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Fernando Arroyo

A former Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, and author of The Shadow of Death.

My Story

After my service in the army, I faced many struggles.  I’ve heard people call it, “War Residue,” or “PTSD,” but whatever you call it, I had it. I struggled with nightmares and the shame and the guilt of the harm that I inflicted on other human beings. The cost of freedom is high and my mind and my body paid a hefty toll. I reached a point in my life where living was no longer appealing. I decided that the best days of my life were behind and that I was going to take my life. One night I drank an excessive amount of alcohol and I decided that I would take my life. I placed a pistol in my mouth and asked God to save me, but there was no response. I placed the pistol in my mouth and took the safety off as I prayed in my mind that God would save me. I heard a “Bang!” that startled me, so I dropped my pistol and looked around me, but there was no blood. God intervened!

Today, I work as the Veterans Outreach Director at Step Forward Academy. I help veterans and their families helping them find a path to a living wage through mentorship and coaching. 

If you're a veteran and are looking to find your career and your calling, click the links below.


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The Shadow of Death

From My Battles in Fallujah to the Battle for My Soul


When I returned home from my latest deployment in the U.S. Army, my life began to fall apart. One night, after heavy drinking, I placed my 1911 pistol in my mouth and thought a prayer—silence. I deactivated the safety and began to slowly squeeze the trigger. BANG! I dropped the pistol and I looked around me, but there was no blood. The bang I heard was the Bible on my desk falling and hitting the floor. I fell to my knees and asked God for forgiveness. I surrendered to Jesus Christ and asked him to help me. He answered.

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©2022 by Fernando Arroyo

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