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My Story, My Connection: True Partnership

January 07, 2019 | 3-minute read

Read Stories > My Story, My Connection: True Partnership

Daniel and Sara have a history of serving others — he as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years and she as an active-duty Navy member for almost 20 years. As a vehicle operator in the Marines, Daniel served “all over the place” — Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, the Mediterranean.

But like many other Veterans, he felt lost when he left the service. “I was transitioning out of the Marine Corps,” Daniel says. “We had a brand-new baby. I was becoming a civilian, and I was a spouse. We were going through this crazy transition. I lost an identity. I lost who I was. My entire life was being active-duty in the Marine Corps — and now I’m not.”

I lost who I was. My entire life was being active-duty in the Marine Corps — and now I’m not. Daniel

Daniel drank a lot before he joined the military, and the habit continued — and increased — during and after his service. “Throw [in] being a Marine, PTSD, combat tours, being in a motorcycle club … all these things compounded [my drinking].”

He decided to make a change.

“Your life is going to take one path down a very dark road, or you can go the opposite way,” Daniel says. “And that’s what led me to decide to get sober.”

Together, Daniel and Sara learned to be open and honest about their challenges.

“There were struggles in the beginning with some alcohol,” Sara says. “But you communicate and talk through it — and we’ve gotten so much better as a couple.”

Now, Daniel has found the positives in his life that instill a new sense of purpose — reconnecting with his buddies from service and providing for his and Sara’s daughter. “I think about her future — what she’s going to be like as a child, as a teenager, as an adult,” he says. “That’s led to bettering myself. Trying to better my family … trying to better the world that my daughter, my children, grow up in.”

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