I have scars but the worst is one you cannot see….

A book and it’s cover

The classic scene in the Jaws movie where ‘Quint’ and ‘Hooper’ compare scars always makes me laugh and think of something I could do with veterans, and of course non veterans, like in the movie.  Striking up a kinship through tails of bravado and luck.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not riddled with them but I have a few.  However, the scene very quickly takes my mind to the ones you cant see.  The weathered old navy veteran Quint reveals the ones you cant see are perhaps and often become the deepest and most punishing scars one can have.

God sent me down range for a reason.   Some of those reasons have already become apparent to me.  I can safely say, without boasting or doubt that there are people alive (well they were last time I saw them) because of actions I took or because I put my own life on the line to make sure they were ok.  Its a feeling of profound pride that I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in England. Having said that, I am also left with days that include terrifying memories, flash backs, hyper vigilance, nightmares plus feelings of hopelessness and loneliness.   I’m not complaining, I know he will explain it all to me when he takes me home.  Yet, I still find myself asking why? When the demons come and I cant get out of my own way I scream why!!??  I look ok, act ok (my wife may disagree!) and have a good career going well.  Still I am often frozen with fear and locked in the every present battle between Mike being home and Mike not quite being fully home.

So, don’t judge me by my exterior, you don’t know whats going on inside my head and heart.  Wait, I have full tattoo sleeves, a hate to shave, I drive a truck, wear a military cap most days and I am typically always carrying a gun…… you can judge me a little I guess! haha

Joking aside;  the non visibal scars run deep and they are unrelenting and do not care if you need a day off.  So why write this today you may ask!?  Well, I feel like I am winning.  Life is going surprisingly well and has come around 180 degrees in the last 12 months.  Of course I have complaints, gripes and general bitching here and there.  The demons don’t seem to want to play as much as they used to, my marriage feels wonderfully new and fresh and the pure hatred in my heart has started to subside.  Hatred has been such a strong factor in my life I often feel lost without it, but with it gone I am able to allow goodness into my life.  This feel good. God IS Good.

I have surrendered to the realization that God does love me and he does want the very best for me.  He sent me to be his sword on the field of battle and I hope I did him proud.    He didn’t send me to get back at me or to hurt me.  Was it to simply take the lives of my enemy? To save the lives of those being persecuted? Or to speak of his son Jesus Christ to the occupiers of the mountains of Afghanistan.

Another battle is looming on my horizon and I know its one that is going to take me to an even darker place. A place I know I don’t want to go.  God will guide me but my anger with him on this one is monumental.  I pray my faith is strong enough to defend my heart from the hate that is vying for it’s attention again.

I am my brothers keeper.  I need my 6 covered.


Author: Michael Owen

I'm from England and moved to the US in my mid 20's. I served in the US Army for 8 years and deployed over seas 3 times between 2006 and 2013. I'm now 39 and am married to a wonderful, beautiful woman from Massachusetts. She has been my rock during some very dark personal struggles with my combat PTSD and continues to support me daily! We recently relocated to Texas with our pup! I work for the federal government and am a die hard Manchester United fan!

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