I am in pure amazement still a month after finding out about Vet TV and Irreverent Warriors. I have watched all of O'Malley''s you tube vids as well a few times over. I wish I had found this when it started but now is as good as any.
I won't make this thread too long. I am class 2001-2006. Paratrooper CAB commo Fobitt. I got out as an E-5(P) with less than 5 in under stop loss. Did my 3 tours (Kandahar 2003, An Najaf/Babylon in 2004 and Balad 2005. The second one is where I learned that being in the signal corp was nothing in an airborne unit. An Najaf was extra special suck in 2003. I have done all of the things in the VETTV shows, which was the very reason that I did not re-integrate well. I went back doing counter IED stuff with the marines and Navy EOD as a contractor because I was ready to drink myself to death and I just didn't fit in. I wanted to save war fighters lives and see the action again. No one at home got my sick jokes, hyperactivity, all the other '-ism's ' we have after getting out and all the 'basic' vet boo boo kitty bullshit that I had too learn was the way I was supposed to be by my social circles. My best friends were not my best friends anymore and the fellas close to me from Bragg were ghosting. The VA doctors and private shrinks made me feel worse. I fell very bad to alcohol and benzos... and the story goes on....
Fast forward to today. I have been in and around Alc Anon for 8 years now. I am a VA rehab guy after a suicide attempt in 2010. I thank God every morning that my brother forgot his wallet and came back to the house.
(I was an alcoholic, drug addict wild-ling before I went in, I am one of the 14% true alkis that joined in order to get out of a bad situation and was a punk ass kid, but that's for another audience.) I attempted suicide again in 2014 and had a wake up call to fucking get a purpose and fix my brain because something bigger than me wasn't going to let me kill me. I had relapsed drinking because I just couldn't fit in socially with the AA groups or even the vets as they were all either civilians, Vietnam vets or navy aviation guys. I loved their spirituality but I just felt different because of my dark sense of humor and the ability to kick someones ass at gay chicken. They all would put their heads down like I was crazy when I would try to be honest and say that shooting at someone after months of being on the sideline in the middle east while my buddies were getting fucked up was not gut wrenching or even hard, but a thrill and they didn't understand that I wasn't a loose cannon, but just trying to be honest so I quit hanging out with folks.
I live in Key West now, I am an active member of AA, I talk to newcomers about alcoholism (please don't judge again, another audience if you aren't one of me.) I talk to the vets who come in on vacation or court orders about isolating. I work volunteering with NOAA and the National Parks with reef cleanup and marine conservation which is a great purpose that doesn't involve humans when I get sick of them sometimes. FINALLY another post 911 vet (11B. Oh, it's so much fun to call him a 'leg' when he calls me a POG!) who was an alki before joining showed up and we have been able to get together and share our nasty jokes so as to not scare the natives and I was beginning to fit in until finding this. Now I fit in even more, as I can identify with the jokes. Being older, I wanted to become involved with helping vets in my generation. I am stable now and I suffered through feeling displaced until this miracle, Vet TV, gave me hope and really made me start wanting to reach out to area post 911's. I've already had another say that Vet TV 'hit the nail on the head' with what is the difference between us and the older veteran generation. There aren't many of us down here, but we have a great community... and wear flip flops!!!!!!! Thank you Vet TV. I believe this method of reaching post 911's and getting us to talking will save lives!