Fueled by the first signs of my marriage failing, loneliness, isolation and spiritual guilt (being a practicing Buddhist but being in a profession and culture of militarism) depression quickly spread rampantly in a severe downward spiral that summer. I began a process of isolating, my military unit taking a hands-off approach with me and thus inadvertently increasing my isolation, until on the morning of 09-09-09 I attempted suicide alone in the dark in my barracks room.
Memorial Day in the U.S. is about remembering the women and men who have given their lives in service to our country. I have personally known dozens and dozen of soldiers who have SERVED this country. I myself was a member of the Indiana National Guard from 1991 – 2007.
But, I’ve only had a close, personal relationship with one person who has given their life in service to us. That man was Richard Blakley, and I would like to honor him today. He was one of the best friends I’ve ever had.