On July 4th 2011, my world was forever changed. I went from having to what I thought was nothing in the blink of an eye. At the time I had recently redeployed to Ft Campbell, KY from my third deployment, this one from the volatile Kunar Providence of Afghanistan. My wife, my 2-year-old son and myself and another couple took a road trip over fourth of July weekend to Upstate Wisconsin to be her family over the holiday. My wife and I were fighting, as I was still adjusting to being back in the states, but nothing I thought we couldn’t work out.

I woke up the morning of the 4th like I woke up every morning I kissed my wife and took my son down to the lake and went fishing. The day preceded normally, until lunch. My wife said she wanted to talk to me and which point she said she wanted a divorce. MY world at that point ended, all I could see was the woman I loved and my son being ripped away from me. What was the point? I asked. When I asked that I took my handgun and walked into the woods, no one noticed and I felt like no one cared. I walked what felt like a 500 meters down a trail and sat down. I put the gun in my mouth and thought why not. Nothing mattered. There was not one reason I could think of that kept me from pulling the trigger. My life was over everything I cared about was gone.

Then one thought crossed my mind, one saving thought. My Son. If I did this, he would never grow up with his father. He would never know what kind of man I was or what kind of man he could be because of me. So, I took the gun out of my mouth dropped the magazine and emptied the chamber. I walked back to the camping area and gave the weapon to my friend and we drove back to Fort Campbell that day where I preceded to go to the ER and talk with a social worker. The next day at work I spoke with my unit chaplain and have ever since been getting the help I need. Some days are harder than others and there have been times where I still struggle, but Remember as I do there is always somebody there for you.

Never think for a moment you are alone. You are not and you never will be!!!!

                                                                                                                             Ryan “Skatter” P.