army

‘John has become a mere statistic in a war we are losing. His military grave plaque should say ‘War on Opioids.’: Mom loses son to opioid addiction, ‘the epidemic that is stealing our children.’

“What started as a hockey accident eventually led to full-blown addiction and death. John was injured while playing club hockey while stationed on a base in Alaska. He was sent home with an ice pack and a bottle of pain killers. They are highly addictive, especially to a young brain. I wonder when he knew he was in trouble.”

‘It’s not that bad.’ My marriage of 20 years crumbled. I no longer fit in. It’s tail gripped me tight around my neck, I could no longer breathe.’: Veteran realizes ‘I’m not broken’ after long battle with PTSD

“I climbed on my motorcycle. ‘I can manage my PTSD. It’s not bad.’ I hit the road. Faster, another gear, even faster. Traffic faded behind me. The dotted lines blurred. At 130 mph, I grabbed another gear, twisted the throttle. 135,140…Just then, images of my daughters came into my head. Everything I’ll miss. After I’m gone, what will be said to them? I was in the middle of the desert. No one for miles. I cried, I screamed for help.”

‘He said, ‘I can’t do this,’ and left. I got a late-night call from the pastor. ‘He’s gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. He lost his battle with PTSD.’: Woman loses Army veteran boyfriend to suicide, ‘I was terrified to be a single mother. It’s not supposed to be this way.’

“As a combat veteran, he faced mental illness. We agreed to tackle everything as a team. I was pregnant again, but this time everything shifted. He left. I was so confused and hurt. ‘Where did he go? Is he okay?’ I found out he was living two completely separate lives, lying about his marital status. My entire world turned upside down. But I still couldn’t find him. I searched. I drove around aimlessly. ‘He is gone.’ As soon as he said it, I knew. My heart started pounding. ‘Oh my gosh,’ I said over and over again. The man I love took his life.”

‘Telling her ‘he is gone’ was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. She has no siblings anymore. Just a big pile of heartache.’: Mom has to tell daughter her brother is dead due to opioid crisis

“John absolutely adored his sister. He was fine with people thinking that this beautiful blonde, this older woman, was his date – he would go out of his way to ham it up for whoever was commenting. ‘Come to me darling,’ I can hear him say. His eyes twinkling with glee. He would protect her. He just loved being with her.”

‘You died while we were sleeping. We were merely a few feet down the hall. When we woke to the puppy crying, you were ice cold.’: Mom loses military son to fentanyl overdose, ‘I had no idea how hard it was for you’

“We didn’t know when we went to bed, and you told us you loved us, it would be the last time we saw you alive. You didn’t know either. You only wanted care from the VA. Did you know the priority mail envelope that contained your hearing appointment was finally delivered to me, 4 months after you died? Yeah, you can’t make this up. We applied because of your pain.”

‘It’s day 721 of not seeing you. You aren’t something we can pack up, put in a box and label with a Sharpie. You are our son.’: Mom’s grief journey after losing military son, ‘I miss you’

“The lady at the thrift store bravely asked about how we were doing. And you know what? I didn’t lie. I didn’t say good. I thought, ‘Wow, it has been over 2 years. How can that be?’ I found your box of baby clothes and the blankets Grandma made you. You are everywhere here, and at times I don’t want to live in this place anymore.”

‘Let’s do it!’ We sat on the hotel floor with this sweet, innocent baby. We had 24 hours to back out.’: Couple adopt special needs baby in time for Christmas after grueling journey, ‘I would do it all again in a heartbeat!’

“They kept this little boy in a room by himself, afraid he would scare the other children. He was not allowed to play, or go outside. It was so heartbreaking. When we finally met him, he was more severely delayed than we knew. He couldn’t barely hold his head up, sit, or stand. It was scary. We held each other and just cried. We had no idea how we were going to handle this.”

‘I’m leaving for the Army! I can’t be pregnant!’ I just turned 18. I had no clue who my baby’s father was.’: Teen mom has ‘beautiful’ open adoption, ‘They burst into tears when they saw her. I knew I’d made the right choice’

“It was 3 days after my 18th birthday, I stood in my bathroom screaming in horror. I was pregnant. Of all the stunts I’d pulled in my teenage years, this was by far the worst. What was even worse… I didn’t know if the baby was my boyfriend’s, or if I’d gotten pregnant by a guy I had a fling with in school. I hadn’t told my boyfriend there was a chance the baby wasn’t his. I was so ashamed I could hardly look him in the eyes.”

‘If you can’t respect me and your Dad, don’t come to MY family’s Christmas celebrations.’ Pump the brakes, crazy lady.’: Woman ‘bitter’ over tumultuous upbringing, but learns to ‘forgive’ after all the hurt

“You married her when I was 3. I wasn’t at your wedding. I was maliciously sent to Chicago by my mother, just to get back at you. Remember that time you came to my Grandma’s and literally kidnapped me? Dragging me down the hill, kicking and screaming, you trying to hush me? I was 4. This is one of my earliest memories. Tragic. My kids don’t know you. But that seems to be a pattern in this family.”

‘I was prostituting. We had sex, he paid me, but I didn’t leave right away. I was infatuated.’: Woman credits abusive relationship for sobriety after meth addiction, ‘I got sober for a man, stayed sober for my baby, now I stay sober for me’

“I became pregnant at 16. The partying escalated. To pay for my habit, I started prostituting. Most of the guys were married men wanting to cheat. They disgusted me; but then again, I disgusted me too. One night, I got a text from someone new. A John that would become more than that. I got pregnant with our daughter. It was awful. I lived in fear of him taking her from me, and when she was 6 months old, he tried and failed.”

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