I wrote this in January 2015, and after a prolonged 3 month stay at the Tampa VA Polytrauma Center. Its tough to share, but its important. Its important because sometimes we need a push, and sometim

I wrote this in January 2015, and after a prolonged 3 month stay at the Tampa VA Polytrauma Center. Its tough to share, but its important. Its important because sometimes we need a push, and sometimes we may need a big PULL. Sometimes we need both in order to get back to living and moving forward. I've been moving forward ever since! On top of Black Dagger Military Hunt Club Inc Adaptive Shooting Program, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor programs, they help get combat veterans back to life.

Killing a Hog named “Regret”

When we rolled back into the camp on Saturday night, Mr Dave Winters patted me on the back and said nice kill about the boar we just bagged. I said, “Yeah, but it was more significant than that. What do you call something in your life that is sort of like a monument to remember?” Dave replied, “In the Old Testament those were called ‘Markers’.”

Joe Evans, my Guide, and I had already agreed we weren’t killing any boars, but my wife had just told me that if a suitable wall trophy presented itself, then I could at least put it up in the garage. I really wasn’t looking for a trophy though, and I have never mounted anything on my wall. So, when that boar stepped into the kill zone by himself at dusk, Joe asked 3 or 4 times if I wanted him, and to go ahead and take him. I said no, I don’t want a trophy, and when the boar turned face on, I put the 150 gr Barnes TSX bullet between his left eye and ear. I wanted a Marker.

2013 and 14 got pretty tough for me, and thus much worse for my wife Tonia and our 4 kids. I experienced a major concussion at work while instructing in a shoot house in late 2013, and it seemed as if it was the straw that broke the camel’s back as I had already racked up 7 TBI events in combat or training for combat over the past 25 years. I was now, “All of the above” and maxed out on the medical questionnaires for pain, sleep, suicidal, homicidal, and just plain off the reservation. I was drinking from sun up to sun down. Tonia went screaming for help and by late April 2014 I was admitted for 3 months into the Polytrauma Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the James A Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. In doing so, I walked away from everything I had ever known in the military, in the special operations community, as a contractor, and as a small business owner. It meant financial ruin as we would have to start over completely. However, it is silly to say that I, “Lost everything”, when really I have since regained the world, life, a second chance, my family, new friends, my wife, and myself all over again.

This past hunting trip with Black Dagger was the first social outing I’ve been on since leaving everything in Ft Bragg/Fayetteville last year. Moreover, it’s the first social outing with friends I’ve been on in as long as I can remember.

Moving forward now. There comes a point in time when you decide if the things you should and shouldn’t have done, or could, but couldn’t do, and everything you did or didn’t in the past are going to linger in your life as regret moving forward.

Regret is as destructive a force as this boar was. He was rooting up the Strickland’s Ranch. I’m very glad Mrs. Strickland had her own name for him, and that maybe it was even revenge on what he had done to her dogs two weeks prior. I also had a name for him, and that name was “Regret”. I can’t change the past, erase the hurt, or fix the injuries that are permanent, but I can certainly change my point of view.

Black Dagger helped me find this new vantage point and from there I was able to have a different perspective on the past. Thus, when that hog named “Regret” walked into the kill zone, I enjoyed putting a bullet in his head and finishing him once and for all. Good hunting, great fellowship, the best people. Josh

Source: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2574602626000203&id=733890906738060&__tn__=C-R

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Donald White

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