I Left the Marines with a Great Big Chip on my Shoulder
Hello I’m Rob. At the Mission, I’ve reconnected with the Veterans Administration, found some therapy, and worked to heal with a group of like-minded people. But in my time as a marine and afterward, I’ve seen things that others couldn’t even dream about.
Growing up on military bases, my sister and I constantly adapted to life without a father figure around. My dad had issues, so we never had much money, even when mom worked 2-3 jobs. I struggled in school and entered the marines early to get away from family problems, then got a high school diploma during boot camp.
In the marines I did two tours each of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was easier in the service to drink and use IV drugs, especially in Afghanistan. After a serious wound from an improvised explosive device (IED), I ended up at Walter Reed hospital. They put me back together and gave me an honorable discharge.
They also gave me a chip on my shoulder. As a veteran wounded in battle, I felt like the world owed me something. I could do all of the right things, but I quickly realized I wasn’t being a good person. And with all of the morphine and pain in the hospital, I began doing lots of pills.
After that, I became what you might call a global security consultant. I wasn’t present for my 3 kids the way I wanted. After several years working in some pretty tough areas, my doctors recommended a full exit from security work.
I went on what alcoholics call a “run” for 40 days before checking into detox. I came to the Boston Rescue Mission because I needed time to step away from everything and just work on me. Counseling and therapy taught me that I don’t need more stuff now to make up for what I lacked as a child. Now I want to help others mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually with my time and money.
And I have a plan. I’m already volunteering to help other vets, and doing a little work driving for a few places. I’m lining up housing opportunities, and hope to finish a bachelors degree. Eventually, I’d love to get a doctorate and open up my own clinic to counsel vets returning from the field.
- Mary Ellen
- Joe D.