For those of you that work with me, what I say here STAYS HERE. I am sick and tired of everything I do getting spread around the squadron like my life is a reality show. It seems as if I can’t take so much as a shit at home without my chain of command finding out. Hopefully this will clear things up for those confused. I choose to write this in order to pass on my wisdom and what I have learned so that none of you end up where I am right now. Because I will tell ya, it friggin sucks!
As of 27 December 2007 @ 1421 I am once again a TSgt in the United States Air Force. Bottom line is I screwed up and I received the punishment I deserved. I am sure there are some reading this that are pissed off and not happy with the outcome, but it’s ok. I was a Senior Noncommissioned Officer and as such held to a higher standard.
I am honestly glad it’s all over. This has gone on since my accident and I just want to move on with my life, and I will. They may have taken a stripe, but that doesn’t change who I am. I will still kick ass at work and do anything and everything I can in my power to help those that need it or ask. That’s who I am.
Through this whole phase of punishment I have learned that it doesn’t matter what I have done in 15 years. What matters is the position I was in at the time. That is what got me demoted. Well, my actions are what got me demoted, but the punishment would have been different had I not been in the position I was or at the rank I was.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to question something, ALWAYS go with your gut and do the right thing. See, where I screwed up is I didn’t seek help when I should have. I saw way more than anyone ever should during my year in Iraq. I was in two IED attacks, one of which I planned and two people died. In fact I watched one vaporize into pink mist. By that point in my tour I was numb to all the death. I had dodged mortar rounds for 7 months. Didn’t even flinch when the sirens would go off, and car bombs were just another sound. Keep in mind I still had 5 months left of the tour. So it’s safe to say I didn’t give a rats ass about life. In my mind it didn’t matter what I was doing, or if I was doing everything right. If my number was up that day, than it was up.
Fast forward to me coming home to a failing marriage where I was the #3 priority and you can see where my personal life is in the shitter too. That ended in my second divorce in May 2007.
Now, at work I am all business and always will be. Anyone I have ever worked with will vouch for that. However, I was a complete mess personally, but thought I could handle things on my own. Obviously, not so much. Those events played a huge role in decisions I made personally. I also honestly believe that had I not wrecked my motorcycle when I did, I would have killed myself at some point as I was on a path of destruction internally.
However, I was given a second chance at life. Those two guys on my convoy in Iraq weren’t. It has taken me quite sometime to work through things and it’s a one day at a time sort of thing. Each day gets better.
Again, those that I have worked with before, or that know me know I am the type to find positive in anything. Yes, I can even find something positive out of everything that has happened. I am on this earth for a reason and to make a difference somewhere. If I can touch just one person that reads this and save them from what I have went through, than all of this is justified. I also think that this whole experience makes me a better person and NCO. I look at everything differently now.
For those in the military, please don’t try and be the tough guy all the time. Recognize when you need help and get it. I didn’t think I needed help because hell, I’m strong, I got this. Well, apparently I didn’t. Had I have sought help early on, I would be typing something entirely different right now.
Before I close I want to get two final things out there;
First… Not one of you reading this better feel sorry for me. I’m a grown man and take FULL responsibility for my actions. This was MY fault and I did it to myself. I was STEP promoted to MSgt and pissed it, and a promising shot at being a command chief away with two stupid decisions. The way it stand now, I will be lucky to see MSgt again and if I do, SMSgt is out of the question.
Second, I want to thank all of you that took the time out of your busy schedules to write character reference letters for me. They may not have helped my case, but they meant a ton to me and I can’t thank you enough for all of your support. I have not only been blessed with a second chance on this earth, but also with some of the greatest friends a person could ever have.
With that, I will close. I hope each and everyone of you can take at least a little something from this. When in doubt, just ask yourself; What Would Ty Do??? Do the exact opposite and you will be fine. 😉