Hello to my ADHD peeps and ADHD loved ones,
Today I am writing a first entry to a story series called veteran status. I think the big reason I want to write a story about this is because a lot of people don’t understand my relationship with my veteran status. I hear a lot of the time that I should be proud of my time in the military and that I should represent it with pride. In this series I will fully explain why I don’t do that and I will explain why I will probably always somewhat hide those four and a half years of my life. It is much easier for me to talk about this by writing than trying to explain to people face to face, which is why I only tell people that are pretty close to me that I served in the military.
So before I jump down the rabbit hole of talking about my veteran status, I will tell you a little bit about my time in the military. From a very young age I decided I wanted to be a solider, and that conviction never left me as I grew up, so I joined the military straight out of high school at 17. As soon as I was old enough to sign a contract I went down to the recruiter and talked to them. I ended up getting everything set up and ready to join, I just needed to get my parents to sign off because I would be going to Basic Training while I was only 17 years old. My parents knew that this wasn’t a rushed decision and they happily agreed to sign the paperwork and I was ecstatic. I was signed up to be a Combat Medic (AKA Health Care Specialist, whatever they decide to call it now)
I started the military and went through Basic Training at Fort Sill Oklahoma like it was nothing. I made sure before I joined that I was able to pass all the standards so I didn’t get yelled at much because I was decently low maintenance for a new soldier. I did my time and moved onto Fort Sam Houston. I had to complete 16 weeks of training and pass my EMT-B to become a medic. This is something that I really wanted and these 16 weeks flew by, at the end I got my certifications and my paperwork to move up to Fort Drum New York. I was going to be working in a light infantry unit as a medic. I was so excited for this assignment, it was exactly what I had signed up for, I wasn’t interested in being cramped in a hospital.
My medical unit at the time was top notch we had great leadership, we were a family, and I felt like I could make a run at a career in this. I ended up making great friends some of which I still talk to frequently. After training for a year I was moved from the medic platoon over to my infantry unit that I was going to be working with. I loved my platoon (around 30 guys). I was able to speak freely with the leadership and they respected me enough to make medical decisions for the platoon without complaints. I loved it, I worked great hours an actual close 40 hour work week unless we were training then the hours were sucky, but I was happy. We got our orders to deploy in 2013 and we had high spirits because we had been training for this for so long, we knew we were ready. We deployed in 2013 to Eastern Afghanistan did our time and came back. During my time in Afghanistan I messed up my back and ended up having issues and wanted to get it checked out when I got home because I didn’t want to live on a diet of Flexeril (muscle relaxers.) This decision alone is what turned my future career into my prison sentence.