Usually when people are my age, they say that time flies. In some cases, that old trope is incredibly true. My children grow up way too fast and my marriage has been a short eight years. Ten years ago today, my life changed when I got shot just outside of Fallujah, Iraq. These ten years have made the memories fade while remaining a sharp thorn in my soul. It’s the biggest conundrum of my life. Lots of the details are murky, but the overarching feeling remains sharp. A decade has taught me that this feeling probably wont change. Healing started for me when I realized that some continuous struggling is ok. Traumatic events beget traumatic scars. It’s normal.
I still jump at sudden loud bursts. I hate fireworks, cars that backfire, and even the slamming of the door. Occasionally I wake up from sleeping and think that the dryer in the other room that is drying my family’s clothes is the helicopter that came to pick me up ten years ago. Sometimes when the hot air blows in San Antonio, I can smell the sands that were whipping while I walked to that same helicopter under my own power. I often wake up after re-experiencing the events in my dreams. Each time I dream the dream, the details shift. I dream that dream so often that I think that’s why I have trouble remembering the exact events. Multiple dreams a week which can give that day different details. But, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “and so it goes.”
When I started working at Barstool, I said that I didn’t want to be just the military guy. That’s still true; I dont wanna be just the military guy. I am, however, grateful that I can be the military guy on certain occasions. I’m proud of what Zero Blog Thirty is able to mean to people who have battled with some depression, anxiety, or who are also dealing with PTSD. I’m happy that my stupid jokes can resonate with people.
For example, this weekend, a twitter joke about my Venmo account being open turned into stoolies donating nearly 27k dollars. Today, I will get to call K9s for Warriors and set up a donation that will pay for nearly two service dogs for veterans in need.
I’ve been working at Barstool for one year today. I can truly say that this has been the best year of my life. I get to write about the dumbest shit on planet earth while also bringing a little attention to the causes that matter the most to me.
Semper Fi and Viva La Stool