I was deployed to Baghdad Iraq in February of 2004 with the 1st Cavalry Division. I was stationed about 1,000 m from Sadr City, which is the most densely populated area of Baghdad. The name of our forward operating base was Camp War Eagle, which was my home for the next year. Our unit was responsible for route security of the main supply route and defending the bombed out UN building. We also cleared and secured thousands of houses and provided security for the First elections.
Our base received over 2,000 enemy mortars which was the most heavily mortared American base since Vietnam. Well that is what I have been told anyway. Every day we left the base we received some kind of enemy contact. As we battled to maintain route security, we would constantly come across improvised explosive devices. Usually they would be followed by rpg and machine gun ambushes. On our worst day of combat over 20 were wounded and 8 were killed. That one day haunts me more than any other event.
Upon my return to Ft Hood Texas I immediately began suffering from my invisible wounds. Every attempt to get help for my list of ongoing problems ended in failure. It wasn’t until I was discharged from the military that I was able to get a diagnosis. After digging myself into a hole for about 9 years, I realized the VA was not going to be much help. My diagnosis included PTSD, agoraphobia, bi-polar, major depression , and anxiety disorder. This has made it impossible to function as a normal person. The VA compensated me with $129 per month. I chose not to apply for disability because I wanted to try and work for my living.
I became a journeyman pipe fitter. After losing many good paying jobs because of my overwhelming anxiety and depression I realized I was in trouble. Not being able to maintain steady income, I continued to dig myself deeper and deeper into a hole. My 820 credit score was long gone. I have tried over 15 different medications and eventually gave up on the idea. Therapy seemed to be a waste of my time. I lost my girlfriend of over 10 years who is the mother of my amazing children. I can’t say I blame her for that. The strain I put on her was overwhelming. I gradually destroyed her with all the stress of my daily life.
I always hear about fund raisers for veterans and donations made to veteran’s services, but I have never seen a cent of that money. I don’t feel good about having to rely on others, but I am willing to do anything for my children. Realizing i’m out of options, I have decided to ask you for donations. I want to give my children a stable place to grow up. My daughters are ages 3, 4, and 10. My 4 year-old has type 1 diabetes which was diagnosed when she was age 3. She is a tough little girl. She can even check her own blood sugar. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life is to give her 4 insulin shots a day.
I find myself at the mercy of other people’s compassion to make sure that they have a stable childhood. Any and all donations I receive will be used on buying a home. If that goal is achieved any additional money will be put back for my girl’s education. I greatly appreciate you all taking the time to read this. Weather you donate or not I still thank you for giving me a chance to tell my story. I will write a follow-up story to report the success of your kindness. Until then take care and thank you again.
A veteran in need thanks you in advance for your support.
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