In 1965, at 17, I was reborn in Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego California (Hollywood Marine) and discovered my DI (which means Divine Intelligence) was my new Daddy. And, my new name was Private.
One day after turning 18 years old, I was in Vietnam, in and around a little place called Chu Lai. After a couple of major operations and watching my best friend in this world die by a sniper round, I volunteered and was transferred to Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, . This would impact my life forever, and from that point, the nightmares of war depended. I learned the true meaning of living by the Warrior’s Code of Honor, of True Friendship, Trust, Brotherhood and protecting each others “six” to the death. This would become, and has remained my standard to this day.
Later during my four year tour in the Corps, I was assigned to the 5th Force Recon Company, Camp Pendleton, California. After a year of specialized recon training I achieved the rank of sergeant, two of my proudest accomplishments as a Marine. The downside of that was I learned no matter the challenges we faced I couldn’t replace my lust for combat adrenaline. .
I left the Corps in 1969 as a former Sergeant having unknowingly suffered from severe Combat Trauma. By 1980 I was diagnosed with and given the new title of having PTSD (That’s really, Combat Fatigue, from seeing and participating in too much war.) My rating is now at 100% disabled. It’s been the most horrible experience in my life and through that experience its made me stronger as a Warrior than I ever was before.
Today, I’ve assigned myself a new mission; to help my younger Brothers and Sisters avoid what my generation has experienced over the past 40 years. The choppers are on the tarmac and I’m making sure this time no one is left behind!