding ticket I received back in October. In order to keep the ticket off my record I have to pay a $325 fine…JEEZ. I think I got away with more than I should have though. I have this thing with driving alone on a highway, it makes me hyper-aware of everything that I see on the road, sometimes giving me flashbacks if I see a box or dead deer on the side of the road. I can’t count how many times I’ve been in a convoy at night speeding on a highway towards Bagdad when we’d have to stop and call the bomb squad out to check for IED’s that are hidden underneath stuff. I was going 92 when the cop pulled me over. I’m blessed that he knocked it down to a 76 in a 65 MPH zone, so $325 isn’t too bad.

Two hours went by before I got back home. When I let Tank out of his crate he was overjoyed as usual, jetting around the house heavily panting. He ran in between my legs at least 10 times rubbing his head against me. I love him. He makes me feel good every time I see him. Lately, the anxiety that builds up inside of me while away during the day seems to be washed away when I spend time with him. I spent the rest of the day watching T.V. and rubbing tanks belly.

When I put Tank in his crate so I could pick Aleah up from school, he started whimpering. I spoke with Lindsay about what I should do and she said if he’s fed and has relieved himself then he’s just doing it to see if I let him out. It’s hard but I’ve almost gotten used to ignoring him, even though it sounds like a crying baby I need to tend to.img_0266Patti, the founder of Project Delta, text me a picture of the badges that will go on Tanks vest. I can’t wait to see it on him, then it’ll be official. Lindsay also text me to let me know next monday her and Patti will be over to finally let Aleah and my wife to interact with Tank. Aleah is super excited, Jessica is too but she doesn’t want to show it. I know it’s been hard for the both of them to not interact with Tank this past month. I’m really proud of them for sticking this out with me and I can’t wait to see them play together.

A Different Side

I’ve felt the best mentally than I have in a long time. Aleah had another day off of school today. We hung out playing games this morning and then I dropped her off at her friends house before I went to my chiropractor appointment. I brought Tank with me, but while I was driving Tank started whimpering and barking loudly at dogs being walked outside and he wouldn’t stop when told to.

I’m seeing a different side of Tank lately, he barks way too much at people. I can’t control him when he gets like that. I decided to bring him back home before my appointment because I didn’t think he had enough training to sit in a room with me until the end of my appointment. Whenever he gets around other people and animals, he gets super excited and tries to run up to get their attention; or, he just want to warn me that new people are around, IDK. I’m going to have to remember to talk with my trainer Lindsay about how to calm him down so he doesn’t bark and whimper when he sees other animals. I know that we don’t get out of the house much, he isn’t around anyone new so that may be why he’s always excited.

I love Tank’s bark. Its low, loud and sounds so much like a hound. He is part doberman and hound dog. I like the fact that I have him as a tool to alert me to new surroundings. I feel like he’ll always warn me when somethings jumps off. I’ve started going to bed at 11 pm to let Tank out to piss. He usually goes, but at 1 in the morning , he wakes my wife and I up with his panting and licking. When he starts to whimper I take him out again and he goes. After that he sleeps for the rest of the night. I wish he slept the whole night so I don’t get as much broken sleep. Other than that, Tank has been the perfect addition to our household.dc7d35ec-ac80-46fc-bd72-36ff2c9cc93d

Happy Dog, Happy Life

I woke early this morning by Tank obsessively licking himself as though he was giving himself a morning bath. I was about to go back to sleep when I heard his stomach growling, as if he hadn’t been fed for days. It’s been a few weeks since I heard his stomach this upset. When I first brought him home his stomach was upset every morning, it was literally screaming at me. My trainer, Lindsay, said it was the stress of being in a new home and that hopefully it will stop in time. I tried introducing new food to him yesterday by replacing a quarter cup of his food with new kibble for his feedings. I guess his stomach is ultra sensitive. I have to find the right food that he can easily digest. As soon as he ate this morning the growling stopped. I could tell that he was relieved because he went and curled back up into bed.

My Dad and Mom came into town yesterday to buy gifts for us kids and grandkids. He comes up every year around this time just to spend some time with us before going back home to Texas. Tank spent a lot of time in his crate this weekend. I came home every three hours to let him relieve himself and play around. Every time I let him out he was overjoyed; running in circles, jumping up on his hind legs to give me a hug and kiss hello. Makes me happy to know he loves being with me. It doesn’t matter how long I leave him in his crate, 20 minutes or 3 hours, he is always happy to see me. All of the anxiety that I had building up inside seems to wash away when I see him jumping around with a smile on.

The only time I had him in his crate was when we went to church on Sunday. When I got back from service I took him outside to relieve himself. When I sat down to rest I noticed Tank staring at me. He walked up and tapped my leg with his paw and stared  at his food bowl then looked deep into my eyes. I’ve noticed that he doesn’t leave me alone if he’s hungry. He’s pretty good at letting me know when to feed him. I gave him the rest of the kibble he didn’t eat in the morning. He usually does it at night which I don’t mind. I’m going to ask Lindsay if there are other foods I can give him to eat that won’t mess with his stomach.

I spent a lot of time petting Tank this weekend. He always rolls over for me to rub his belly when I walk up to him. He is such a belly slut.94f7dabd-f849-42fd-aab0-73980eecc308

Changes

I’ve been with Tank for just over three weeks now. I feel like our bond is growing stronger everyday. He is a very intelligent dog, picking up on new commands in less than two days. We had our training yesterday where Lindsay gave us two new Cues: Down and Stay. I started out having to hold a treat in front of his face while he sat, bringing it to the floor three times saying, “Down” before he laid down. Now, I just have to say down once and he does it. We’re working on stay. Tank stays where I sit him until he decides to sniff around the room when I walk away. He likes to grab Aleah or my wife’s attention to pet him. He’ll get it down soon enough, I have faith in him.

I’ve started noticing how my emotions are when I’m around Tank versus when I’m not. It’s like when he’s sitting at my side letting me pet him, my head feels normal, like a huge weight just lifts off. It helps with my anxiety and anger when I’m out in public. I’ve also noticed I’m not short tempered with my family and I’m able to talk to them without wanting to go off and be by myself. As soon as I leave the house it feels like a dark cloud comes rushing back into my head. Driving and being out in public alone or with my family makes me high strung and extremely angry. I don’t try to be, I hate it, but as soon as I drive out on the road I feel like smashing into every car that can’t drive. I can’t wait until I can bring Tank wherever I go to keep me calmer.img_0196

I can certainly say that I can tell a deference within myself when I have Tank with me and when he’s not. I was so used to being stressed out all the time with high anxiety; thinking bad thoughts about everyone and everything. I can’t actually remember a time before now that I was able to stay calm on my own. Now that I have Tank to keep me calm when I’m stressed, I feel mentally and physically ill when I have to go into public alone because of the anger and rage that rushes back inside of me. I hate it. I know that’s not the person  I grew up being. I don’t feel comfortable in it anymore.

Habits And Similarities

I woke up exhausted today. Felt like I hadn’t slept all night, dreamt that I was back in the military training for war.It felt too real, sometimes I can’t recognize the difference between sleeping and being awake.  Aleah had school off today, I felt bad that I couldn’t play with her because I kept nodding off. She played in her playroom while I slept for 2 hours.

Tank slept right next to me on the floor. I woke up a few times to Tank dreaming with Aleah in the background playing with her dolls. He was whimpering and growling while his paws jerked back and forth like he was chasing something. He jerked awake in the middle of one and looked straight at me. I told him it was ok and placed my hand on him while he laid his head back down and feel asleep. He reminded me of myself and the nightmares I have on a daily basis, except when I jerk awake my shirt is usually drenched in sweat and I have no one to tell me it’s ok. I hope in the future that Tank can be trained to wake me up with his paw or a gentle lick to the face to wake me up.

Tank has started to whimper when I leave him in his crate. I can hear him crying out to me as I’m putting my shoes on as if something is wrong with him. I’ve tried to ignore him, but I feel like he is hurting somehow or sad to be in the crate. I took him out to relieve himself, but he didn’t. I brought him inside and waited for him to drink or eat something but he didn’t. I figured he just didn’t want me to leave, but I had no choice but to leave him in his cage whimpering while Aleah and I grabbed lunch.

Later, I asked my trainer Lindsay what Tank’s problem was and she sent me an email explaining that he was just fine. He was trying to test his limits to see if I would stay with him. She explained that now he is comfortable with me and the house so he doesn’t want to be in his safety area. She gave me a few suggestions on how to help him not for a habit of whimpering while inside of his crate because he will need to be in it at times.

Overall, I feel safer around Tank every day and I know he feels the same about me. He follows my cues on time and learned new cues in days. I’m proud that I was able to pair with such a smart and beautiful dog. It’s amazing how much anxiety a dog can help a person relieve. It’s an extra bonus that he gets along so well with my baby girl.img_0258