“At Rock I’m getting to talk to people and come to an understanding of what each of the twelve steps means.” -Darell
Today, Ben and I are chatting with Darell, who served 13 years in the United States Air Force as an EOD. We talk about his challenges post-service in the military and his progression of alcoholism through childhood, the military, and how he found solutions to his addiction when he returned to civilian life.
Growing up in New York, Darell can’t remember when alcohol wasn’t in his home. His first memory of his grandfather around the age of three was giving him tobacco to chew. So Darell spits it out, and his grandfather gave him a beer to wash it down.
Growing up on a farm, he always had early morning farm chores with his siblings. His older sister would drink beer with his dad after chores in the morning. In addition to the morning alcohol at age five, he also remembers large parties at his farm where his parents would truck in kegs of liquor.
At 14, Darell was an addict, inviting friends over for drinking parties. “Once I started my goal was to get blackout drunk.” He refused to stop drinking, and as his disease progressed through his teen years, he came to a point where he would drink an entire bottle in one night.
Darell says, “I wanted to get away from where I was because everyone was on their second or third DUI.” He realized that this was where he was headed if he didn’t change his environment. Since many of his family members had positive experiences in the military, Darell thought this would be an excellent way to sober up and reclaim his life.
“For me it was a no-brainer just do what you’re told and you’ll get through this,” he says of his first days in the military. His job was to dispose of explosives and other weapons in his unit. He spent three tours abroad, disarming bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Listen in and find out how Darell was able to get alcohol while on tour, why being in the military didn’t stop him from drinking, and why he decided to quit drinking.
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