This weekend we bring to you special testimonies and personal stories straight from the men who lived them. These stories are anonymous, but they are true, and behind them stand some brave warriors who decided to act in faith and take a chance by doing something new. As they say at the veterans' programs up at Sky Rose Ranch -- If what you're doing isn't working, why not try something new? Today's story comes from a veteran - corpsman, to be precise, whose dedication to helping his fellow man was in stark comparison with his inability to love himself.
John Doe #2, from the U.S. Navy, was a corpsman for the marine corp. This is his second time attending the veterans programs at Sky Rose Ranch, because he is now being trained as an instructor.
In his own words:
I was a medic, when I went in I specifically wanted to deploy with the marines. I had a two-year active contract and then two years after with the reserves. I did one deployment in Iraq.
What brought you to the veterans programs at Sky Rose Ranch?
It was a push from my wife to come to here – she could see I was on a destructive path, especially knowing that my first marriage [before her] had failed. Drinking, drugs, living recklessly. This was all after the military. I met a man another guy... a paraplegic – he said he knew of an opportunity with the guys here at the Sky Rose Ranch programs. He said they deal with guys who have PTSD, though I didn’t know it was faith based. I’d never talked to anyone about my problems before, I talked to a psychologist and was told I was bi-polar. I tried the meds and didn’t like them, I threw them away.
I went to the first program and it was overwhelming. I saw all the guys there and I thought, “What do they have that I don’t?” I didn’t have any expectations and I didn’t know if I would change or not. I had the support of my wife. Now, I have gone to two veterans programs and a marriage program. This is my phase one in leadership training, I want to become an Instructor now. This is something that the Lord has directed me to, and I’ve got a drive now to help other people who are in a similar situation as mine and show them that there is hope, there is something better and it’s Jesus.
The Man in The Mirror (A module in the veterans program):
When I did the man in the mirror, I saw that I hated all the things I’d been doing, everything about myself. I was so selfish. All the classes that we’ve gone through were so valuable for me, and they were all another kick in the butt – that I needed to change.
The lessons are delivered with hope, though, and it’s all because of Jesus Christ that I’m here today. If I could reach out to people reading this, I would tell them that they’re not alone. This isn’t anything new – there’s an answer and there’s hope and it’s in Jesus Christ. We can’t pull those guys out, they’ve got to make the decision on their own. But it’ll be the best decision of their lives.
We’ve built long-term bonds, and one of my best friends now is someone that I met from the vets programs. I drive to see him every two weeks. The greatest joy that I take away from this is the Lord’s work – seeing that the Lord used my testimony to bring someone to salvation. There’s no greater joy than that. And that’s the amazing thing about this program, is that there is a light at the end of it.
My wife and I are closer than we’ve ever been, we’re in a great church now thanks to the aftercare specialist, and I see a future now that I never realized I could have.