Bryan, thanks for sharing all this. It was great to read and I related a lot—I’m a Purple Heart recipient, joined to earn my “spurs” (and pay for college), weird transition during college, love writing and art, and sometimes the flak I get from people for the warrior ethos. That said, it’s made us more resilient than most in today’s current culture and trying to live humbly and to make things better.
As to your question about Eugene Sledge, a lot of people have asked me that and I honestly have no idea. I guess I should check into our genealogy. I do know that on my mom’s side we’ve traced military service as far back as a general who served under Napoleon. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were related though. A lot of my extended family comes out of the Tennessee and Alabama areas (and Sledge was from Mobile, AL).
Best to you and thanks for sharing your thoughts and story. I enjoyed them thoroughly.