An incredible story of Amazing Grace . . . Glory be to God alone . . .
“As many as 18 veterans of American wars take their own lives in the United States every day—-more than 6,500 per year. Vietnam veteran advocates have estimated that suicide ultimately killed more of the soldiers who fought in that conflict than the actual war itself. The same trend is now surfacing among the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.” (taken from wsws.org)
We were flying out of Kuwait International Airport. I looked out the window and was relieved thinking it was all over. I leaned back in the chair and thought, I survived Operation Iraqi Freedom. I made it; it’s over now. Little did I know that a different war had just begun . . .
What transpired next was a hellish nightmare for my family and I. And if not for the intervention of God Almighty I would not be typing this.
The 15 years in the military (the last five being in a specialized tactical unit) had caused me to accumulate the stress of back to back missions worldwide. Upon returning from the Middle East they would send us down to Hurricane Katrina (for example), and then right back to the missions worldwide. The horrendous training in between the real missions really took its toll on the weak.
I started seeking help with three different civilian psychiatrists in Virginia Beach. I tried civilian psychiatrists because I had already invested 15 years and was hoping for 20 to get a pension. By the time I got to Texas to my new duty assignment it was too late. The psychiatrists in Texas perscribed a self-destructive drug to me called Prozac on top of all the whiskey I was drinking.
Around Memorial Day (2007), my family could not find me when they called the military. The military said that Miller was AWOL and not to be found. After obtaining my laptop computer my family found the gut-wrenching truth that I was researching suicide methods including a forbidden Pentobarbital only available in Mexico. They also discovered that I had taken a plane to Mexico where the “Nembutal” was sold. The countdown race had begun. The military began its slow process with NCIS. My dad hired bounty hunters and sent them to Mexico. My girlfriend called a close friend in the CIA to ask for help. Meanwhile I was down in Mexico taking triple the Prozac dose and going from being sad to being happy-sad. After finding out that agents were closing in I moved from hotel to hotel under disguise. Finally I obtained the suicide drug for $100 at a Mexican veterinary store. I told the clerk that I needed to put to sleep a very large perro. Upon reaching the hotel agents were looking for me. I quickly grabbed a cab to the airport and planned on losing them and peacefully dying in Costa Rica watching the sun go down.
But as God would have it, I had to make one last plane switch in Mexico City. It was quite a sight after the Mexicans identified me on the computer system– over 20 Mexican Federales chasing a gringo through the Mexican International Airport with a small bottle in his hand. I will never forget my fellow Americans’ faces as I ran past them. “Watch out honey! It’s a terrorist!” I thought I was doing better than some running backs, but they tackled me. When they took me back to their “special room” it was payback time. What happened there was just as bad or worse than all the PTSD that I had from all the tours. I wished that it was just the $500 that they stole.
A U.S. air marshal came down there and got me out. When I got back to the states the military put me in the brig. The service members had fun with me also, spraying me down all naked and other horrible things. That night in my prison cell I cried out to God. I took the little notebook that they gave me and I ripped out the metal piece in the middle and broke it making a sharp part. I started hacking my wrist. The nervous guard outside pleaded with me to stop. There was blood on the sink, blood on the wall and blood on the floor. On the way to the hospital I kicked open the back doors to the ambulance and proceed to jump on the police escort hoping to get run over like the dead dog that I wanted to be.
Four mental hospitals later, including more abuse stories, I realized that I had better start listening to God. Now I am painting for God, and thanking Him for sparing me. Many of my comrades were not so blessed. A 19 year old veteran took a shotgun to his head and his mom found him when she came home. Praise God I am still here!