Photo: Battling BARE
July 28, 2012Dear ____________,
I’m not sure how to address this letter because I am not really sure to whom I am writing. Not being one that believes someone is going to swoop in and “fix” my problems I don’t sit here holding out hope that I’ll wake up and everything will be ok, nor do I place the impetus on searching for a solution on anyone but myself. Everything in life truly happens for a reason and for everything in life there is a season, right? So, that being said, I’d like to share with you a story—one that begins long before April 20, 2012.
Mine is a life lived by principle of leaving things—no matter what they are—better than you found them. Often the inner compass which guided my decisions led me down the road less traveled rather than the path of least resistance. I was never one to back away from a challenge. Fairness and justice were always of the utmost importance for me. Suffice to say, I’m outspoken, a bit “in your face”, challenge the “norm” and refuse to “conform without question”. Why do I share this information? Merely to prepare you for being “uncomfortable” while reading this letter. So ready or not, we are going back to the story.
Robert E. Wise came into my life shortly after the death of my first husband. I was 21, a widow and mother to my then 13 month old son and 3 year old daughter. Believing I couldn’t effectively and successfully raise my two “young’ns” on my own, I very quickly went about finding a “new” daddy for my kids. I made a list of criteria…186 check off points and prayed that God would let me know the first time I saw the man that was meant to be the “new” daddy for my children. Foolish perhaps, but truthfully part of this story.
January 28, 2005—while hanging out with some girlfriend’s at McCabe’s Country Bar in Tacoma, WA—this tall drink of water entered the door wearing an obnoxiously yellow ball cap…and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Even now, the memory creates butterflies in my stomach. I said to my girlfriends that whoever that tall, handsome fellow was—he was the one that I was going to marry. Their response? “Oh you mean Rob? He’s dumber than a box of rocks.” Lovely, eh?
That night, after heading home and tucking my children in bed, I logged on “Match.com”…Rob’s profile was the first profile to come up. So, I sent a quick little note saying something along the lines of, “Hey aren’t you that handsome guy that was two-stepping around the dance floor at McCabe’s?” I woke the next morning to a note from him saying, “Why yes I was at McCabe’s last night—though I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing you there. Next time we are both there, come introduce yourself!”
Well, I never could muster the courage to go say hi, but for the next 10 or so months, I did sent him a quick invite to go do fun stuff like hiking with a group of friends, bowling, fishing, etc. Rob chose to respond to literally none of these messages. Finally, in January 2006—I send him what I thought would be my final note: “I’m not sure exactly where you come from, but where I come from men are respectful enough to a woman who is clearly showing interest in them to let that woman know the ‘interest’ isn’t reciprocated, and if you aren’t disrespectful then, the only other option I can think of is that you are gay.”
Interestingly enough, I had a message from Mr. Wise the following morning stating: “Boy do I feel small…” Our first date was January 28, 2006—one year to the day after I saw Rob for the first time and let my friends know he was the one I’d be marrying someday. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Rob met 182 out of the 186 criteria. The criteria he lacked:
- He was 6’4″ rather than 6’6″
- He had brown eyes instead of blue
- He made less than $120,000/year
- He couldn’t play the guitar—though he could sing. (He sounds exactly like Johnny Cash, too!)
We became an instant couple—we “dated” only five days before he left for a 30 day rotation at the National Training centre, Fort Irwin, California. I was in heaven on Earth—deciding quickly to be “in this for the long haul no matter what and come what may”. My children loved him, too. Everything seemed amazing—I was happy finally…we were married November 20, 2006.
Basing an assessment of our marriage off of only the beginning of our relationship, one might think we’ve lived happily ever after—as the start of our story is made of the same “stuff” in fairy tales. Sadly that isn’t the case. Ours is a relationship where smooth road is the exception to the rule and ridiculous situations rule, but I never could give up and walk away though he lied, broke promises, didn’t show love and affection, chose friends and “battle brothers” over our family consistently. He was moody and selfish much of the time—but still, like a sliver of sunlight peaking through a small crack in the clouds, I would see the Rob I knew and loved.
You see, there was always some justifiable reason for his douchebag moments… his back gave out and he was constantly in excruciating pain until he finally had his L4/L5 spinal fusion surgery in May of 2007. I was constantly in and out of the ER in severe pain with pelvic inflammatory disease or other girlie part issues, needing an emergency appendectomy, needing a hysterectomy, having my gall bladder quit working—all from “missed” and undiagnosed Celiac disease. If it wasn’t our family’s health issues, it was money issues. If it wasn’t money issues it was Rob feeling like a failure and less of a man because he was “weak” and went through with the surgery—causing him to be sent home early from his 2nd tour in Iraq or some other stupid situation that seemed unreal.
Oh yes, part of me seriously hated him at times. I couldn’t understand why he would chose to hurt me again and again. “Pull your head out of you’re a**, Rob.” “Why can’t you just love me, Rob?” “Read this book with me and we’ll fix ‘us’ together, Rob.” “Together we can do this, babe.”…things I said over and over and over again. I wasn’t sure who I was trying to convince, Rob or myself. Rob was perfectly happy with the way things were, it seemed, but why wouldn’t he be? I cooked. I cleaned. I did the laundry and the yard work and the grocery shopping and managed to “un-jack” the check book every month no matter what spending spree he went on. I forgave him for the same B.S. over and over again, and I kept hearing the voice of my now dead first husband saying, “If you could just be a better Proverbs 31 woman, Ashley, he would love you the way you want him to…you need to earn his love.” Yeah—stupid, I know, and I’ve since dealt with it.
Through all the bull-crap, throwing in the towel never “felt” right. I knew that I would always wonder “what if I had stayed just a little longer”. There were many times I would cry out from the shambles of my life and ask God to heal my broken heart—take away this longing for “something more” from Rob or for God to please just give me peace about leaving. Each time, I was offered a choice:
Option #1 I, Ashley Wise, lacked the faith to believe that God could move mountains or would move this mountain for me.
Option #2 I, Ashley Wise, lacked the patience to wait for God’s timing for this mountain to be moved.
Both of these options were unacceptable to me because both options dealt 100% with me and 0% Rob.
So, I stayed—through everything. Friends and family called me crazy. Accused me of being codependent and fighting an “unwinnable battle”. I felt foolish many times, but I kept seeing glimpses of the man I knew Rob truly was—like a rainbow after a thunderstorm reminding me the sun would shine and “all would be right in the world” someday.
At some point, after Rob returned home from his 2nd tour in Iraq, several different events caused me to start researching PTSD. He had gotten out of bed on different night and stood in the dark yelling at the wall—all the while sound asleep. He kicked in the door to our son’s bedroom and lifted his hands like he was holding a gun—the incident occurring after returning home from the horse barn to a Symphony Chocolate bar rapper torn up all over the floor by our Shih Tzu—apparently our 4 year old had snuck some out of the pantry before we left and hidden the wrapper under the couch. It was a silly thing to cause such a crazy response from Rob and scared all of us half to death.
Getting Rob to head to a counselor to over a year and a half of convincing, poking, prodding, nagging, printing out information from reliable sources on the internet and saying “see this Ph. D. says the same thing—it’s not just me!” I was so full of hope the day he told me he was going to go see the Battalion counselor. I actually allowed myself to “hope” for the first time in a really, really long time. Unfortunately, that hope was smashed into a million tiny shards on the floor when my husband walked through the front door, smug/slightly peeved look on his face as he told me: “There is nothing wrong with me. You are a drama queen and a hypochondriac. I wasted 25 minutes filling out all of these forms about my history to only spend 5 minutes in front of a counselor who said there was nothing wrong with me!” I had to pry to get what the counselor said out of him. Her words, “Well, SSG Wise, I wouldn’t say you have PTSD. I wouldn’t even say you are suffering from anxiety or combat stress. You are experiencing the ‘normal’ difficulties of reintegrating.” This advice from a counselor came after Rob had been home 18 months from his prior deployment. The curtain had closed on this source for help and healing. So, I kept my chin up, kept looking for “home remedies” or “self therapy” type solutions, and “soldiered on”.
After finding out that he didn’t make the E7 list again early in 2011, Rob began making requests to transfer to a different base. During that process, we discovered that a faulty code on his ERB was preventing him from “favourable” action. I’m not sure of the exact “trigger” in this ordeal, but Rob began isolating himself, avoiding spending time with me and the family and drinking copious amounts of alcohol again—though this time it was beer and not whiskey, as he had realised whiskey was the “trigger” for his previous episodes of “crossing the line”.
We were able to get the legal code situation corrected and “came down on orders” to Fort Campbell where Rob was assigned to 2-327th “No Slack” Battalion. We experienced multiple stressors during and after the move—starting with arriving in Joplin, Missouri only hours after the EF5 tornado destroyed much of Rob’s home town.
The pressure from all of the stress finally caused Rob to break in October 2011. We had been arguing nearly every day for a few weeks and on this particular day, we had scheduled a baby sitter to watch the kids so Rob and I could meet for coffee in town and discuss our future on “neutral” ground. Rob never showed and refused to answer my calls or texts. I had no clue where he was or what he was doing.
Upon arriving at the house, the baby sitter informed me that Rob had loaded up his Jeep with 2 cases of beer and “a bunch of guns”. After searching the house, I realised Rob had, in fact, loaded up every weapon we owned other than his compound bow. I frantically checked the bank account hoping to find a charge from a bar or something, when I discovered a $40-ish dollar charge for some hotel on Fort Campbell Blvd. Knowing Rob wouldn’t answer his mobile phone, I called the hotel’s front desk and was transferred to Rob’s room. Thankfully he answered—slurring his words quite heavily.
Not wanting to irritate him or cause him to hang up the phone, I danced around my concern but was eventually able to ask him, “Babe—why do you have all the guns?” His response shot through me like a bullet: “Life really sucks right now. It’s really hard. I might do something stupid.”
In a panic, I called his unit and tracked down his Platoon Leader. The Clarksville police were called and arrived at the hotel before Rob’s PL. He spent the night at the unit and the next morning was asked by his Company Commander, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant if he was having thoughts about killing himself. My husband has served in many leadership positions: Battle Captain during his 3rd tour in Iraq, Platoon Sergeant, rear-D First Sergeant, to name a few—so, he knows the ball that gets set in motion when a Soldier admits that “yes, I am having thoughts of killing myself.” Not wanting to deal with the ramifications of that statement, he said “No, I’m fine. I was just drunk.”
A few weeks later, Rob was moved from “No Slack” Battalion to the Warrior Transition Battalion to serve as cadre and nothing ever came of the event that October Night. In fact, things started to seem a little better. He seemed happier. He wasn’t yelling at the kids as much—but then again, he was gone a lot with WTB stuff…and then, shortly before Saint Patrick’s Day this past March, I sat next to my husband on the couch watching TV when the news of “an E-6 assigned to 2-3 Infantry based out of Fort Lewis, Washington may have killed 16 Afghan civilians last night” broke.
Rob immediately got up, went to the computer and logged on Facebook. By the time I walked into our front room/office area, Rob’s face was white and he had logged off of face book. “I know who it is, babe. I can’t tell you right now, but I know him. He’s my brother.” At that moment, I could feel all hell breaking loose inside our home—any progress we had made was shot out of the sky. The following week, our entire family walked in to be seen by an MFLAC counselor. While walking to our car after the hour plus sessions concluded, our 10 year old daughter turned to me and stated what a waste of time that session had been. “She didn’t even listen, Mumma. Can we please not go back there again?”
After the failure of MFLAC, Rob self-referred himself to ASAP—the Army’s version of AA…or so I thought. After a few sessions, Rob came home and said this program wasn’t for him because they were talking about moderation and having a designated driver rather than the reason for the drinking. “I drink because the world feels like it is full of hope and promise again, Babe. I want to feel that way without alcohol in my system, but it’s like my brain doesn’t work right without alcohol.”
After several weeks of isolation and being given the cold shoulder, I asked Rob via text message if he wanted me to leave with the kids so he could figure himself out. His response was cold and worded in such a way that I knew he was hurting, angry and to full of pride to admit it. In this moment, I decided to try one last Army program: Family Advocacy.
Late on a Thursday afternoon this past April, I called and spoke with a Family Advocacy Counselor who told me she couldn’t help me unless I came in and met with her. I hadn’t slept in a few days, so the idea of expending the energy required to get myself ready and head over to her office was incredibly unappealing, but for the sake of pulling my husband out of his funk and getting our marriage back on track, I sucked it up and went.
The directions to her office were fairly easy—and honestly the fact that her office was located inside the Fort Campbell Military Police Station didn’t really strike me as odd at the time. The MP station building is rather large with multiple wings—so I figured it was just connected. After a few moment, a Ms. Nicole Elkin greeted me at the door and led me back to an interrogation room. Her office wasn’t private—so, I really didn’t think anything of heading into an interrogation room either.
After we sat down, Ms. Elkin introduced herself. She placed her hand on my upper arm and in a soft, soothing voice stated: “Mrs. Wise, you are in a safe place. I am here to help you. Everything you tell me is confidential and nothing will the leave the four walls of this room.” As we talked, Ms. Elkin shared facts and figures regarding how 11B (infantry guys) can snap and spouses end up dead sometimes when they snap. Infantry guys are trained to take human life you know.
Typically these statistics wouldn’t have much, if any, shock factor with me; however, for the past several weeks, Soldiers snapping, murdering their spouses and then killing themselves was a rather common occurrence—most often we’d find out because we’d go to order pizza or something and be told “no one is getting in the gate right now because Fort Campbell is on lock down”—so, these statistics were my reality and I began to feel panic rising within my chest as questions began to race through my mind: “What if he comes home and snaps? Bobby Bales just snapped and he was a good dad…Rob even said he was a good dad.” So, I told the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God as I spoke with this Ms. Nicole Elkin—whom I later found out wasn’t “just” a Family Advocacy Counselor. She was specifically a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate. She heard about his mood swings, his anger, his drinking, the episode with the booze and guns at the hotel in October 2011, the times he shoved me in while we were stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. I even told her about the time my nose was broken.
OK—before you go passing judgment here on the fact that my nose was broken, allow me to explain the context of the situation. Rob had just had his L4/L5 spinal fusion surgery two months prior. On this particular night, he was drinking excessively again and his beverage of choice was Crown Royal whiskey. Rob turns into a total jerk with whiskey in his system.
Please keep in mind that this interaction between my husband and myself took place prior to really educating myself about PTSD, triggers, etc. So, Rob would turn into a jerk after consuming whiskey. I, in turn, would quite directly call him out on his complete jerk-ish behaviour, thus resulting in the most amazing arguments over stupid topics ever. I wouldn’t back down—even after the time reach 3 .am., thinking I was being rational and following the advice of “successful” marriages before me…you know “never go to bed angry”. So, rather than let my massively drunk, douche-bag acting spouse sleep off the “mood”, I’d flip on the lights, yank the covers off the bed—pillows too, and jiggle him saying, “Wake up, Rob. I know you’re not sleeping, Rob. You promised me we wouldn’t go to bed angry, Rob. You’re breaking that promise, Rob.” He would respond with “I’m sick of you. I’m sick of dealing with you.” At this point I would see red because breaking promises equals a lie—drunk or not—in my book and I simply cannot stand lies.
OK—so now you see our incredibly stupid, immature fight dynamic (that I am completely embarrassed of, by the way, but this is the story and you can’t change the past, right?). Fast forward back to the “night of the broken nose”…Rob was drunk. I called him out on it. He took of running—he has the foresight to see he was in no condition to drive—and as he is running down the street all I can hear inside my head is the sound of the surgeon’s voice saying “It takes a year for the fusion to be solid. Rob could still injure himself and wind up paralysed”. So, in a panic and thinking of only one way to get my massive 6’4″ husband to stop this stupid run he was on, I socked him in his “man-parts” to which he reacted by nailing be square in the nose. Now, the funny thing is, if you were to ask Rob in the following months, he could tell you down to the smell of the body odor of the Iraqi man this exchange occurred with….but, the exchange occurred with me. Odd, huh?
Back to my conversation with Family Advocate, Nicole Elkin…after sharing my “tell-all” tale, she left the room and came back with an MP. She stated she wanted me to share my story with her co-worker. She also told him exactly what questions to ask me and stated several times: “I’m not supposed to tell them what questions to ask you, but I want to be sure they build a solid case. So, I have to tell them what questions to ask.”
How I failed to grasp I was writing a sworn statement, I still cannot tell you. Chalk it up to no sleep for three days prior to heading to Family Advocacy and being completely freaked out by the statistics shared by Ms. Elkin prior to the sworn statement paperwork entering the room. The exact reasoning for my lack of attention to detail I may never know, but I will always remain true to the fact that I did not realise the paper I was writing on was a sworn statement. This adventure of heading to Family Advocacy for help for my family resulted in 72 hours of no contact and an immense amount of worry, anger and stress…it also resulted in the birth of Battling BARE for I cannot be sorry.
As the gravity of the situation settled, I found myself more and more angry. I was manipulated and lied to—two things I can stand least in this world. On top of that, when I went to correct the situation I was told it was out of my hands. For the love of everything decent and holy in the world, my husband is NOT a piece of crap wife beater! What the hell?!
As a coping mechanism for my intense anger, I began sharing my story with anyone and everyone who would listen. Wow did that “coping strategy” back fire! I learned that my story is repeated over and over and over. I learned that wives are waking up to their husband’s hands around their throats during a flashback but refuse to seek help or say anything because what was happening to me with the domestic assault charges against my husband would happen to them. I also learned that Nicole Elkin is not a federal employee she is a contract who is graded periodically throughout the year. Guess what, part of that grade comes from being able to meet the Domestic Assault case quota. Nice, Huh?
So, as my sky was falling and I was wrapping my mind around the fact that I seemingly had no place to go for help with my husband’s undiagnosed PTSD, I jokingly said to my friend, Christy, that I should streak the 101st Airborne Division Command Building because maybe a naked woman running across the lawn would get their attention and they would hear what I had to say. Instead, the idea for the picture of a barebacked, faceless woman holding a weapon above her head came into my mind—shortly after the words began to flow as I began to allow my heart to feel again. I stood at the workbench in our garage after getting my husband’s mock-up M4, and while letting go of the numbness, my eyes filled up with tears and I wrote:
Broken by battle,
Wounded by war,
My love is FOREVER,
To YOU this I SWORE.
Quiet your silent screams,
Help heal your shattered soul,
Until once again, MY LOVE,
YOU ARE WHOLE.
I ran upstairs to grab Rob’s cap and my eye liner. I came downstairs shirtless, handed a piece of paper with a diagram of how the lettering should be written on my back and handed it to Christy. She looked at me like I had gone daft, but she wrote the words and snapped the picture. The next day the photo was uploaded to Facebook with the intent being to have about 100 other wives make the same sort of picture to raise awareness about PTSD. Most of all, this was an outlet for my anger and a way for me to publicly say that I wasn’t just going to “fade quietly into the night”—thankfully Rob and I had been told by his chain of command that the domestic assault issue had been “taken care of” and would be handled “at the commander’s discretion”. All was right in the world and nearly everything else is history.
What many do not know are the events that have taken place since the birth of Battling BARE, Inc. and since the original interview for the article published June 25, 2012 in Clarksville’s Leaf Chronicle. You see, the Wednesday prior to this article going live in the paper, my husband was preparing to head off to Virginia to attend a 5 day healing program for PTSD entitled Operation: Restored Warrior. After completing this program, Rob would head to Fort Gordon, Georgia where he would serve 6 months TDY as cadre for the WTB. Before getting in the car to head off to Virginia, Rob and I walked together to get the mail where we were greeted by a Letter from the US Court System with a July 13, 2012 Court Date regarding the domestic assault charges we had been told were “handled”.
Tempers instantly flared. Rob dressed in his uniform and headed off to speak with his Commander. I preceded to call the 1-800 phone number on the letter, the Fort Campbell Court Clerks Office and the Fort Campbell Prosecuting Attorney’s office. While speaking to the PA’s office, I was given the run around when asked for which attorney was assigned to my case. When I asked to speak with this attorney, I was told he was busy but I could leave a message. After leaving the message I asked when I could expect a return phone call from this attorney—the response, from a SGT White, was some vague “he’s really busy right now” statement. I then asked what the return phone call policy was: 24 hours? 3 business days? 5 business days? This SGT White literally laughed at me and said “He’ll call you when he gets around to it.” (Click) Yes, that’s right…SGT White hung up the phone without saying good bye to me.
Well, laughing at and disrespecting me was the straw that broke this Army wife’s back. So, I immediately dialed up the office for CSM Smith—Command Sergeant Major of the 101st Airborne Division. I was told command could not get involved because it was a “conflict of interest”. When I responded with the domestic assault quota situation and how I was in this situation as a result of being lied to, manipulated and also a direct conflict of interest—get domestic assault cases equals meet my quota equals keep my job—I wasn’t granted another response.
The following Monday, unbeknownst to me, the Leaf Chronicle article was published. Initially we had been told this article would be part of the community insert that was dedicated to honouring the 101st Airborne Division. The community insert is placed in the papers where the store fliers and coupon inserts go—much to my surprise, we were front page news!
Around 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 25, 2012, my cell phone rang. It was LTC Bill Gaylor—Fort Campbell Chief of Staff—stating that the General among other members of command wanted to hear what I had to say. So, a meeting was scheduled for that following Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Overnight, “The Daily Mail” in the UK picked up the story of Battling BARE and by Tuesday, our story had gone global. A reporter from Yahoo’s Shine called me Tuesday for an interview—a few hours later Battling BARE became one of the top trending articles and remained there for longer than expected. Tuesday night around 6:15 p.m., my cell phone rang with another Fort Campbell number. This time it was the top JAG attorney for Fort Campbell, LTC Bovarnick, stating that he would like to sit down with me to talk about my husband’s case. We scheduled a time for the following morning at 8:30 a.m. I had a few questions about what I could and could not say with the media—so the LTC arranged for Public Affairs officials to be made available for me. Then the LTC said that the CG would like to speak with me. I replied that I already knew that and had an appointment scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The LTC said, “Well ma’am, the General is making himself available to you.”
Preparing myself to meet with the General based off of my 40 minute conversation with LTC Bill Gaylor the previous Monday morning, I was looking forward to sharing some of what I had learned regarding the issue of PTSD/TBI, domestic assault and Service Member suicide from the then 3000 followers of Battling BARE. What I had prepared myself for and what I experienced were to vastly different animals.
Upon walking into the General’s office, saying hellos and shaking hands, the first thing the CG said to me was “a little intimidated to be here aren’t ya?” I found this a bit odd, but responded with “No, sir. Not really.” We then sat around his conference table…and when I say “we”, I mean the CG, Rob’s Battalion Commander, two Public Affairs officials and LTC Bovarnick, the JAG officer. I felt a little out numbered, but thought “what the heck—I’ve nothing to hide. I’ve nothing to lose. I haven’t done anything wrong, and this man with the two stars on his chest needs to fix the fact that his Family Advocacy counselor completely screwed me over.”
Throughout most of the conversation, which really was more like a radio interview where the DJ likes to hear himself speak, the General’s body language was closed off, and apparently the clock—or whatever was on the wall behind me—was far more interesting than making eye contact with me. During one part of the conversation (which I would be willing to bet a Jone’s Soda on was recorded without my knowledge), the General quasi leaned over to me and said:
Mrs. Wise, I’m a 31 year career Soldier. I’ve been deployed more times than your husband. I’ve done everything your husband has done and I came back just fine…and I’m not about to paint the entire 101st Airborne as a bunch of combat crazies like they did back in Vietnam.
At this point in the conversation, I am biting the inside of my cheek to keep from being rude—the sound of my Mother and Grandmother’s voices in my head saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say—shut your mouth.”
Later on in the conversation, after being told the decision had been made to pull my husband off of TDY so he could come home and be evaluated “in house by the best the 101st have to offer because we take care of our own”, the General made another statement I will never forget:
Mrs. Wise, don’t you think for one minute that your husband is getting preferential treatment because of your media campaign. I want all my Soldiers to receive the top notch care they deserve…and I don’t care what you said to the reporters. Say whatever you want. Just be sure you get it right. (Here the General pointed to the letters on his name tape one by one.) It’s M-C-C-O-N-V-I-L-L-E.
At this point I knew I was on the verge of chewing the butt of a 2-star commanding general. So, I reverted to my “Mmm-Hmm” responses which did not require me opening my mouth. I will admit I really didn’t know what to expect during my meeting with the CG, but I will tell you with 100% honesty, being disrespected is NOT what I expected.
More has happened since Battling BARE, Inc. went viral—my husband is being seen by the best Fort Campbell has to offer and we have come to find there is a very high likelihood that Rob doesn’t suffer merely from PTSD but also TBI that has gone unchecked since the IED explosion in 2004 when Rob earned his Purple Heart. Additionally, I have read story after story at the failing of the “systems” in place by both DoD and the VA. The response from DoD and VA? “We are doing the best we can.”
Well, DoD… VA… are you up for a little game of Bull-S**T? I’ve got my cards ready and over 24,000 Battle Buddies watching to make sure neither one of us cheat. You ready? Let’s play.
That Naked Woman Running Across Your Lawn
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