As the Veteran’s parade rolls by in Boise, I reflect on all the friends I have that served and are still with us. A good friend of mine is having his bachelor party this evening. He doesn’t know how important his journey has become to me over the last several years. I started mentally tracking his progress when he told me he tried to hang himself in his garage shortly after we had deployed several times together. Prior to that he was a Lance Corporal with the Marines in Iraq and saw action in Fallujah. His relationship with his wife was rocky at best and she communicated her desire to separate. She filed for divorce shortly afterwards. He was working on his relationship with his preteen daughter. I prayed for him often, hoping that everything he valued so much wouldn’t fall apart. I hoped he would seek help.
Fast forward three years and everything has changed. He used his GI Bill to go to college and get a degree, he was hired to regionally represent a sports nutrition company, his relationship with his daughter is good and getting stronger everyday and he recently met the woman of his dreams. The dark clouds parted and my friend is having sunny days. I am elated for him. I wish the same happiness and success for all my friends, active duty, veteran or civilian.