Author: prestonreborn87@gmail.com (page 1 of 2)

Who am I?

One thing they don’t tell you when you get ready to leave the military is you will lose your sense of who you are. Since I was twelve years old, all I wanted to be was in the military. I committed to my high schools Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) while I was still in eighth grade. My freshman year of high school I was bullied, and picked on because I wanted to be a Naval Aviator like Harmon Rab from the hit television show J.A.G. I committed my whole high school life to JROTC, and I even put playing baseball on the back burner for it. When 9/11 hit, I immediately changed my mind, and decided that being in the Army Infantry was the route for me. All I wanted to do, was go to war, and I didn’t care about anything else. I still remember the guy at MEAPS asking me if I was sure I only wanted Infantry, and I strongly told him yes, that I wanted to deploy to the middle east, or go to war is what my civilian mind probably said. I was one of those people who they asked as a Private “why did you join”, and for me it was simple. I want to go over there and kill anyone and everyone who had a hint of 9/11 on their hands. Once I got my first taste of being deployed I was hooked, and once I got my first taste of action on my second deployment it was all I could think of, but what the military doesn’t teach you is how losing friends, and buddies fucks you up. Up until Rex was killed, I did a pretty good job at keeping everyone as a working “friend”, and what I mean is, I made sure we weren’t friends outside of work so when we deployed if I died, or they died, I could go on with my job, but when Rex died it all changed. I finally asked for help when I got to Fort Hood, and my mental health team recommend a six week in-treatment plan for PTSD. They were trying to save my career, and my dream job, but my command had other ideas and told my Doctors NO. For years I listened to the Army preach about how they take care of soldiers, and how they will take care of the guys with multiple deployments once they needed help, and to always ask for help when you felt you could no longer could do it alone. Up until that point, I didn’t ask for help, because I knew that it would get me labeled as a guy who couldn’t handle his shit anymore, and that was the first time I asked for any help outside of normal counseling. It was the first time I was willing to allow any Doctor to tell my Chain of Command that I needed more help than a visit to the psych doc here and there. It didn’t work out, and within eight months I left the Army on an Honorable discharge for being overweight. I couldn’t bare the pain I was dealing with every single day, and when my Chain of Command wouldn’t allow me to get help to ensure my career continued, but they let a Private who never deployed, but failed three drug tests to stay in for treatment before they kicked him out, that told me it was time to do whatever I needed to leave. I felt betrayed, and I felt like the very organization I had given so much to, took the biggest dick they could, and shoved it as far up my ass as possible. I gave them the best years of my life, I went in at 18 and got out at 27, but I wasn’t done, I was willing to give them another 15 to 20 more years. To deploy as many times as they needed, to never get married (again), and to be a career soldier who put the Army first in everything he did. When I left the Army, I thought my life would get better, and the treatment my Doctors tried to get me would finally come, but I returned home to a family who didn’t know me because I isolated them too while I was serving. Just like I kept everyone I worked with at arm’s reach while I was in to protect our feelings if one of us died, I applied the same treatment to my family. You see guys, it wasn’t me trying to be a dick like you all thought I was doing, but it was me trying to protect you if I got killed because I loved you all. Needed to clear that up to my family, and Army buddies. Back to the point…. I thought getting out would help me heal, and that I would come back in the military stronger than ever. What I didn’t know, is these ratings every Veteran told me to get would hamper those dreams, and up until this last year, I never wanted to go back. Why would I want to go back to an organization that has become so political leaders can’t lead, and why would I want to return to an organization that threw me away like a piece of chewed up meat? I can only answer that by saying this, being a soldier is my dream job. Let me say that again, being a soldier is my DREAM JOB! No matter what I do in life I will always want to wear that uniform, and go to war, I can’t explain it, and I wish I could. All I can say, it’s in my blood. For the past three years I have carried the shame of getting out on an overweight discharge. I was scared of what my Rakkasan buddies would think, and I was scared of what everyone else might think, but I promise you guys If I had stayed in at that point I would have killed myself, or worse, I would have killed the leaders who denied me treatment. Honestly, I don’t know what would have happened, but I don’t think the outcome would have been positive. I wish I could go back in time because I would have never left Fort Stewart, and I would have told my Doctor who was a Captain there how I really felt, but I left because everywhere I went I had memories of Rex. I would see him, and call his name out in the Post Exchange (PX), I would see him at the bars we went out drinking at, or when I would go to Savannah because Rex was cool enough to DD so I could get wasted. You see, Rex was that guy who no matter how much of a dick I was he would always hang out with me. He was the one guy who saw through my bullshit, and saw the real me, but that was Rex, he got along with anyone. I’m in college now, and I have the opportunity to get a degree from Harvard, but all I can think about is how can I get back into uniform. How can I give all of this up for one more flight to the Middle East, for one more tour of duty, to suck with the guys during PT, and to be hot as balls at gunnery? The only thing that would hold me back is my amazing dog Thunder, but even I could have him and still serve. I can make a ton more money out here for retirement, and have a lot more freedom, but who am I as the tittle says. I don’t even know anymore. If, you made it this far, you are amazing, and I appreciate you even if you think I’m a dick.

Love,
P

Dear God, Thank you.

For the past week, I’ve been reading the bible and it’s all starting to make sense. For the first time in my life I turned my life over to God, and let him take hold of it. Tonight, after a stressful day, I sat in my driveway for ten minutes, or more, I don’t know how long it was because I was trying to resist the urge to go get fast food (taco bell). I wasn’t doing so well on my own, and that’s when I opened my bible app and started reading scripture. This feeling of ease came over me as I made a healthier decision to go get a chicken wrap from tropical smoothie. Yes, it is a ton healthier then the alternative, but for me it wasn’t about the food so much as it was the shifting in my life, and my mind as I let God guide me. He knew what I needed, and he knew that my flesh was weak, and when I finally submitted to him fully, he helped me. Although most of you will say his guiding hands were on me the whole time. It wasn’t easy getting to this point, but I’m proud of the road I took to arrive here. Below is a brief description of how I ended up here tonight.

Over the last three years plus, I’ve been on a spiritual journey because I was devastated by the loss of a friend, or so I thought that was the reason why my spiritual journey took me through every religion from Christianity to Norse Paganism. The truth is, I was angry. Angry at whom you might ask……. Well the answer seems simple now, but it wasn’t always that simple. You see, in 2014 I left the Army a very broken down man. My body was one that I didn’t recognize, and my mind was broken. I was angry at my leadership for their lack of help in handling my issues with suicide, and depression (they denied me, and my mental health team a 6 week in house treatment plan for PTSD). I didn’t love putting on my uniform anymore, and the only person I ever let get close to me during my time in the Army was killed in combat a year prior to my exit. During my spiritual journey, I found beautiful religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and a many other that deal with meditation and peace. It also led me down a very dark path as I learned how the Catholic church forced my ancestors to abandoned their traditions and religions. As many of you whom lack true faith, like myself I was searching for answers to the world. The ones that science can’t truly answer, but faith does (if you believe). Who was I angry at. I was angry at ME the “Christian”. I never truly put my life in Gods hands as I should have, and for that my faith was as hollow as a Twinkie without the cream filling. I was going through life like many people I see today who call themselves “Christians”. We all know them, they check in on social media when they go to church, ask for the world to pray for them when they need something in life (but not for others), or they post those corny memes that say “pray” for (insert countries name here). Yes, that was me, a hollowed out social media “Christian”. So, you might notice that I was mad at them too. I looked around at these churches, and the so called “Christians”, who pack them in on Sundays, and I saw way too many people worshiping the Church, and not God. But who am I to judge you might ask yourself because after all I am one those who I speak of. Truth is, I wasn’t judging, it was another notch in the belt for me to turn further away from God, and modern day Christianity. Heck, I even have a friend who told me that the Old Testament doesn’t matter anymore, that it’s not applicable to today’s society. Is this what church is teaching everyone today? If so, God is going to be very angry with those who believe it. In my opinion, Jesus drying on the Cross didn’t wipe away any Old Testament scripture. Let me take you back in time to about a year and a half ago to a little experience I had that I used to assist me in my decent from God.
Around a year and a half ago I was in bible study at Florida State College at Jacksonville that I attended every week after my intro to Religion course. One day we were reading a scripture from Paul, or about Paul, I can’t remember exactly. First, let me say this, I’ve never felt a connection from the bible, and that day, in that room, on a college campus, God came off those pages and grabbed me by the neck. I couldn’t move, every bone in my body was glued to that chair, and I could barely get a response out of my mouth in reply to the Pastors/ Professors questions, but they knew what was going on. God spoke to me through scripture in that room, and after bible study I was still shaken, and could barely speak (y’all know I’m never at a loss for words). After that day, I ran as fast as I could to tell everyone on social media about it. To let them know God spoke to me, but I never fully took it in. Instead I turned away from God, and I let all my anger with whatever I was going through in life be my escape goat. I ran as hard, and as fast as I could to get away from God. Why was he speaking to me? Why was I so important? What did I do, to deserve to be shaken to my core? Was he wanting me for some higher purpose in life? All of this ran through my head, and through, and through, and through until I no longer thought about it. It was that day that I should have grown closer to God, but instead, I grew much further from God. I’m not publishing this now to say that I am in way shape or form ever going to be a “Christian” because I look around today and I can’t believe the dismay I see with that group of people as they use Jesus as an escape goat into sinning.

I’m at a path in my life where I wanted to share this with as many people as I could, and that’s why I decided to post it to Facebook, and my blog. I won’t ever go back to being a “Social Media Christian” again. Today I choose a path that God has set for me because my path wasn’t working. As my walk with God continues I am sure my page will change, but I can promise you this…. I WILL NOT try to recruit you to my God, and I don’t care if you’re an Atheist. Be who you want to be, and walk with whatever God you choose to walk with

Snowflake Republicans

For the past few months, I’ve sat around and watched all the people who support President Trump make fun of all those who oppose him, and the term commonly used to discredit their outcries is the term “snowflake”. Well, today, I’m here to tell all of you on the right, or wherever you fall, the Trump supporters, that for eight years while President Obama was in office you were the loudest snowflakes of all. Recently, in the news, a few students chose to leave their own graduation because Vice President Mike Pence was the guest speaker, and anyone who opposes the action of the students is calling the students “snowflakes”, or saying how screwed our country is because of this. Well, I am happy that they are exercising their constitutional rights, as Americans of these United States. Brave men, and brave women, died to ensure those rights would never be taken away, not now, and not ever! The biggest complaint I hear about from everyone on the Trump side, is that the “snowflakes” should shut their mouth, and accept the lose. That being the lose of the White House, and whatever else those on the “Trump” side want to throw in there. Well, I am glad that those on the “Trump” side weren’t around when we decided to NOT keep our mouth shut at the time we were trying to break away from England, and their rule on us, and I am damn happy, that those who felt the need to scream the loudest back then did so with action that led to our freedom from England. It’s funny now that the shoe is on the other foot because for eight years I watched as all those “snowflakes” who opposed President Obama screamed the loudest with anything they could find to try and discredit him. Guess what, none of it worked, and none of it will work now that the Democrats are doing it to President Trump, but the only difference is those who support President Trump control every aspect of our federal government, and they still cant get the deal done. So, all of you Trumpets, why dont you focus your attention on those in power, you know, the ones you put there, and tell them to get off their ass to pass legislation that makes this country better, and not worse. As for me, I voted for President Trump because I enjoyed his message of economic growth, and I couldnt back Clinton who let our soldiers die in Benghazi, but I will not call those on the left who do not support President Trump, or his administration a “snowflake”. For I learned my lesson, and I hope all of you so called “Trumpets” will as well. Good day to anyone who might actually read this far.

Dear President Trump

Since taking office you’ve broken multiple campaign promises to those of us who voted for you, and to the people of the United States of America to whom you PROMISED you would serve instead of special interest groups. Since taking office, you have rolled back regulations that protect the middle class from the same banking industry that caused the “Great” recession of 2008. Those regulations were put in place to insure nobody could ever be taken advantage of again. You then went on to roll back internet laws that protect our information as citizens. Now our internet providers can sell our internet history to the highest bidder. What’s to stop a terrorist organization from buying that information, and using it to target more people to inspire “lone wolf” style attacks. You made two huge campaign promises during the 2016 Presidential election. Let’s start with one of those two promises you made, and broke in less than four months of being President. President Trump, you promised to the American people that we would no longer be interventionist, and we would not stick our nose where it didn’t belong. That we would only intervene in another countries civil war if it aligned with our interests both monetarily, and because of our direct national security was being threatened. When you struck the Syrian airbase with tomahawk missiles you broke your promise. As atrocious as the chemical attack conducted on the Syrian people were, it had no effect on our country, and was not an attack against us. You stuck your nose in where it didn’t belong, or should I say our “nose”. Because of this attack, Iran and Russia with whom are allied with President Bashir al-Assad have now drawn a line in the sand. Both countries have reported that any “further” military action against President al-Assad will be taken as a sign of war, and they will respond in kind. Thanks to your broken campaign promise we could be facing a war that we can’t afford, and that we don’t have the man power to sustain with our ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other countries around the world. This brings me to my next broken promise; in which you couldn’t get all sides of this recently failed healthcare bill to come together. Many of us voted for you based on your business background and the fact that you “were” and outsider, but we now see you are not the business man you claimed to be. I can’t count (and frankly I don’t have time to) the number of times you told us that you’re this “Great Negotiator”, but now Mr. President, we now see that’s the furthest thing from the truth. These are just a few things you have let us down on Mr. President. While many of your supporters (and I voted for you) taught your rebellion at the “Politically Correct” attitude the Republicans blame President Obama for, I currently condemn you for your betrayal of the people of the United States of America Mr. President. It appears you may have been a wolf in sheep clothing Mr. President, and I hope I’m wrong, but so far, in your first term as President you have sold us down the river. I hope for the sake of this country you start doing right by the people you claimed to work for on inauguration day.
~P

When mountains inspire you

In a land, far, far ago, we stood atop mountains, so tall, and so vast, that it felt like the world was in our grasp. During the day, we hunted some of the worst men alive, walking up and down those mountains that stood so tall, and so wide. The kingdom was not ours, but our task none the less. A place so beautiful, and so vast, that it stood toe to toe with the best. No man, or Army, has ever conquered that land, for it was known only as, Afghanistan.

~P

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