I never should have joined the Air Force and much of my military career is a regret for me. There’s so much I could have done differently, and that time holds some of the darkest moments of my life.

I partied excessively hard. I don’t enjoy drinking but used it as an escape. I drank because I was hurting, and alcohol helped me to temporarily forget. I fell into depression, never sought counseling, and I thought about hurting myself. While on terminal leave, I woke up and realized that everything around me was an illusion. I did not go to counseling because if I did, I knew how people were going to treat me. Now that I’m a happy and HEALTHY man, I can say this: Being in the military, you do not know what somebody is going through. You will be led to believe that it is just a part of the day-to-day. That is the culture, it’s unhealthy.