By John Counts
November 24, 2015
He was sentenced to 18 months of probation, but was put in touch with the Battle Creek VA for substance abuse treatment, as well as treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder. "They were more interested in helping me than punishing me," he said. "It was hard work. But it was stuff I could do. They didn't require anything."
Earl "Gunny" Christensen at his home in Holt Monday, November 9, 2015.Earl "Gunny" Christensen couldn't tell the Fourth of July firecrackers from incoming enemy fire.
(Danielle Duval MLive.com)
So the Vietnam veteran drank. A lot.
On July 3, 2012, Christensen estimates he had about 20 whiskey drinks between noon and 10 p.m. while he was bar hopping in his hometown of Holt, near Lansing.
Christensen says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. "During the Fourth of July I got to get drunk to pass out. So I don't have to deal with all the fireworks and explosions."
Christensen went to four different bars. At the last bar, the bartenders wouldn't serve him. As he was leaving, he crashed into a parked car in the parking lot.
"I backed into somebody at a bar and I drove home," he said.
He recalls police showing up at his house and conducting the sobriety tests there, long after he was out of his vehicle. He blew a .218 percent and was arrested for "super drunk" driving.
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