As The Gray Makes Its Way: Veteran’s Day 2022

I technically had two separate posting for Veteran’s Day 2022. I wanted to salute two veterans that I feel that I owe more than I could give.


Bruce was accidentally roped into a bad situation that I created. I ruined his night. He never held it against me. I was going through one of the darker times of my life. I had considered giving my life to alcohol at the time. No other things seem to go well. Getting trashed made sense. Back in 2001, during our deployment, I broke an alcohol consumption record. Within an hour plus, I had nearly consumed twenty six beers and a few shots. Take a wild guess, that was lights out level drinking. Someone made sure that I made it back to the ship, steered more toward medical. Bruce was one of the guys. He had to fight me somewhat. I got a chance to apologize, but I never got a chance to thank him.

(I am not 100% sure of this, but I think he ended up getting discharged after I left. Not sure if things were bad, but unreliable sources mentioned that he had family issues/might have been kicked out for popping a drug test).

I wish I could do more for the people that gave me a second chance.


Dusty did me a bunch of solid favors. I could never pay him back for them all. He stayed up all night to make sure that I didn’t die of alcohol poisoning. He fixed administrative issues for me. Dusty kept other people off my back until I left the Navy. He kept me laughing. Those that chose to be a comfort in my life were few and far between. Dusty was one of the few. His life after the service was okay, boring.

If I had a chance to pay him back…

I don’t memorialize the living on Veteran’s Day. I celebrate those that helped me make the best out of my enlistment and those that held the flashlight when I was running through hell.

About freemattpodcast

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1 Response to As The Gray Makes Its Way: Veteran’s Day 2022

  1. audremyers says:

    Very moving account.


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