One Soldier’s Story

Dave was born in a small town in Oregon in 1983.

His father, who was an addict, ended up in prison after a dangerous encounter with the law when Dave was just two years old.  His parents divorced and he spent the next several months living in Texas with his paternal grandparents.

Dave, his mother, and his half-brother then moved to Iona Idaho.  His mother was married several different times and when he was 11 years old she married her lifelong partner.  They moved all over southeastern Idaho and he even recalls that one year they moved a total of 7 times!

Dave’s spiritual re-birth came in June of 1998 while attending Bible Baptist Church in Idaho Falls.  Pastor Shurdin Mackes led Dave to accept the Lord as his Savior and three months later he was baptized!

As Dave grew older he began to make some bad choices.  At the age of 16, he was caught stealing and his step-father gave him an ultimatum – either he would go to jail or join Job Corps.  He decided to go to Job Corps and he received training in cement masonry.  A very traumatic sexual assault from an older co-worker left Dave feeling alone and he kept that buried deep down until just recently.  Less than a year later Dave found himself witnessing the horror that was September 11th, 2001 in his parents living room in front of the TV.  That same day he went to the Army recruiters office in Idaho Falls, Idaho and the very next day he signed his papers enlisting in the United States Army.

Dave spent the next 6 years serving in the Army.  He served a hardship tour in South Korea, then entered the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Divisions in September 2005.  Less than a year later he was on a C-130 headed to Kuwait City.  After a 2:00 am arrival, with 113 degrees outside they were given just three days acclimatize to their new surroundings.

At one point, loaded into the back of a Black Hawk flying just 60 feet above the ground, Dave could hear bullets ricocheting off of the exterior of the helicopter. The next day, as they were hauling razor wire to an Iraqi police station, a bomb exploded on one of the trailers in their rear.  Dave quickly realized that no one could be trusted, everything looked suspicious, and even the carcasses of the dead dogs on the side of the road could be loaded with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In his 6 months spent in Iraq Dave saw so many horrifying things, things that would haunt him for a very long time. He was exhausted.  But, he quickly found himself on a ship headed for Florida.  In October 2006 a C-17 flight brought him back to Fort Campbell where he found himself welcomed by a 4-star General.

He was home.

Dave, no longer on high alert, did not fare well at Fort Campbell. He experienced nightmares, bed wetting, and cold sweats. Dave would wake up in the night, drenched in sweat. It was very hard to adjust. One night, Dave had such a vivid flashback that he ran into his living room and overturned the couch with a broomstick in his hand like it was a gun. He was terrified.

At Fort Campbell, Dave tried to commit suicide twice. The medical staff diagnosed him with an anxiety disorder. On the day of his discharge in December 2007, Dave could have been promoted to staff sergeant; but he instead decided to go home, back to Idaho.

Adjusting to life back in Idaho was brutal.  He turned to anything he could get his hands on in order to self-medicate. During this time he took a job working as a guard at the Bonneville County Jail. Dave continued to try and numb the pain with numerous substances and in 2010 Dave was diagnosed with severe PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

The next several years had Dave in and out of numerous treatment programs.  He found himself in a place he never thought he’d be.  Who was this person?  How had things come to this?

It was in October of 2017 that Dave walked through the doors at the City of Refuge Men’s Shelter in Idaho Falls Idaho.  He joined the “Works Program” the end of that month and it was in one of the daily Bible Study’s that Dave gave his life back to God.

Dave is attending regular Bible studies, participating in service work, and actively looking for a part-time job while staying at the City of Refuge.

We would like to ask you to join with us in praying for the Lord’s healing, spiritual growth, and blessing for Dave in the weeks and months ahead as he works towards becoming a God-dependant member of society again!

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:29