Beauty

How an Army captain healed by falling in love with the beauty of the Middle East.

Trigger warning: talk of PTSD, addiction, and suicide.

Army Capt. Stacy Bare was afraid of becoming a statistic.

Back in Iraq, the term “veteran” concerned him. It spoke to addiction. Joblessness. Hopelessness.

He was determined to not find yourself hooked on drugs or alcohol like others. But the toll of war was real, and self indulgent wasn’t sufficient to get him through the difficult transition of adapting to civilian life and arriving home.

He soon found his fears coming into fruition.

“That is when ‘eight ball and wall’ became a thing. I would snort the eight ball of cocaine then attempt to run through a wall,” he says in a new documentary, “Adventure Not War.” “This was a fun party trick for me.”

Bare became suicidal. However, a telephone call from a military buddy.

“He asked me to put off killing myself for a couple weeks and come climb with him,” he says.

Bare agreed. And a fire sparked . It gave him a reason to live.

Shortly, Bare decided to return to Iraq so he could replace his memories there with something and to make some attempt at fixing the huge destruction he and his fellow soldiers had played a role in.

“I feel like I had a duty to return and learn more about the places and people that perhaps I had heard of or seen glimpses of,” he says.

Along with two fellow veterans — Matthew Griffin and Robin Brown — along with a film crew to document the journey, Bare set out to climb and ski the mountains of Iraq. Though, the crew spent time helping to give aid to kids, before hitting the slopes.

But it wasn’t only the fresh mountain air that helped him heal. It finding a way to replace hatred, being welcomed and adopted by the people there, and discovered a different side of the place that had haunted him.

This pilgrimage surely doesn’t erase what happened in Iraq during the war. Nonetheless, it shows that individual men and women can seek to not see a location as an enemy but something to be known and appreciated.

You can watch Bare’s amazing journey in the Complete picture below:

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/

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