Thursday, February 16, 2012

How a tweet to a hashtag saved a soldiers life

I was up late last night not able to sleep and a friend of mine came online on Facebook chat who is a member of British Forces and all he said "Dave one of your Twitter followers saved my life" I asked to explain and what he told me left me speechless and he asked me I would share with my group members anonymously.

'' I don't want to have my name posted here but I wanted to share my story with members of "Thank A Soldier" & @Thankasoldier's Twitter followers as if it wasn't for one of them I wouldn't even be here right now to type this.  Last night a friend of mine had his status as "Twitter is for losers and kids with nothing better to do than try and get that Justin lad to talk back to them"

I beg to differ.

I had returned from my fourth tour in Afghanistan about a year ago and currently on medical release from the Forces due to an injury I suffered while on tour.  I have been having awful flashbacks since my last return like when I'm out getting groceries one evening with my now ex girlfriend I heard a baby crying and I started freaking out and had to leave the market and wait in the car.

If I'm out in traffic and I see an old beat up pick up truck stopped at a traffic light I will stay far back from it and have even done a uturn to stay away from them all together.  I haven't had a good night sleep since I can't remember but you know what I'm proud of everything I did and don't regret it one bit and would go back again  in a flash.

I have pills to make me sleep, pills to stop panic attacks, and about a month ago I had reached the breaking point, I posted this on my Twitter at 3am in the morning.

"What happens if I mix a full bottle of sleeping pills with anxiety meds"

I wanted to kill myself, to end all the pain and take no more pills, and I guess I wanted to see if anyone actually gave a shit.

Not even 60 seconds I got a response from a woman in British Columbia, Canada simply saying "Please follow me back if you need to talk"

She was one of @Thankasoldier's followers who had seen him send me a "Shout Out Tweet" on #SOT (Support Our Troops) hashtag a few weeks before.

We started sending a few messages back and fourth and she told me she was a friend of Dave Murphy's (The guy who runs Thank A Soldier) and she would call me if I wanted her too.  We connected on SKYPE and this woman and I talked for about four hours.

She was a military mother who's son in law who was not in the military took his own life a year ago so she saw the pain it causes the family and ofcourse her directly.  I was taken back that this stranger cared so much as I was talking with her on Skype more messages started coming in and strangers from all over the world as well as friends asking if I was ok and yes thanks to my angel from BC I was.

We talk every few days and she's almost become like a second mother to me, although my family and I aren't close they haven't really talked to me since my first tour to Afghanistan but I'm working on that.

I am not going to post her name but when @ThankAsoldier posts this I know she will see it and that is my way of saying Thank You.

Sorry this email is so over the place but my point is don't give up no matter what and there's always someone out there who cares........... even if it is 10,000 miles away.



  1. What an amazing story, sad in a way though that a stranger can often help more than family. Glad to hear this soldier is doing OK.

  2. Love this, thank you so much for sharing. You are not alone! Believe me when I say the world is a better place with you in it.

  3. its story's like this that let me know that when i serve in the future i wont be forgotten nor neglected. i typed a comment on a post somewhat similar to this and a very kind woman who i will not name sent me an email (i had listed my email for the person to email me if they needed to talk) and in the email she said what i had posted for the person in pain to read was very kind and she was happy with what i had said and to this day months later we email eachother frequently talking about topics or just to see how the other is doing and to catch up and this makes me feel more conected to the people i am training to protect. like your case as well i commented on yet another post like this one and yet another woman commented and with an encouraging word because i explained that i had tried to take my life on more than one ocation. in the end what im getting at is do not doubt that a small group of thoughtful people cannot achive something amazing like saving this individuals life. if someone needs to talk this site is perfect because there are many thoughtful people here trying to help those who have fought and those who suffer. from my understanding of servatude the soldier suffers emotional, metal and physical wounds of conflict and the family suffers emotinal strain as well but it is their love and the love of their friends that get the soldier though and that is why i will only blog on this site and others like it because men and women can find comfort here from complete strangers and find a sence of community and that is a beautiful thing. it is truly a great testiment to human kindness and good will towards thy neighbour.

    Pte. James

    P.s: if you need a ear to listen and words of encouragement i am here brother. my email is

    (the words contained in the email adress are "evan" "james" "canadian" "forces" excepte there no spaces and no capitals on the words, people tend to get messed up with it being a long email)

  4. I read the email and I care too because I know why you're having the anxiety attacks and it's because you've experienced those sounds/vehicles/situations in a negative way too many times.

    I'm a emotionally supportive people so if you want me to be in your supportive group, I'd be honored.:) I'm @TLCallsen and Terri Callsen on Facebook.

    I recently released an ebook called I Am Normal... If You're Bipolar and it takes about repeated exposure, anxieties, depressive symptoms and I included photo poetry to go with each chapter. I'd give it to you for free but I'm giving part of the proceeds to Mental Health Non Profit Organizations.

    I'm telling you about my book because I know how much it can help you not feel so alone. :)