This is possibly one of the most compelling picture stories we’ve seen on Imgur.
It’s about a surfer who got tired of “lazing” around, and decided to do something about it. What followed was a journey that took him from surfing in Hawaii to fighting in Afghanistan, from post-war restlessness in Texas to the 9/11 memorial in New York.
We contacted him via Imgur-mail, and he was really excited about telling his story.
So here it is, written in his own words …
Iʻve done everything ... Traveled to MANY places. Surfed. Played soccer. Cliff jumping. Cross country(island). MMA...
I wanted to do MORE! I wanted to do something MORE than me. After my dad died, I wanted to make my mum proud and not just mooch off her. I wanted to help out the family not just myself.
I didnʻt want to become a beach bum! I didnʻt want to end up a townie, doing the same things over and over again. I wanted to experience the world. I wanted to do the most bravest thing someone could do! Then the lightbulb ...
Sparked! Why not join the military? It filled every need. I get to travel, get A LOT of experience, meet new life-long friends, and it made my family proud.
After signing my contract 3 days after my 17th birthday ... my arm broke 3 months later. I thought I was finished! My recruiter told me I couldnʻt go basic combat training during the summer of my senior year ... but after I healed I could after high school!!
And so it did heal, and I became a US Army Medic. Having me brake my arm, the nurses had the best personalities. Also, with a nurse in the family, me not being terrified of blood, and not having a big desire to kill someone; becoming a medic was a no brainer. It would help me start a career.
3 months after certifying as a medic. My unit deployed to Iraq. The beginning of deployment was pretty chill. Although our base got rocketed/mortar every freaking week. So much so we could feel it in our guts.
Half of our missions were Counter IED - Mortars - Rockets. We drove ~100-200 miles a day and walked couple miles each day. Some more/less.
We built some relations and found some friends. The milk was terrible, but chai is good. Depends where they get their water from is very important lol.
And half of it was providing security for the Provincial Reconstruction Team(PRT). This is the part Iʻd rather remember. This is a 5000+ y/o site. Ruins of Kish.
Visit the site of the Babylon Ruins Hanging Gardens of Babylon (from the bible). The bricks are newer because Saddam Hussein built around the older ones.
We also help their government by targeting schools for Iraqi government money. Although, we knew why we raised our hands to be a soldier ...
It was to get this guy. But theyʻve already hanged him. Now they needed to rebuild from a dictatorship.
Letʻs get down to some nitty gritty. Pun intended. (btw that's not a lion humping a guy, itʻs a metaphorical statue meaning the lion/nature/whatever hippies worship, rules over mankind on earth. Or something like that. Donʻt quote me just google lion in babylon ruins ... ) TMYK lol
BOOM! Close up picture. They thought this could teach a lesson to their friends and scare away other birds. Idk if itʻs bad for the environment or good for the bees/business. But whatever, seen far crazy/stupid shit they done for money.
There are times when a vein blows. Gummy bear for scale. Another medic did that btw, I was out on mission. I never miss my sticks!... alright letʻs calm down a bit...
There are times when we needed to catch a ride. My platoon asked the farmers out of the wire to come give camel rides for people that never leaves the FOB (forward operating base).
There are times when we walked for miles and miles. Thank you, baby Jesus, for camelbak hydration systems.
Fast forward, we went back home and there was nothing to do. It felt like I didnʻt know who I was anymore.
Lastly Ducannonville, PA to New York, NY. Currently residing here to go to Pre-Med at NYIT Manhattan this fall. If your in the Clinton/Midtown/NYC area in general letʻs meet up! I help fellow couch surfers! Getting off-track ... Let me just continue/end my story.
On Memorial day, I went to the 911 memorial. For the 3000+ lives that lost their lives at the towers that day. For you, I went to the North Pool and gave/threw in one of my dog tags. Waited 15 minutes respectively then threw in my other tag into the South Pool. Those tags protected me in Iraq and although itʻs a small token from me, it was the closest thing to my heart. May you be protected with it now.
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