A Soldier’s Story
Meet Dave Holt: From the war to darkness to light. Read Dave’s B>U story.
We send out a questionnaire to our B>U featured persons as the basis for a narrative story. But some are so good that they must speak for themselves. So here ’tis straight from Dave’s heart.
“My medical retirement from the army after my combat injuries is without a doubt the single most pivotal moment in my life. I had dedicated my life to serving my country. It’s sudden ending took me by complete surprise. Being an Infantryman was all I considered myself to be good at; it was all that I knew.
I felt as if I had made so many sacrifices in my life (College, relationships, my health) for my country, just for my life’s purpose to be abruptly stolen from me. I felt betrayed and discarded like trash. I’d ask myself what it was that I was supposed to do now. This life was all that I had and now they were saying I couldn’t have it anymore.
It was the single lowest point in my life. I fell into a downward spiral. I never thought I’d make it out of alive. I started drinking every night until I passed out. I would mix the alcohol with all my medication, even drive around drunk late at night for no reason. I found absolutely no value in my life. After a suicide scare, that all changed.
When my friends and family found out that I tried to end my life, they begged me to think of what it would do to them. It made me think of how self-centered I was being. That day I apologized and promised them all that I would stop feeling sorry for myself; that I would find a new purpose in life.
I made my new goal to do at least one new thing I’ve never done before a month. The tasks started out simple enough, like enrolling in community college and doing volunteer work. Then my goals progressed entering citywide dodge-ball tournaments, becoming a Big Brother mentor, and running marathons.
As of now, I just began my first semester as a full-time student at a private university with a 4.0 GPA where I joined the lacrosse team (never played lacrosse before) and am pledging into a professional business fraternity (I was elected pledge president). All in all, this idea to explore my possibilities in order to find my purpose in life became my actual purpose in life. What I had considered to be the worst event in my life led to an awakening – it was the best thing to ever happen to me.”
One Day at a Time: Dave, what is today?
I try to make each day as productive as possible. I try to turn ideas into realities so I can never have to look back and say “I should have done that when I had the chance.”
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