Stories of Change

On the heels of the February Fight Club graduation, which took place last week and saw many men who were challenged by Posttraumatic Stress and Combat Trauma accomplish the completion of our week-long rehabilitative retreat, we bring you two short stories of change. The first comes from Chris, who shares his struggles in his relationships and what he's learned from the leaders who taught up at Fight Club and the second is an anonymous veteran who opens up about what he's hoping to gain, and what the road ahead looks like.

CHRIS

My name is Chris and I am a Sergeant in the Marines. I went into the Marines after being told that I could be a supply clerk there. I was soon moved to machine gunner. When we went into Iraq it was frightening but it felt good to take down the regime. We dragged a statue of Sadam, cut off the head and dragged it around for three days. I was moved back to Japan and then sent back to Iraq again.

When in convoy we were ambushed by 50 Syrians, I did not think I would make it out alive. I was shot. My commander was shot and killed. For some reason I made it out alive and was sent home.

Coming home, I beat myself up and would replay the memories in my mind. I drank a lot, got divorced, and re-married but my current marriage is going downhill quick. I have tried counselors and pills and nothing works.

This week in Fight Club has meant the world to me. I reaffirmed my faith in Christ. Even though I am going home to an empty house and no job, I feel I am leaving here the richest man in the world. With the tools I have learned to use in our week at Sky Rose Ranch, I feel I can make it and I know I am not alone.

ANONYMOUS

I was a marine. I went into combat and completed several tours but when I got home I did not feel right, I was angry. I then enlisted in the Navy and became a Seal. I had a good family growing up, and I have been a Christian from a young age.

My wife and I had a son, but he died at 5 months from SIDS. This made me feel even angrier and lost. I immediately went back to Iraq. I knew I needed help but did not want to appear weak. My anger and depression grew.

I was stationed in Alaska and it was obvious to everyone else I needed help. I was drinking with suicidal thoughts. The military gave me pills and therapy and diagnosed me with TDI. I thought, ‘what am I to do now that I can’t be in the military?'

A year ago, there was no way I could stand and share in front of a group like this. I was freaked out but now I see a new purpose for my life. The new fight is for my family and to live how God wants me to live. I have been given the tools and friends to complete this journey of healing.