a dangerous place to try to live a normal life. “Essentially my body ran on autopilot, but my mind wasn’t there,” said Air Force veteran Robert Kowalski. It’s how he describes his condition after returning to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio after nearly two years on deployment in Iraq. “Being a cop, I was arming up every day,” Kowalski said. “I came to, and I was already armed up sitting in my police cruiser and didn’t know how I got there.” Kowalski said he saw that as a sign to get help for the demons left embedded in his mind from his months-long stay on duty in southern Iraq at Camp Bucca, and in Mahmudiyah and the infamous Abu Ghraib area south of Baghdad. He was concerned about his mental health. But, he also held fears over going to talk to a mental health professional and the possible impact on his career. He made a decision that ended his career; he used marijuana to calm his nerves with hopes of fixing the problem himself. “My first deployment wasn’t too bad outside of mortar attacks all the time. It’s like fireworks, you just kind of get used to it… Read full this story
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