Thoughts During My Workout Last Night – Part 5

Updated: May 7, 2015

Once I retired, I was doing contract work i.e. I was on the Private Security detail, taking President Aristide back into Haiti. This is very intense and high risk business, feeding that beast within that wants to do the best and be the best performer… the elite. I also started my own karate club and taught what I considered to be Modern Karate and called this brand of fighting “Extension Fighting”.  I took 4 fighters, virtually off the street; some with zero fighting background and in a year had them fighting on pay per view Ultimate Fighting Championships, both defeating former world champions, one of the first ever female      WHO    Vale Tudo champions, US Middle Weight Kickboxing Fights and Boxers on HBO heavy Weight After Dark and USA Tuesday Night Fights. Yep, MMA fighters, kick boxers, boxers and traditional karate tournament competitors. I became the Professional Karate State Commissioner for the State of North Carolina; I was putting on my own fight shows, training with professional boxer and kick boxers like Joe Lewis and Dale Fry, two former world champions. I even opened up my own gym. Yes, I was staying true to the Military Special Operations form the “Do or Die”, Never Quit” attitude and way of life.  But also in the same breath, fight for survival, for life;  just fight because that is what I have been trained for.

At the time I never realized what was really going on. I was simply trying to stay ahead of my past. I know this is why so many young soldiers returning from combat today are committing suicide, going to jail and many other activities having negative results, broken relationships. Etc. In today’s political state and with our middle class being eradicated, there is nowhere for these young kids to prove themselves and feel both accomplished and respected. In fact with the social media being so negative towards why we are and were even involved in these conflicts, many young soldiers returning from war to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their real world accomplishments, causing them to lose their drive and motivation, sending them into a downward life spiral, to the pits, with no apparent hope and filled with confusion and anger. There seems to be no real proactive outlet to enlighten, coach, mentor and therapeutically help so they can have vision of what the possible outcomes might be.

I started to figure it out when my world came to a halt. My oldest son was murdered, I stopped being productive, felt ashamed and guilty as if somehow Karma had finally caught up to me.  Anyone who has ever suffered from PTSD thinks about the Karma; what did I do in my past to make bad things happen.  You can be a veteran, a rape victim, a crime victim an incest victim; it doesn’t matter.  Most people who have any form of PTSD believe they did something to create their own hell.   Everything good and bad suddenly caught up to me. I felt as if I had lost a drive, motivation and direction. Look I have been truly blessed to have made it to this point. Mainly due to having a second son, and he is still very young and alive and thriving. Several years after my oldest son passed, I turned my focus towards my 2nd son. I realized that my focus after some self-destructive behavior had to be re-directed to my 2nd son and on his successes and happiness.  This has somehow allowed me to work through this to a point where I am starting to see the light of hope.