Produced by John V. Turner
I’m going to read you an excerpt from One Man’s Mission, a three-year-old story, but one that continues to resonate to this day in positive ways. A little background: Corporal Ozzie Martinez had hit rock bottom. After returning home in 2006 from two tours in Iraq, he suffered from depression. His Marine Corps company had taken the most casualties out of his battalion, and he says he had survivor’s guilt. He put on weight. He was self-medicating with alcohol. He was separated from his wife. But luckily he turned things around, starting Operation Wetvet, which aims to shine a light on PTSD.
Through Ozzie, I learned of a statistic, that roughly 20 veterans a day commit suicide nationwide. In 2017, veterans accounted for 13.5 percent of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults, and constituted almost 8 percent of the U.S. adult population.
These men and women have trouble coping with PTSD, and acclimating to civilian life, which can lead them to dark places. Ozzie’s mission is to help them manage their PTSD in healthy ways, which includes taking them offshore fishing.
Operation Wetvet is still operating to this day. At first, they were focused primarily on combat veterans suffering from PTSD. Three years later, they’ve expanded their scope to include both wounded/disabled veterans and first responders.
I love seeing this guy succeed. If you’re wondering how you can help, head on over to operationwetvet.org and click donate now. Your contribution will help get combat veterans, as well as servicemen and women, out on the water.
As for Ozzie, he started The Post Traumatic Survival Podcast, which can be found on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. And since then, he’s taken the reins of his own radio show on SiriusXM 470, titled the Semper Ozzie Show, which you can check out Monday to Friday from 11 am to 12 pm eastern standard time.