A former Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, and author of The Shadow of Death.
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.
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.
©2022 by Fernando Arroyo