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My Journey Pt. 2

So, I returned home after ten months abroad. I was welcomed with a big ole' kick to the central reproductive system, figuratively. My then wife showed up on the parade deck with the two gentlemen I suspected her of cheating on me with. Woof. Not a great start back home. The next year was one of the worst I have experienced in my life. I was constantly checking phone records. Feverishly combing through in search of some sort of validation that my instincts were right. Hoping to not be "crazy." I was made to believe that it was all in my head. So much so that I actually befriended them. Side note: I knew one of the two gentlemen before the deployment, and was friends with him then. I found her in bed with one of them- mind you they were both fully clothed- but he was asleep from what I could tell. It was a major struggle bouncing between divorce and staying. I decided to move the family to break the connection she had with them. We moved to Ft. Sill, OK were I was a Gunnery instructor. Three months later she left me and moved back home. For two years I tried to fill the hole in my heart with one-night stands, and short flings. In a weird twist we were going to give it one more shot. I drove with a friend from OK to PA, and brought her and my son back. If you're thinking it didn't any get better the second time around, you'd be absolutely right. I moved back to California when my time at Ft. Sill was done. It was one of the toughest things I've ever done. Feeling like I was losing my son for the second time. My relationship with him was never the same as it was before then.

I checked-in to 1/11 in July 2012. It was my first time being a Battery Operations Chief. It sucked. I got run through by my Battalion OPs Chief in my first field-op. Quite a rude awakening, and extremely humbling. But I survived it and kept pushing. I met someone about a month after getting back to the fleet. My fellow staff NCO's, and some junior officers, were out celebrating the promotion of a newly pinned Staff Sergeant. A wet-down if you will. The following Monday one of the officers approached me and tells me he ended up with a girl's car keys. He thought she had taken his wallet; so, naturally he took her keys. He wondered if I wanted to return them to her. Being were I was in my life I said I would. I texted her and she agreed to meet me at the commissary on base. I got to the parking lot and parked. She zipped right into the spot next to me and got out of her car. In moments she had her key and she was gone. That should have been the end of it, but she texted me to thank me for giving her key back. That was the beginning of a relationship that has seen everything from marriage and child birth to near divorce. Let's take a small step back. I asked to deploy to Afghanistan in October, 2013. It was a detachment of howitzers being deployed with a HIMARS (fires rockets from the back of a truck) battery. My then girlfriend and I found out shortly after, that we were going to be having a baby. Well, shit. Now what should I do? I chose Afghanistan. Was it the "right" choice? Probably not. I just got so tired of things stateside that I was ready to go. The deployment was successful, but I had to watch the birth of my son over Facetime. I finally got to meet him on the one-month anniversary of his presence on this planet. My time in the military was coming to an end quickly. I went through all the stuff planning my transition to civilian life. I turned in all my gear, went through the classroom stuff, and began my VA process. I exited the Marine Corps in December, 2014.

This is the end of Pt. 2. I have quite a bit to cover after the military too. However, I want to plant the seed on something I'm going to write about later. As military members we are trained to push through. No emotions! No complaining! Keep your head down and never look back. FUUUUCK that! Self-love is one of, if not thee best thing we can do for ourselves. Nobody can take that from you. NOBODY. I hope you'll ponder this quote and look within yourself for what it means to you.

“Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness.” - Ram Das
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