First Coast News
December 28, 2015
"I attempted suicide three times by overdose. Fortunately, I was trained so well that I can't even kill me." Paul Mikeal
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Paul Mikeal was a trained machine gunner, a kill team leader and he's a Purple Heart recipient.
His wounds are both physical and mental.The Army veteran's story is sadly a familiar one; returning home from war unable to leave the past behind.Paul Mikeal serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan (Photo: Paul Mikeal)
Mikeal's problems are deeper and darker than many can imagine. He served two tours in Afghanistan with the Army -- from 2008-2009 and again in 2011.
"I ran at bullets for a living and found those people who were sending them my way and returned the favor," said Mikeal.
"That was the reality," said Mikeal. "I wanted to die, I didn't want to be here. I wished that I would have died in Afghanistan so I didn't have to face what I was facing now."
He watched four close friends die during that time and says he too wanted to die after returning home in 2013.
Medically released, he says he had to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction problems and divorce all at once as he tried to adapt to life as a civilian.
read more here