In this week's Team Never Quit Podcast, Marcus has 11-year combat veteran and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, Benjamin Sledge in the studio. Benjamin served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning 2 Army Commendation Medals. He lost his best friend in combat. These days, Benjamin is a viral writer, graphic designer, and author of Where Cowards Go to Die where he reveals a brutal portrait of war and the cost of returning to a country that no longer feels like home. He travels around the country educating businesses, non-profits, and churches about veterans’ mental health issues.
In this episode you will hear:
- I got to see the best and worst parts of war. Often times we were the first ones in the door, so we either made friends or got shot.
- I was 21 when I first got to the battle, thinking “I literally have no idea what I’m doing.”
- There’s a very distinct smell to death. It’s like rotting meat dabbed with knockoff CK1 cologne.
- Many combat veterans don’t necessarily come home with PTSD; it’s moral injury. It’s the physiological damage that occurs when you violate your sense of right and wrong.
- Seeing death from that close does something to the mind. It became a real struggle point for me.
- When I first got home, they didn’t know how to handle me, because I didn’t know how to handle myself. I was drinking myself silly, so I could get the images out of my head.
- The strangest thing happened to me – I found myself missing war.
- My wife left me while I was in Iraq.
- War really is a spiritual experience.
- What does it look like to live a courageous life and carry that into career and family relationships – Never give up, never accept defeat, and never leave a fallen comrade behind.
- Inside every man, there’s both a warrior and a poet.
Book (Where Cowards Go to Die): https://amz.run/5GAb