“Master Sergeant, It’s Time To Put Your Ruck Down.” — Part 14 of 14

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, I wonder if the soul leaves the body as tears.

My life from tortured child to Green Beret, fall to darkness due to pain & PTSD, and healing through vulnerability.

Looking Forward

1. Understand that “Hurt people hurt people.” — Will Bowen

Hurt is easily camouflaged as anger, rage, blame, or shame. I often overlook that little green dot, even in a crowd. Today, I forgive myself first. Then, I can forgive others more easily.

I move on (symbolically or literally) to allow the others to grow at a pace comfortably known.

2. Do this when a child won’t look you in the eye.

Position yourself right in front of the child. Say a kind word.

Look into their eyes. Send a loving stare into their soul. You might save a life.

I still need to improve on this method with my own kids.

3. Be the safe space.

When operating out of love, I can listen and empathize. When driven by fear, I help way too much to realize.

In time, I will master this critical lesson for the sake of my children.

4. Buy flowers for your significant other on a weekly basis.

If single or living alone, buy flowers for yourself. You won’t regret it.

I learned to do this from my good friend Bert.

My wife arranges the flowers. I don’t have that gift. I can arrange words to add beauty to page, but I can’t rearrange flowers to bring out beauty on a horticultural stage.

Bring in beauty. That’s the best way.

5. Love As If You Were A Kid Again.

Kids (and our Mia) naturally love without judgment.

We rescued Mia during the same year that I got expelled from service dog training. In truth, Mia saved my entire family.

Mia the best girl in the world. She loves as if it’s the only thing worth doing — for this world.

Today, I hug my loved ones.

I hold them gently — to repurpose feelings that I missed out on yesterday.

6. Celebrate Your Greatest Victories.

Our most precious family victory is to bid goodbye to animosity.

“Farewell to Anger” by Leonid Afremov.

This painting makes — peace — undeniably pretty.

For many years, I would ask…

What is for me?

Today, I act on this question…

To love those around me, what is the best way?

Appreciating Today.

Today, I am thriving. (01/08/2022)

Physically, I exercise regularly and lightly. Both hips, one knee, and portions of my neck have been replaced and I stand straight. I was not born in this country, but I am “Made in America.”

Steven Maldonado came to visit after my third (of 4 total) hip surgeries.

I walk and move care-free, no longer burdened with the desire to strut with a tactical gait.

Thanks to organic modalities, I am relatively pain free. Now, I dream years into the future because to the theater of drama & trauma, I already paid my exit fee.

Intellectually, I exert beyond cerebral to connect the dots creatively.

Using onely one GI Bill, I completed my second graduate degree and received a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Cal Lutheran University.

I graduated from California Lutheran University with my second masters degree on May 15, 2021 — on the same day as our 22nd Wedding Anniversay. How cool is that?

I found a program that is all-encompassing. The subjects are exciting. I am poised to contribute to serve the public good. Just maybe, I can help communities stay in a positive mood.

Experience will be key, but not as important as how good to people I will be.


And in the same month, May 2021, my LinkedIn post inspired thousands of people globally.

This is what I shared:

Toastmasters International, Prepared Speech Winner

In Nov 2021, I won the Area 5 Toastmasters International Prepared Speech Contest. In March 2022, I will compete in the S Division, District 5 Prepared Speech Contest.

Started My Own Company, Jan 2022.

This year, I am betting on myself.

If you’re interested in collaborating, reach out. Let’s connect. What you see is what you get.

Psychologically — I do fun things and enjoy them heartily.

I do my favorite things, spontaneously. I play & listen to music. I read. I write. I call friends.

Ronnie Medina has been a true Brother. The other “tall” former Green Beret on the right is me.

I dream! Even better, I study a lot to learn new things!

I play for the energy of life, with the rhythm of life, and to infuse love in everything.

We take Mia for a ride on the Jeep. We hum a tune.

I joke with my wife and kids — as if I were a teddy bear. I show my love and compassion — with the utmost care.

I measure my words and my tone — to make sure that they know — we have nothing left to atone.

Spiritually, I thank each moment vigorously.

I pray for Me — when I inhale a gift BY others who exhaled today.

I pray for Others — with every exhale — a gift FOR others who are still alive and to honor loved ones who passed away.

By the way, we are all loved ones. Even those who were on this Earth once.

Being here is not give and take….every thing, every body, and everyone — including the Main One — is giving for other’s sake.

Most beautiful of all, I notice flowers, insects, and the beauty of trees. And just beyond, the wonder of clouds.

Oh, how my parents would be so proud!

You are worth it.

You are loved.

You are whole — and that is more than enough.

Thank you for reading.

Today, I hope you live — life — full of meaning.

All rights reserved. (Jan 2022).

Back to Part 13



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