From the March 2013 magazine.

March 2013: Two-fisted Drinker

After years of pounding back beers, a good soldier becomes a hopeless closet drunk

I started drinking at age 9. I loved how it made me feel. I blacked out and couldn’t wait to do it again. I was pulled over for a DUI when I was 16; later that year, I ran into a tree. Three passengers walked away, yet I cursed God.

I joined the Army when I was 17. At my first duty station it was easy for an underage soldier to get served alcohol. At 19, I was arrested for another DUI, but I beat the charge in court. The Army enrolled me in an educational alcohol abuse program. “If you drink too much, you’ll get cirrhosis of the liver,” they said. A drinking buddy complimented me: “You’re the best two-fisted drinker I know.” So I told myself I was special, and I convinced a counselor to release me from the program.

-- Ken L.

Knoxville, Tennessee

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!