Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? ….so many questions, so many things that needs to be answered. Welcome to my blog. I plan on this to be a weekly blog. I am a rookie so bare with me. I am learning as I go. This is the first blog in a series I am calling Casualties of war…defeating a silent enemy, and winning the battle at home. This first blog will be laying the base for my series.
My new mission…..
All of this is new to me. See I am a 37 year old disabled combat veteran from the United States Army but that’s not why I am here, lying in bed writing this blog. No, My reason is a story of pain, fear, failure, blood, sweat, and tears….that story is my life. It will be fully explained soon, but not now, I want to introduce myself to you.
My name is Zack Brown, no damn it not that Zac Brown (drives me nuts)…I was Zack Brown before Zac Brown was cool! I am a 37 years old single father of a beautiful baby boy named Eli, who is my hero and my heart. I am also a disabled combat veteran, an ex-police chief, a jack of all trades and a master of none. I am a Christian, a sinner and on a new mission that I believe was just shown to me by God. Yes I said that-By God. That statement right there…that’s where this blog comes from.
All my life I have felt a longing that I did not even recognize as even a longing. I have always been the person that people have been drawn to and always being the person that was placed immediately into a leadership position. Therefore, my motto has become…lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way! I had to grow up fast and in doing so I was forged into the man I am today. So long story short, just like MLK, I had a dream…
On December 8, 2015, I had a dream. Now, I am used to having dreams or is it nightmares? You better believe it, but this, this was a life changing dream. So let’s get right to it…
Standing in a dark, long hallway, behind a wall that seems to go on forever in each direction, I am in my army uniform. The wall is made of a two way mirror….thick and dark almost dirty and hazy. Standing against the thick glass, I see a woman in a wedding dress, and in her arms I see a baby in a pink blanket cradled in her left arm. In her right hand, I see my 6 year old son Eli holding her hand tightly. I hear the yells coming from them, they are yelling “Zack…daddy…where are you?” over and over. I begin beating on the thick glass telling them “I am here, I am right here!”, but they cannot hear me. My pleas are ignored and echo down the dark hallway in which I am standing. I can see a faint light coming from down the hall. It seems to be in a room separated by a huge door where my son and the woman are yelling. The light attracts me down the hall.
As I make my way down the hall I see a small room filled with pews, like an old time church. In each pew are men I have known, I have served with and I have lost. They are filling the pews from rear to front. Each one in the same form as I remember last seeing them last…some missing arms, some missing entire parts of their bodies just exactly how I remember last seeing them. At the front of the room is a casket draped with the American flag. Standing in front of the casket is my best friend Kevin Kyle (who just passed away in June). He is in his dress blues and leaning over the open casket. I can hear Kevin’s words and soon realize I the man in the casket. His words are strong and powerful “Brother, we are all here. We have all been here. You have to set us free. You cannot help us anymore Zack, stop dragging us around. You aren’t ready to be here”….each word ringing through my head….I can still hear in the distance my son yelling “Daddy, daddy where are you?”. I turn to walk back to see him again but the once lit room is now pitch black. All I can see is my faint reflection on the wall of glass. I turn and Kevin is standing nose to nose with me with his face held in a stern Marine look. I hear him say “Zack, it’s over, your life is over.” and his lips aren’t moving but I can hear him. I hear him say “It’s time Zack, you have been waiting long enough. Do what you are called to do or you will end up here, with us and you will not be doing anyone any good here. Zack, I have it under control here…time to wake up”.
That moment is when I wake up violently, covered in sweat and laying on my bedroom floor. Immediately, I feel my heart racing and my mind focused. I was scared, I was crying and yet I was at peace.
The next few hours, I wrote my plan and I wrote down the name of this series. I listened to God telling me He has been after me and it’s time for me to fulfill my purpose in life. So there it is… I had a dream and because of this dream I am going to share my life with you. Starting from the beginning and going through to the present. Every detail, the good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones. I refuse to not listen to my heart anymore. So please follow me on this journey and forgive me for my bare and raw writing skills. Please keep in mind these words are flowing from somewhere deeper than my intellect, its coming from my soul. This is my calling; this is my new mission…..