From the August 2014 magazine.

A Long Way to the Green Berets

He was drunk and living in his truck. Then he sobered up and served his country

Everything I owned once fit into trash bags in the back of my broken-down pickup truck—and it was a short bed truck. I basically got by on handouts from relatives. I had such poor coping skills. My emotional IQ was down in the single digits. I made decisions based on self, with little regard for others. I lacked the resolve to see goals to completion and, for that matter, was very haphazard about setting any. My relationships with the opposite sex centered on playing the field, with little or no feelings involved. I was unemployed and would not accept jobs I saw as “unmanly” or beneath me. Instead, I did without.

Worse than my material status was my emotional state. I had quit drinking on January 1, 1985, but continued to smoke pot. After seven months of this and no change of heart, I was a real mess. Suicide by cop and suicide by drinking were my two big obsessions. It was anyone’s guess which one was going to end my life. I was powerless over my emotions.

-- Clark W.

Leadville, Colorado

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