Veteran finds unique way to battle depression

Dozens of veterans gathered at the Tomah VA to share stories at the hospital’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

One veteran, David Scarbrough II, found a unique way to battle depression and PTSD.

“If it wasn’t for the VA right now I wouldn’t be alive,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough never thought he would be in the Army.

“I didn’t really like school too much and I wanted to make money,” Scarbrough said.

But at 19 years old he didn’t see any better options.

“To me I looked at is as a free workout. I was in the best shape of my life,” Scarbrough said.

He quickly realized there was more to it than that.

“I was like what the hell did I sign up for,” Scarbrough said.

Two years later he was deployed to Iraq where his vehicle was hit by an IED.

“Truck flipped over and glass cut me right here and I cut an artery nerve, muscle. [I] almost bled to death,” Scarbrough said.

But Scarbrough says he’s lucky compared to his friends.

“One got killed, shot in the head Myers, and Q kind of died in an accident in a vehicle,” Scarbrough said.

He didn’t fully process everything that happened until he left the military.

“When you get out of the service all of that stuff hits you. And that’s why we use alcohol or substances to try and cope with it,” Scarbrough said.

He turned to alcohol to deal with his pain.

“I got drunk and passed out. Next minute I was trying to kill myself. I was cutting myself with glass,” Scarbrough said.

He was taken to the VA where he learned to channel his emotions through poetry.

“I’m a proud veteran that served my country well. Thanks to the VA they listened to my stories like this I had to tell,” Scarbrough said while reading a poem.

“I had a time where I was feeling suicidal, so instead of committing suicide wrote a poem about suicidal thoughts. And it’s like I committed suicide in the poem to get those thoughts off my mind,” Scarbrough said.

“The red the white the blue is what keeps me going, ready to fight this fight.

“The pain, the blood the sweat is what I think of when I see my metals and stripes in the light,” Scarbrough said while reading from a poem.

He’s now sharing his poetry to make sure veterans aren’t forgotten, especially on Veterans Day.

“It’s very important to me to make sure people don’t forget those that sacrificed their life for us to have all these freedom and rights,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough is asking people to help injured veterans this Veteran’s Day by donating to the wounded warrior project.

Veterans Day was created to honor the veterans of World War One.

The war ended exactly 100 years ago this Veteran’s Day.

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