Shane Krutchen is an undefeated MMA fighter.
He’s also a former Marine whose unit, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, spearheaded the invasion into Iraq.
The unit saw some of the heaviest fighting of the war. Krutchen came back damaged and, due to then-limited infrastructure to deal with PTSD, fell through the cracks and into the world of drugs.
Until he started to fight.
'PTSD is a chemistry change in your brain, you sit and think of all the bad times,' says John Roberts, Wounded Warrior Project.
'You can't do anything for them, and if you say that to your unit, then you're weak, because you want to help someone.'
'I saw a father get killed, and even though he was an enemy combatant, it hit close to home because his wife and his kid were crying.'
'Next thing you know, I'm getting letters from the Marine Corps saying, You're not allowed to handle weapons, you can't wear a uniform.'
'The first time I ever fought, I didn't even know what MMA was. My buddy said 'you want to come see some MMA?''
'This guy walks up to me and says ... 'I'll give you a bar tab if you fight' ... and I actually fought.'
'I was drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels or a bottle of vodka per day, and polish off a twelve pack if not two twelve packs a day.'
'My life was crap, it was going down the drain ... June 14th 2009, I remember that was the day I decided to end my life.'
'I blew off Norbie a lot, but he just kept calling, and the day I tried to kill myself, when I came to, there was more messages from Norbie.'
'He was like, 'hey Marine, I don't know why you're not answering, you know you're loved, bro, and if you don't answer I'm going to come down there and kick your door in.'
'I know if they were here, they would push me, and I know if I fail, I would let them down. I'm not going to do that.'
In the last few years, he's earned two college degrees, won 10 professional MMA fights, and gotten married.
'She kinda contradicts the PTSD. I do everything adrenalin-based, and she does everything peaceful-based.'
'I think my favourite thing about Krystine is that her backbone is titanium, she has to hold me up half the time, I love that.'
Because veterans often feel uncomfortable around civilians, Krutchen now heads up a support group inside the gym.
'When I pray before I fight, I pray for all my brothers on my back, that they will watch over me, make sure not just me, but my opponent doesn't get injured.'
'And emotionally, any kind of misstep on his part would be more devastating to him, than a broken eye socket, because that'll heal.'
'When the cage door closes, you hear the click behind you, and it happens really fast ... ' says Krutchen's coach.
'Thank you to all the service members all over the world,' says Krutchen. 'We got a group of Wounded Warrior guys here, show them some love, thank you all for showing up.'
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