Sep 09, 2017 at 11:17 PM
Iím not sure how to start this but I will start when I joined the army in 1977. When I joined I had my choice of infantry or supply, I decided on supply. After basic training and AIT I went airborne but I hurt my leg and decided instead of waiting around for the next rotation I would put in to be stationed overseas.
I was in the Army for 16 Ĺ years. My first station was in a place called Mokiminoto, in Okinawa, Japan. I was stationed there for 2 years and I loved it. The unit I was with was so small that they changed it to a detachment. Snorkeling, Scuba diving, gambling, typhoons and women helped out the boredom.
I will only talk about my overseas duty stations or I would have to write a book. The second tour was Korea, I lucked out and got put in 2nd Div on a hardship tour for a year. After going back to the states I was sent back to Korea on a command sponsored tour for 2 years with 19th Support.
For my 4th tour I was stationed in Ayers Kaserne - Kirchgoens Germany with Bravo Battery 2d Battalion, 3d Field Artillery (2/3 FA) that was part of the 3rd Armored Division. Are battery fired from 155mm self-propelled Howitzers, I also went to Iraq with them.
I donít want to get to far into it because I have a problem with PTSD and talking about it, but are orders were to destroy enemy forces. They put my battery up front to support 3/5 Cav. There was nothing in front of use but are fisters or spotters. What made me mad was that I was in a hemmet and before we went into combat are Battalion gave us orders to take out all the wind shields so that there would be no reflections off of them. My driver even took off the roof of the Hemmet so that he could stand up and fire. That time of the year saw a lot of rain.
On are first attack all I say was A10 tank killers and Apache Helicopters directly over are heads and in front of us. They saved our lives. We received mortars and incoming. For a time we were so close to the enemy that we had to have other firing batteries fire over are heads. Maybe that is why I go into flash backs and freak out when Iím around fireworks.
I also think that we were one of the first to reach the highway of death as it was called. I have had a lot more stressers as the VA would call them but I don't like to get into them. I still believe that they put us up front is because we were nuclear capable special weapons and all.
We were in Iraq for 6 months. Well as it goes after I got back from Iraq I became a alcoholic. My next duty station I got into trouble and was shipped off to El Paso, TX for alcohol treatment. I kept getting into trouble because I did not care about anything. I did receive a Bronze Star Medal for Iraq though.
When the army started to down size I figured that I would be the first to go and I was right. Instead of kicking me out they let me out by what they called Force Reduction and gave me separation pay and an honorable discharge that made it my 5th one.
In 2003, I received my first DUI after hitting 3 cars and going down a 40 foot embankment. Luck was going my way and no one was hurt. I then came up with a great idea and quit drinking and started ordering codeine online from overseas and at the same time going to school to become a Pharmacy Technician which as I look back was not such a great idea. I was getting most of my drugs from Spain and Romania, it would be delivered to my mail box. I was taking around 800mg a day.
This had to stop or I was going to die so I called the VA after going through the worst withdrawals of all times at home. I made an appointment with the VA in Menlo Park, CA. The women I talked to said I had PTSD, so after going through two inpatient thirty day drug and alcohol programs they sent me to the National Center for PTSD as an inpatient.
I was there for 72 days. It was very hard going through the trauma groups some people could not do it. I still have a lot of problems with depression, nightmares and most of the other things that go with PTSD. I got out of being an inpatient on 11/19/2004, and put in for PTSD disability on 11/30/2004.
I had my compensation and pension meeting and came up with a 36 gaff score. I am now 100% service connected and receiving 100% disability and considered nonemployable, I am also receiving disability through Social Security after being denied it 2 times. On the 3rd time about 2 weeks before I went to court, I received my paper work through the VA approving my 100% disability. I mailed this to the Social Security Office. When the day came to go to court I did not get a lawyer and they granted me full disability. I stay home all the time on the computer or watching TV. I have a very hard time trusting people.