"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." -- Mark Twain
On a personal note, contrary to popular perception of events, I went on to not only be honorably discharged from 8 years of active service in the US Army in 2006, but I actually enlisted years later in the US Army Reserves, where I've served since 2010, and earned my lost sergeant stripes back.
I went back to Church after being an avid anti-Christian most of my adult life.
I went back to the college I dropped out of in 1997 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013.
I remarried that same year and got custody of my son in 2014.
I have slowly gotten back to where I once belonged. I consider it miraculous, given the history of whistleblowers.
I was once at an activist function, listening to Daniel Ellsberg discussing "The Pentagon Papers". That happened in 1971, yet 40 years later he was still talking about it like it was yesterday. It seemed what defined him. I didn't want Abu Ghraib to be what defined me and 40+ years later still talking about it as such.
Ray McGovern once told me that instead of getting out of the Army because things were bad, maybe I could stay in and be an agent of change. I didn't stay in the Army at the time, but I fought my way back in. I might even eventually retire one day. Imagine that.
There is hope for the whistleblower. It doesn't have to be the end. It can be the start of many new beginnings.
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