Episode #21: AWOL From The Marines, Child Abuse, And Escaping Death With Recovery Coach Shaun Coffey

INTRODUCTION:

Shaun Coffey is the co-author of the stigma-breaking book, “Boys Do Cry.” A collection of true stories by men who overcame adversity and gender conformity surrounding their mental health and emotions. He shares his life experiences in hopes that it reaches someone who needs to harness their self-worth and overcome obstacles standing in the way of their truth.

He currently holds a Recovery Support Worker Certificate in the state of New Hampshire and works as a case manager for a transitional housing program for veterans experiencing homelessness. He graduated from the same program in 2014, he states that “Helping others reach their potential when they sometimes can’t see it” is the most rewarding and inspiring thing to watch.” It is this passion that led him to create talks and open up conversation and communication with audiences all over New England.

He is a father to a 9-year old daughter, an ultramarathon runner, and a music enthusiast. He is a man with a mission: raising awareness and bringing to light just how amazing life can be if you’re courageous enough to take the first step.

INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):

·      The Dangers Of Toxic Masculinity

·      Growing Up With An Abusive Dad

·      Boot Camp In The Marines & Going AWOL

·      Memories Of Drug Experimentation

·      Sobriety Vs. Recovery

·      Harm Reduction Defined

·      How Shaun Became Homeless

·      How Shaun Escaped Death

·      Veteran’s Concerns & Benefits

CONNECT WITH SHAUN:

Website & Speaking Engagements: https://www.shauncoffey.com

Books: (BOYS DO CRY) https://amzn.to/3vCcKS2

         *Book Royalties Donated TO – (CALM)* https://thecalmzone.net

Email: Info@ShaunCoffey.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shauncoffeyspeaks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/willows_runner/

 

DE’VANNON’S RECOMMENDATIONS:

·      Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)

https://www.netflix.com/title/81040370

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs

SDJ MEMBERSHIP (FULL EPISODES):

·      $2.99 per month.

·      Donate any amount for 30 days of access.

·      $25 per year.

https://www.sexdrugsandjesus.com/membership-account/membership-levels/


TRANSCRIPT:

[00:00:00]

You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to. And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right. At the end of the day, my name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world. As we dig into topics that are too risky for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your.

There was nothing on the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.

De’Vannon: my guest today is Shaun Coffey. And I’m super excited to be talking to this man because he is also a military veteran like I am, and it is my first time having a fellow vet. On the show. Now he co-authored a book called boys do cry. The front cover is really stimulating because it actually says boys don’t cry and then don’t, it’s crossed off.

And then it says to do, because [00:01:00] this book is all about breaking the stereotype and challenging the stereotype about what men are and are not allowed to do in terms of their emotions. With a particular focus on mental health. So in this episode, we talk about his abusive dad. He was also homeless. Like I was, he barely escaped death as well.

Like I did, he has his own strong history of drug use and everything like that. And now Sean is a recovery support worker in the state of New Hampshire and he, is helping other veterans in particular come up in life. Get a handle on drugs and become stable and everything like that. And I really found this was a very cool conversation and it was really, really, really, really nice to sit down with someone who also served in the armed forces.

Shaun, thank you so very much for coming on the show today. I am so glad that we were able to connect. [00:02:00] How are you feeling, man?

Shaun: I’m good. I’m really good. I’m glad that we were able to get connect on broad match.

De’Vannon: Yeah, it is a, a wonderful, wonderful website. I think Alex and Phillipa has done.

That’s their job and and yeah, I look forward to it and I haven’t ever had a chance to talk to anybody who has military experience, like I have to. So we’re going to be talking a lot about that today. And so give us an overview of your history, just a brief overview, because we’re going to get super granular and detailed with it here in just a minute.

And tell us just some highlights of your background and your successes and failures.

Shaun: I grew up in a single parent household with my dad. It was, there was a bunch of child abuse, a lot of a lot of trauma surrounding that, you know, that period of time went into the military and you know, you and I spoke before.

So we’ll, [00:03:00] we’ll get into that later too. I’m sure. But you know, the whole, the discharge scenario and just kind of. How that all played out. And then you know, my father passing drugs and just, you know, ad type of behavior there and then kind of like a aha moment and steadily climbing the stairs, getting, getting to where I am now.

So I, that’s a pretty,

De’Vannon: and then we’re going to be talking about your contribution to the, to the, to through your book. And you are also a certified peer recovery support worker and a speaker.

Shaun: Yeah. We’re a recovery support worker. And also do a little bit of speaking on this stuff

De’Vannon: right in your website.

And everything’s going to go in this show knows because your website gives a lot of a good breakdown of the. Have you have your topics speaking [00:04:00] because you do one series or one presentation called addiction to recovery. And another one is called courage required. And I think that it’s great. I love anything that’s organized direct to the point and also thorough at the same time.

And it looks like that that you’d be quite a great speaker. Now, this book is called, boys do cry. I love the cover. It’s like bright summer orange. And it, at first it looks like it says, boys don’t cry. Then there’s a line across don’t. And then it says do instead. And this book is a compilation of stories from 12 men who were being really authentic and transparent.

I love the fact that all the book royalties go to two nonprofit agencies as well, which is super fantastic. And I think that there’s a quote from the beginning of the book that I’m going to read by Jane Evans, who is an internationally renowned childhood trauma [00:05:00] parenting and anxiety expert. I think her quote really sums up the heart of the reason why Michelle, the overall author, a composer of this book and author created it.

And in Jane Evans says that raising boys to hide their feelings, increases their sense of overwhelming loneliness. Emotions are gender free. Everyone feels every feeling it’s part of being human. Tell me what you think about that quote.

Shaun: I think when it comes down to it, everybody does feel the same emotions. It’s the interpreter that you know, may cause conflict or may I guess shade, the areas of conversation with. Breakdowns happen. You know, all through that book is, like you said, it’s 12 men who, who basically, you know, looked at adverse Citi or looked at you know, gender norms, or [00:06:00] I guess if you break it down.

So it’s like, you know, you get into a group of guy friends and you know, somebody is sensitive or somebody, you know, crying about a girlfriend or something, and it’s immediately like in a bitch or like, oh, stop being a girl or, you know, and all this stuff. And so, I mean, even when you’re, you know, you’re young, you’re bred to be this macho type of person, like men are hunter gatherers, they go start the fires they meet and they do all these things.

So that, you know, it becomes. Not okay to do those things. And what this book embodies is 12 men who have literally made it okay. To do these things in their own, you know, family system or in their own bubble and were accepted. And so you know, like in, in my situation you couldn’t show emotion in the house.

So I’m 35 years old sitting in front of the therapist and I can identify my own emotions because you know, like [00:07:00] just the way that the, I guess how that all

De’Vannon: right. And I like how she takes the gender out of feelings. You said feelings are genderless. I think that we start teaching our children that it will make for a much better world absolutely expectations of people that really shouldn’t be there.

And so. So basically you’ve come full circle. We’re going to talk about, you know, you know, you were homeless you’ve you had trouble in the military, you had the abusive household, and now you have channel that into public speaking. Now you’re an author and and also the certified addiction recovery work that you do too.

And so basically the, this trauma has become quite triumphant for you, and now you’re using this to help people. And so the point of this interview is to use your transparency, to help other people out there, especially since you’re a big, strong masculine man, willing to go here [00:08:00] with your emotions, I think is really going to connect with a lot of people in the, in the Britain down some barriers that really need to be broken down now.

Go ahead. So

getting an amen from the choir. Y’all hallelujah. And now in your book, you write that a childhood for you was like like a dream where you were drowning and struggling for air. Not a lot of people would define their childhood that way. And so, and you write that your dad was abusive in all ways. So for us specifically, in what ways he was abusive

Shaun: as far back as I can remember. I can tell you the things that I’ve I found out later that will help people, I guess, put the pieces together. But my dad was had [00:09:00] affective, which is kind of like a schizophrenia was a bipolar addition to so there’s he’s he has that going on before manic, depressed, you know, like he was very manic at times.

So a lot of the time I would be being physically beaten and within 10 minutes after that he would flip the switch and just be this most loving, you know, airing dad. And I’m sitting there kind of being like, you know, you’re saying you love me, but I’m like, you’re this, the person that’s close to them is doing these things.

So twisted right from the start. So it was a lot of physical abuse, but then you’re not good enough. You’ll never amount to anything. So we started to add in the emotional that, that’s what I mean about kind of all forms physically, emotionally. There wasn’t any ever like sexual trauma but like there, there was just all forms and with him, nothing was really off limits.

I mean, like I. Closed fist punch that would happen. I mean, I can remember times [00:10:00]happening at dinner. So there was no, like, he was like a match, you know, and you had to be careful because you don’t know when it was going to get so that it was all, that’s why I say it felt like I was wondering because or, you know, it felt like that you never knew what was going to, what was going to happen.

It was always just pressing.

De’Vannon: Right? Well, I’m so sorry that that happened to you, man. And cause back and forth, you know, hot and cold, good and bad, you know, could fuck up. Anybody’s mind. It reminds me. My dad, when I was reading this, I was thinking about like my dad tube, because he was a, he was a total bitch, you know, to us growing up.

And like you write in your book, you know, your dad wasn’t all bad. There was, you know, he was there for you at times as well. And I would say the same things about mine, but that still doesn’t excuse the bullshit. And so there were times, and I don’t really remember what I did. [00:11:00] So, so terrible. Like one time, I don’t know, like it was the same way.

I didn’t know what would set him off what I would get like a whipping for it in the south, they take off belts and then they beat the shit out of you. Like one time he, he, with me so bad, I had like swollen webs all the way down. Like my wrist, all the way to almost like the crease of my arm and in my grandmother had to put like cold towels on my arms to get to, to try to stop the swelling now.

That’s way past chastisement and whatever that’s supposed to be. And that’s just straight up physical fucking abuse in the story. And you know, he yelled and screamed and hollered. He would yell at me in front of my whole school gymnasium and stuff. It was a whole hot mess. And it’s very curious, you know, we both have these abusive households and we both ended up in the military, but it happens a lot.

You know, I was an air force recruiter for three years and people come to the, to the military as a form of [00:12:00] escape. Like every day, you know, they’re walking into the,

Shaun: I felt like I had like my family is police and military. So there was a sense of me feeling like that was a route for me. Right. So my dad was in the air force as well.

He was we, I was born in the baby. I forget the name of it, but Madigan army medical center in wash. So he, he had that, this mentality, like where literally I had gloves I would clean my room to go to gloves. Like no bullshit. I would clean my room to gloves. And like, if. Ford’s put in the wrong spot.

He would Jack my room up really, really bad. I can remember one time being probably 11 years old. I thought I was going to be smart and hide some stuff in the closet. And then I had a trundle bed with a pullout drawer and I stuffed a bunch of stuff in there, but he came up and took that out in the middle of the room, picked up a double size white box, dumped that in the middle of the room, all the drawers, all the [00:13:00] clothes and the hangers, all that was in the middle.

And I was made the duke to clean it. I got like in a butter and jelly sandwich and something you know, but I stayed in there until I, until I was done. And it was like, I don’t want to say like psychological warfare, but like, that’s the type of stuff that he used on me all the time. You know, it was just like mycological games.

Like you’re going to do what I say when I say how I say it. And if you don’t like. The keeper of your consequences, you know, it was just a battle like that all the time. And you also wrote just to keep

De’Vannon: it in the vein of the psychological games, you were saying you would go visit your mom and then while you were there, he would like call you and say, nice, try to get you to come back.

Shaun: Yeah. Like, like he would make up like, oh, I’m going to go over here. I’m like, I don’t know this person specifically, because like, that was, you know, it was a long time ago. I for, for the time that I was like five to like 21, [00:14:00] I may have seen for a total of like four or five months. In that whole period of time, you know?

But my dad would do these things where he would send me out there and I’d be out there for like a week and I’d get a phone call and he’d be like, how are you doing? You know he would basically be telling me how awesome it was back at home and what I was missing or what he was going to do. And would make me basically just hang the phone up and look at my mom and say like, mom, I want to go home.

You know, and I’m supposed to be there for a whole summer and I don’t make it. So you know, I guess what it boiled down to is that he was super codependent on me even as like young. But I found out this and honestly like super, honestly like only a year ago that my dad was like, my dad was like a really bad dude.

Like he did stuff to my mom and, and, and. Surrounding the divorce and stuff. And my mom kept it from me for the longest you wanted me to not have to, you know? And so [00:15:00] you know, I’m 42 and just, we just literally had a conversation maybe three months ago blew my mind and I believe my dad just haven’t gotten.

A lot of people say like you know, I’m sorry you had to endure that. Or, or what? And I feel like I have so much trauma that it becomes like, would it, you know, it’s just another thing where, you know, I’m in therapy now with the same guy for like three years. And he’s like, no, it’s not just another, you know, just another thing, but I call it like a trauma back.

Right. And so like, if you’ve grown up or you’ve had a lot of trauma being in the military, probably there’s, you know, significant almost, but like per se, like something happens and then you’re like, damn, this hurts. You get the PTSD and all that stuff. But when this stuff happens on a daily basis and a lot, you just keep putting it in your overfill on that backpack.

And you got like the Hansel and Gretel, like all of it’s following you and you have to turn around and pick it back up. Like it, it gets to a point where. So that [00:16:00] normal people are like, that’s fucked up. And then you’re just like, eh, you know, it’s just another thing. So but yeah, he was, he was psychologically just like it, it jacked me up a lot.

I mean I, I was getting picked on at the bus stop and there’s an, our bay window looked across the street to the bus stop where we lived. And my dad’s telling me, you’re getting picked on out the window and I got pushed and I I’m across the street, go to the door and I go to open the minutes locked and I knock on the door.

He like, give me your backpack. Okay. Here’s my backpack. He’s like, you’re going to go walk across the street and you’re going to kick the shit out of that kid. Or you’re not coming back in here. Go stand up for your, you know, like stop being a pussy pretty much. So from a 10, 11 year old, you know, like that to a 10 or 11, you know, putting those expectations on, on me, but it was like, You’re a bitch, go, go across the street and handle it.

And that was the first time I really listened to him. And I walked across the street and I told the kid to put his backpack down and I saw my father and I just went nuts and I beat the shit out of him. [00:17:00] And, you know, 15, 16 years later, I see the guy after all the, you know, we can get into that. But like, I see him, I’m like, Hey man, how you doing, man?

You know, just obviously it was over, but like that’s the kind of person he was like, you go, go handle that and then come back and I’ll let you back.

De’Vannon: Well, I’m so glad you made it back, you know, in the car that day,

your mother wasn’t there for. Four months in between five and 21. Was it because of what your dad was doing to her or was it for some other reasons too?

Shaun: Like, yeah, like I said before, I didn’t really know this, but like up until I just recently had a conversation with her, but like he he would, he would just he’s he was bad, you know what I mean?

Like he, it was just stuff that he would do. Things that he would say phone calls. I can say real quick. I’m not sure how old I was. Maybe [00:18:00] it was before I was six, but he picked me for visitation and basically kidnapped me, drove me from Washington to Oregon. We went to a Bible revival, if you can picture that.

But it was like this huge revival in this huge campground. And my stepdad and my mom found me and we, they showed up to the campground was a sheriff and the sheriff was like, Hey man, No. Or you had to take it back. I guess my mom said this happened twice, but but yeah, he just was a bad dude and like, he would make her life hell when I was there, it was this poaching.

My mom said she had to come to a point where she was like, I have to do this, you know, for, for you. Because how much would it have been if we continued that pattern of back and forth, back and forth. And I’ve said this on podcasts before, but it’s almost like this is mom. This is that. And you’re going.

So when I’m with my dad, I had to hate my mom. When I’m with my [00:19:00] mom, I don’t have to hate my dad, but I don’t really, you know, I didn’t really talk about just because of what was going on. So it was this big push and pull and my mom just cited, like rather than put my son through that you know, it was the way it was.

And I found out later that a lot of it, majority of it was just how my dad was really, you know you know, sometimes people would hold grudges against their parents, but for me, it’s like I did for a really long time. And then that’s how we had that conversation because I said, I hold this grudge, this and my mom broke down.

And the first time I heard my mom really break down like that. And like, it got to me, you know, and, and I understood at that point through our conversation, why she did what she did and she did it to protect I have a ten-year-old daughter and I would do anything what I mean. So I understood it on a parental level, but I also understood it on a personal level, which we kind of, there was a lot of years that we like in that moment when, when we were talking, [00:20:00] I understood, like I was hating for reasons that.

You know this entire time she’s doing this because of this or she’s whatever else. But it was literally because my dad would make it impossible.

De’Vannon: Well, I’m happy you were able to get reconciliation with her. And I can’t imagine that that would have been for her to make the tough call.

Shaun: I that’s where I had to go in that whole conversation.

I had to just go for, like, what, how was she feeling and use empathy? Like where was she gonna lean in and how was it affecting, people do what they do because they feel it’s probably, you know, in her situation it was probably the best thing for both of them. So I, she made the decision because she believed in it.

It doesn’t mean that I have to understand it at the time

now I’m totally okay with it. And, and, my dad’s been. He’s passed away since 2001.[00:21:00] So each year I feel like I get better. Like I’m healing, I’m letting stuff go. I’m able to foster and build a relationship with my mom.

De’Vannon: So, so, so the reconcile, the reconciliation that you achieved with your mother is important.

Do you feel like that that is because your dad died or is it because of the counseling, the therapy you’ve been going through? What put that sort of forgiveness and understanding in YouTube, be able to step into her perspective?

Shaun: I’m gonna, I’m gonna solely put that on my therapists, on my therapist.

She’ll, we’ve gone through a lot of, a lot of, information with, just, you know, like. Going through all the years, talking about different scenarios, learning why and how they happened. , I’m also in school right now for a associates in human services. So I’m taking my own psychology classes and I work in a mental health and substance fields.

So [00:22:00] if, if you culminate all that together, it’s like I learned something from school, bring it home, take it to therapy. My therapist obviously went to school, so I’m bouncing stuff off him. And then I’m living real-world situations at work or through myself. So a combination of that, like, it that’s pretty much where, where it all like know center.

De’Vannon: Okay. And then the abuse continued until you join the military. Now you went into the Marines. I think you were 18.

Shaun: I had my birthday in boot camp. I think I turned 18 in boot camp or I,

yeah, I I’m 13

De’Vannon: weeks. Yeah. So tell, tell me about how, how boot camp was 13 weeks. I did six and a half weeks in the air force and I [00:23:00] went when I was 17 and it was complete hell. And tell me about how it was, you wrote about some hazing that happened, you know? Yeah.

Shaun: So like, like this whole thing, like Marine Corps for me was a Supreme act of defiance. Right. My dad was in there go to the recruiter’s office and said, okay, I walked in the recruiter’s office. I walked up to the air force door and it had the little clock that you put in. It said out to lunch, you know, be back or whatever.

So I’m walking down the stairs and I hear a door opens like. What is what’s going on? And I looked, and it was a guy in a really sharp uniform. He looked like you at a shift together. And, and as like I had an appointment at the air force office, I’m just going to come back. They’re not here. And he’s like, why don’t you come into my office?

And at that moment, I was like, I’m going, I’m doing, fuck my dad, you know, I’m doing, so I signed up, my dad found out about it. He, he, at one [00:24:00] point said, if you join any other service, but the air force I’ll break your legs. Like, oh, you know, all that stuff because I was so defiant. And at that point, I’m like, I’m 18.

You can’t say shit. This is the first thing that you’re, that means something, here’s my finger, you know, all this stuff. And he just said, you’re going to regret it, you know, and whatever else. So, three days after I graduated high school, I was on the bus to, to Marine Corps Depot in San Diego. At the end of the day, I would say that I could do bootcamp a few times over, like, I, I loved it.

Like it was it minus the psychological bullshit and all the, like all the yelling and screaming and stuff. , the physicality of it the mark, I really liked to pray deck a lot. Like, you know, I liked a lot of the stuff, so, , I guess we get into it, but I look back on it and I equate the whole entire military service with.

My father, right? Because you got a guy who’s, doesn’t even know you, who just [00:25:00] stands in front of you and now basically tells you you’re taking a shower. So you go in, you take a shower and they come in and they tell you how to, and then it’s like, you know, you earn the right to take your own shower or like if they were all in your face all the time.

And, , I re I remember my third week getting in trouble because a drill instructor was yelling at me and I had a smirk on my face. And it wasn’t anything. Why do you think that you’re affecting me? Like I come from this life or this, you know, this, so you’re doing all this yelling, but you can’t even touch, you know, at that point I was like, come on.

Like, it didn’t bother me a lot, you know? , and yet through military, , my dad actually ends up on top of the, you know, have you heard of the crucible at all? So at the, at the end of the crucible, yeah, at the end of the bootcamp, it’s like a 54 mile hump with, eight hours of sleep three days and like two and a half [00:26:00] meals, , to simulate like stress, I guess.

, so the last part of it is you go up to. Basically like a dirt hill. So you get to the top of its crest and they’re like one more and you get to the top of that one, one more. And then all of a sudden you hear like the proud to be an American song. 62 guys just crying. Like this is the last one when my dad was at the top of that.

So he actually got to see me graduate and stuff. But like I said, there’s moments of that where, you know, I do have like cherished, happy moments, but, , I equated all of that with, with my dad, like the bootcamp scenario. So you come home for 10 days, you go back to school of infantry and, , infantry is just basically a 30 day like you’re learning formations and tents and, , you know, and all this stuff.

So if you were in a non infantry MOS that 30 days would be shrunk into two. , so right off the bat, I show up, , I don’t think that, I wasn’t supposed to be infantry. , but somehow I ended up in the chase. So,[00:27:00] , I chose to be a lav crewman. , when we got into the school of inventory, there was some hazing we were told, like we were told to get on the back of, , dudes in the half and tells 300 dudes that we wore pink underwear.

, I was in a forced March where my feet got kicked out from under me and I hit the, I hit the deck pretty hard. , three other people were feeling exactly how I was feeling. And I was like, SFI was actually three times as bad as bootcamp. Like, I feel like those were the platoon sergeants were like.

Drill instructor job. You know what I mean? They were just pissed off with the world and it was, it was a lot worse. So, , at that point we all just kind of made a pact and said, let’s well, let’s leave. You know, I’m 18 at that point. Stupid. , I mean, I don’t think it’s stupid, but. If knowing now, , I wouldn’t have made the same decision.

I don’t think, but I chose to leave and go. , and so I came back, coincidentally, the day [00:28:00] we came back on base, the day that my SLI class was graduating. So the XOM, the CEO were like, you think you can just come back from the graduation day and graduate, like, you know, making a big thing of it. But we told them like, this is the scenarios that happen.

These are the things that happened. They investigated, but allowed the platoon sergeants to stay in their positions. And, , you know, they were telling us you’re going to get a bad conduct. Discharge. You’ll never be, oh, like all these crazy things. They’re like, but we’re giving you Liberty. I was like, well, if you give me Liberty, I’m going to let go.

And for the people that you leave on Friday, you come back on Sunday. That’s like your Liberty time. So it’s like a weekend off in civilian. , so I don’t, I told them like, if you give me Liberty, like I’m just going to leave. So I left, I contacted my dad the second, , I came back and when I came back, the, the JAG added my, , well, the court martial added my Liberty time into [00:29:00] mine, into my AWOL, which pushed me as a visitor.

So they said, we’re going to put you in a legal platoon. , you’re going to forfeit your rank

and 45 days in the brig. , so I did the court trial, , 30 days cause I got out 15 days. Good behavior. , the forfeiture of pay never happened. I got all like $3,600 or something and they’re on production number app. And I never knew why bill. I think we were talking about on the phone, during the pre-interview, but, , there was a pack in some of my dad’s stuff, and I had found that he went to congressmen and he actually made it up to the commandant of the Marine Corps and he basically made a false, so my bad conduct discharge earned into a general goal or a general under honorable conditions.

And my rank reduction never went through in my reduction in pain. So that’s, that’s, you know, pretty much I know [00:30:00] that was a long, long section, but that’s pretty much the, the military as a whole. My military life.

De’Vannon: No, thank you for the explanation, man. , the conduct of discharge can be a huge difference for you, you know, in life.

That’s a big,

Shaun: you know, about this because your recruiter, but the way that the military or the way that the Marine quarter gave, gave me the finger when I left was they gave me a general under honor, but they said having Ari for, for, for the rest of your life, I couldn’t get back in. And hindsight’s 2020, and this is I think, important to know, but I spent the next 12 years, four or five times a year on packing them, , an army recruiter, air force recruiter, trying to find out when regs changed going through my red file.

, the Marine Corps actually made me do IRR after they discharged me from the military. So I spent four years in IRR. , After I had [00:31:00] gotten removed from the military with labels. That was kind of weird individual. I’m sorry. So basically you do, when you, in the Marine Corps, you do four years active in four years, inactive that way, if something happens and they need to reactivate you, you know, they, they can, but it seemed odd to me that they wanted me to do, , the individual ready reserve because I just was out of the military after, you know, a dessert or at a certain whatever.

So, , yeah, it was, it’s just, it was really weird. , but you know, I got out of the military spend a little bit of time in California. My dad came to visit out in California and, , he was so codependent that I actually ended up moving my stuff and driving back probably four or five months after I got.

De’Vannon: Well, that’s a good, like, you love your dad. I can hit tell. Now I, I want to know, , about this, the military prison, that brigade. Now, when you say you were in jail [00:32:00] for what was supposed to be 45 days, it sounded like you said you served 1530s. Is it like, cause I’ve been arrested like three times and I’ve been to like city jail, county jail.

I’m wondering the, like the same. I don’t know if you’ve been to like a regular jail before.

Shaun: I got, I got messed around with more in, in like my jail barracks than I did in my bootcamp air. Like I got shaving cream and boots. That was the first time that I got my sheets tied for, and for people that don’t know, they sold your cheap half and they tie it into the rack underneath so that when you go to put your feet in, you slide your feet right through sheets and you have those for a few days.

So now you’re sleeping through sheets that have two holes in them, you know? So, , but yeah, I got messed with more, I would say I’ve never been to a, a regular, you know, like a, either a city jail or prison federal. And I mean, I’ve been to them, , then in them, but never been, you know, inside[00:33:00] one. So that was my first experience and I, and I, , It was not that, you know, , we did PT in the morning.

, we went out on a work and party afterwards, so we would go to like certain sections of the baits and like we’d whack, like some of the areas or, you know, we were like, , prison landscape is what I did now. That was, that was my job. So they told me at any point, you know, at any point during your 30 days, if you want to go back reinstate and finish out your, your service, you tell your CEO and, and go and do it.

But at that point I had such a bad taste in my mouth about how they treated the, you know, that type of hazing stuff and, and, , you know, treated people in general because they told us once we can get out of bootcamp, we’d be retreated with the respect of the, of a Marine. , and then we go to get into our, , unit and it’s like, you guys are still shit.

And like, , after dealing with that for three. Was that like [00:34:00] there, I didn’t see a point. , and, , I learned at that point that I was equating the military with my father and that was going to be a problem moving forward. So I did try to go through a psych situation and try to get removed for psych reasons.

, but that didn’t work out. So that’s why the,

De’Vannon: well, good job identifying that connection between the, your father in the military and making, taking the steps to make changes. Now, speaking of your dad, I want to go to a very moving scene. You, you talked about the, you got a phone calls, , your dad hadn’t been doing well.

He had like, , like fibrosis of his lungs and, , and you got a phone call saying you need to take a flight, hurry home. , walk us through from the time you got that phone call until, , Until the time he actually died. And cause the last words that you said to him where something like, , he asked you how you were doing, you were like, well, I’m good that I’ll be there soon.

You said, I want, I want you to know that I love you. I understand you did your best and it was good [00:35:00] enough. I forgive you. , but to walk us through from the time that you got that phone call saying, Hey, you need to get home until you told him that

Shaun: the night, the night it happened, , I got five phone calls.

So if I want to woke up the night before, you know, instead of like nine o’clock in the morning, if I woke up overnight, I have maybe made it there. , but for whatever reason, I was just like, probably somebody needs a ride or you know, something like that. , so nine o’clock in the morning I get to college, his best friend says, Hey, , your dad’s not doing so good.

And you need to think about. The, , you know, coming home. So I was like, okay. I had my girlfriend at the time, drive me to the airport. I’m going through every terminal, finding the fastest flight there. , and we had, you know, the means to just pay for a ticket, like right at the, at the counter, at that corner.

So, , as I’m getting the ticket, he calls back again and says, your dad’s awake.[00:36:00] Here he hands him the phone and my dad just had labor breathing. And I just remember, this might be the last time that I say anything to him. So I’m going to leave him with, I know he did his best. And like, even though we both know it wasn’t good enough to him, he thought it was.

And so I didn’t want, I just felt the need for myself to be able to let go of. My, you know, my child at that point, I mean, I was 21. , so I kinda just, you know, said, as you said in the, or I, I put in the book and just kind of forgive and let them know that I, you know, I did love him and he did his best and like, you know, , so we hung up the phone, , about 15 minutes passes and the, his friend calls again, and he said, Hey, so don’t, don’t worry about rushing your ticket.

Your dad just asked. , [00:37:00] so it was almost like he was waiting, you know, to, to, to talk to me. And, , after he got to talk to me and hear my voice now is enough for him to like,

De’Vannon: well, yeah, again, I’m glad you were able to get that reconciliation.

Shaun: Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t a very, it wasn’t a very long conversation.

It wasn’t very deep because all he could do was breathe hard. , but you know, he did say, I love you back. And, , you know, I think at the end, when I forgave him, he said, thank you. And, , and that was it. And that, and that’s enough for me and I, and that’s enough closure for me to move forward because I got to tell him that it’s like, no harm, no harm, no foul, or, you know, no hard feelings, however, you know, however you say it, but, you know, I’m going to move on.

And then this part really sucks to say, and I say this all the time, but when I got that call that he passed, I literally felt any [00:38:00] relation. , At the same time that I felt shame and guilt and in, you know, feeling bad and, and all kinds of mixed emotions, but I felt you laid it as, I didn’t have to live under a thumb anymore.

I didn’t have to be physically abused. I didn’t have to be cold. I was shit. I didn’t have to answer to him. I mean, I had already kind of separated myself around like age 20. , I was already just still getting into drugs. So I was, you know, going further and further away. And that was the, the F use in the midst of phone calls.

And, and so part of what I’ve said to him in that moment was because for the previous few years, I kind of was like, I I’m 18, man. Like I lived with you for a little while. Thanks for the, , for helping me through. But like I’m on my own now. And like, I have to answer to you. , and so I really started distancing myself.

And kind of felt bad because I knew he was codependent. And, , just knowing like [00:39:00] maybe what he was doing in the time that I was gone. But also the previous 16 years. , that’s why I left now. Like I could base my decision off of, , like tangible, solid facts, you know, this stuff I’m not going to live in that type of it’s, you know?

De’Vannon: Right. Absolutely. They’re not speaking of drugs. Tell me, when did you take your first drug? Give me like your kind of drug history, rundown and what types of drugs that you do. Yeah, so

Shaun: all of the discussions, , you know, I go into high schools, colleges, , non-profits really anywhere that, you know, does gender awareness and.

Art’s like this kid asked me if I had ever smoked pot. And I was like, what’s that? You know? And, , he was like, oh, it’s just like a cigarette. Like makes you feel funny. And like, whatever. I’m like, what kind of, [00:40:00] what does it make you feel like? And he’s like, it makes you forget everything, you know, you laugh.

And it’s like that whole thing that I heard was it makes you forget. And then we went down to his basement. And to this day, you, you know, you’re, you, you, when you go back to situations and you’re like, I had a fish that was this big, but in reality, it was like this because you can’t remember. Well, I still to this day say that it was the biggest joint that I’ve ever seen in my life.

But, , we sat in the bulkhead and smoked the whole thing and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right. I didn’t feel my dad yelling. I didn’t feel scared to go home. Didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel hurt. I felt happy. I felt like I was with a firm, like I’m in a good time. And that was something that I’d never endured before, because I, it was just me and my dad.

Like I would go out with friends, but. You know, I didn’t have a lot of fun because I was always having to come back home to a peace is [00:41:00] needs and stuff. So, , that’s the first time and he was right. And then, you know, it turned into, oh, you do this, how’s it gonna make me feel? Oh, you’re not going to. Okay, cool.

So I just started on a tear, you know, weed cocaine, , went into the military. , of course this was after, you know, after the military, but I went in with all the stuff that had happened in the military. Plus my dad dying. , I got a $50,000 life from, from my dad’s death. And I ran into the wrong people, , at the very wrong time.

And I ended up spending 25 grand on, on meth, , in, in, in Colorado Springs. And, , That’s really where it started. I would say probably by the time I was 22, I had no that money and I was just like pounds of it at a time. So, , yeah, that’s pretty much where it started. It went [00:42:00] until, , probably 2000 around.

I relapsed once and that, and then we went to like 2008. So from right, roughly 2000, 2001 to 2002. , but it was recovery at that point. There’s difference between sobriety and recovery. And the premise behind that is if, if, it’s called harm reduction. But if you’re. If you’re a heroin addict and or you use heroin, I don’t like the word addict, but if you use heroin and, , you stop using heroin, but you start smoking, , it’s the lesser of two evils.

So sobriety is, is pretty much what they say, like straight edge, like doing nothing. Recovery would be a harm reduction model where it’s like, I’m not doing this, but I am smoking pot. Well, not shooting two grams of heroin a day. Isn’t, you know, and smoking pot that, that I would call that a win. So a lot of people use that modality.

So I would say that I stayed in recovery for [00:43:00] awhile. , but, but yeah, I, , that was, that was pretty much the end around 2000.

De’Vannon: , how did you end up homeless though?

Shaun: That all started when I was using drugs. , I started getting in with the wrong crowd. I never really had one place to stay. I stayed with a couple roommates and then I had to get out of that situation. , I was on the street. , I ran into a guy that had parked the camper at a moving a moving storage block.

So there was a bunch of 18 wheelers and his little camper was parked behind it. And I would sleep in that. And then the cops came in and said we had to get rid of that. So, , I, that, I was just kind of like a transit and I was just the white kid that had a lot of money. , you know, I could stay in hotels.

I could, you know, I just made do with what I had until that money was gone, blew through that, that, that initial 50,000 [00:44:00] in about.

De’Vannon: Meth is inexpensive drugs. I know I used to be a dealer and I used

Shaun: to

be cliche, but, , and I don’t like, I don’t like to glorify it is like a pretty large, significant, and part of my, of my past, you know? So, , I, I, you know, there’s a point in the book that explains that whole scenario of being in the closet and, , and you know, having to hide from, from the people that, you know, I was basically getting all my stuff from.

So, , that was really the turning point for me when I knew, like, I’m never going to touch this again. , so I came back to New Hampshire from Colorado and, , which is, , where I’m at now for, for if you said that in the, , in the intro book, but, , You know, I, I came back here and I started to, I started to DJ [00:45:00] like out in Colorado.

And so I brought that back here with me. , it ended up being something I was really good at and I started to create a following. Well, all of a sudden here comes ecstasy and ketamine and GHB and all the rave drugs. And, and, and I was like, I remember what it feels like to like, be like the partier, you know, whatever.

So I just dove into it again. And that was, that was about a, about a six year relapse. , and one day I was just like, you gotta, you gotta cut the shit. Like, what are you doing? , so, , all, all the times that I got sober was all, it was all just me doing my own thing. Like I just quit. That’s pretty much the extent of my drug use.

De’Vannon: I can identify with the couch surfing. I ended up homeless after I got HIV and, and the drug and the cops came to raid [00:46:00] me because I was causing too much of a scene. And he used sitting. So that’s how I ended up walking the streets sometimes on my, like, my mom would send me money or buy me a room. So I slept in the back of a car before or just, you know, or just with just walk all night, you know, that’s and there was definitely a lot of drugs in the mix.

I was pretty much how I most days. So then how did you pull yourself out of addiction? Cause it’s cause you, you, you started doing drugs, you came into the money, the people were after you and in the book you told, you know, you were in the closet You know, that that was very powerful story, you know, wrapped up in the fetal position, hugging your backpack and crying and your girlfriend’s closet.

Yeah. Bad guy. And so did you get out?

Shaun: , I jumped off the, I jumped off at second story and ran to a Greyhound. And it much, like you were saying, your parents would like help you. , I called my mom and she was like, we’re not helping you. And I was like, if, [00:47:00] if you don’t like, I’m going to die. Like that it’s literally like that right now.

It’s not like some people say like, you know, like you’re dope sick or something. And like, oh, I’m going to die. Like, you know, I was literally had 13 people driving around the city looking for, so, you know, , I think they understood that. And, she helped me and then she was like, this is it. You know? , so everybody started to stop the enablement and I would.

Looking at my life from an outside perspective, like you new enough that like, it is a mess, like doing meth, like that almost killed me. , and now I’m sitting, you know, after my mom had helped me in everything and now I’m sitting in a new situation, , I just knew like, what are you doing? You know, like, , so I ended up, I ended up, , my daughters, we found out about my daughter in 2010.

, I was after I kind of, [00:48:00] well, I went through some stuff and I was living in a, , like a transitional housing. So I go out to a smoking hut and, , I hear a guy talking about like, he moved, he was from Colorado and he’s talking about drugs and, you know, and all this stuff. And, , Long story short. She basically knew the people that I used to get drugs and he called back to Colorado.

And all the people where we were living at, he did a check on me and that it was unsafe for me to live in the building. So they literally act all my stuff up while I was at work. I came home at six o’clock. They said, we need to talk to you, pull me into a room and said, this is the story I called my parents.

At that point, I’m on my stepdad. I was like, do you believe this is happening? Like they said that they were going to help me at that point. I don’t think I ended up needing it, but they gave me $400 and said, go stay in a hotel. And that was it. Right? So the executive [00:49:00] director of that program, , called a friend of hers and I ended up living in the program that I, I work for.

Right. , so that was right around 2015. I went in there. , so. Between 2008 and 2015, my daughter was born in 2011. , when my daughter was born, that’s when this, this just came over me, like your life needs to change. Like you need to drastically do things different because you’re not taking care of, , of a, , another human same time.

I’m like, holy shit, I’m taking care of another human. But , just like dumbfounded. Like I can’t even take care of myself and now I have, you know, and, , that’s really what pulled me out and like what smarten me up. And, , I knew that. 20 18 20 18, 20 19. I started there, , at school and I’ve been stayed working in the substance use field because through living in that, in that [00:50:00] program, they they’re a non-profit.

So they deal a lot with substance use and they have different substance and they offered me a job in one of them. And I like took off, like I’ve really excelled with it. And they were like, you’re really good at this. Boosted some confidence and said, you should start taking some courses and certificates and certifications and, see where it takes you.

And that was 2016. And I haven’t really looked back since it’s just been a steady, I mean, I’ve paused, you know, like I always tell people and clients and you know, probably yourself like the easiest way to live life as a footstep at a time. Because if you need to stop at any point, you can. But just try not to take it, you know, and, and lose that step.

So, , it’s been just a steady progression from there. And then, and that’s really how I’ve, , looked at things and approach things and been able to put stuff behind me and just move forward and learn [00:51:00] more stuff about myself and just immerse myself in,

De’Vannon: well, you know, life-changing circumstances like getting the kid can change people and make them silver up.

I’m glad that, you know, that was a good motivation for you and that you ran with it and, and have, have been able to, you know, find a job that brought you into an atmosphere of greater sobriety. And then, you know, you’ve turned that into, you know, that’s like you’re calling out and now you’re helping other people, which is, which is what it’s all about.

I have to agree. I think that harm reduction methods. Better than regular sobriety, different strokes for different folks. But I like it, it seems to be more lenient and merciful. , I’m not overly fond of the traditional, like anonymous movement, recovery programs and myself having been into rehab. And, , and so, , so I mean, so that’s, so that’s, that’s awesome, you know, and [00:52:00] I think it’s important when like, people like you and I have received very strong.

Deliverances no matter what it is that you believe in. , you know, you do understand, you know, that you were in a very disadvantageous situation. You could have died, he didn’t die. Now you’re alive. You know, that is for a reason, you know, it is not to be kept quiet, it’s to speak, you know, in a tale to tell your story so that you can help other people and in every kind of way.

Shaun: I guess people that have kind of come from our Walker have endured hardships and stuff. You always end up with an imposter. Like I lived my entire life, even with all the trauma and with all the physical abuse and all that stuff, knowing that there was somebody out there that had it worse. But for the entire time that I was saying that I wasn’t realizing that sure.

There probably is somebody out there that, that had it worse than me, but like it did happen, you know, like I’m not sure if I’m portraying, right. [00:53:00] But, , I’m not giving this situation power by saying, oh, somebody else has it worse. Like, don’t worry about me, you know, trying to like put, push it off. You know, so there’s, there’s that.

De’Vannon: But what I wanted to know, and we’ll be wrapping it up there shortly. Anyway, what I wanted to know before I give you a last word today is what were they after you for it? You owe them money that they just feel like they wanted to take.

Shaun: So there was, there was a lot of shit that happened where Earlier on.

I had been woken up with by the barrel of a gun tapping on my forehead, somebody telling me to get my ATM card and we’re going to the ATM and you’re, you know, you’re not going to do anything about it. It happened to do with those guys. There’s this whole thing that said I ratted somebody out. And, and which, if you knew the caliber of the people that we were dealing with, like that was ends in death, like why, w why would you, why [00:54:00] would you, you know, just, if you look at it from a movie standpoint, like you’re not going to rat somebody out and then they’re not going to be like, oh, you know, come back after you.

So the main guy who we were working with. Wanted to kind of clear names. So he brought me to a mall. We were having conversation and we were going through a Macy’s or some type of a department store. And he was like taking stuff off of a rack and putting it on or going into a dressing room, putting it on really shady behavior, like, like you’re going to steal stuff.

So I basically told them like, you know, there’s lost. Like they don’t just have cameras. They have like people that walk around and we’ll catch you. Like, you probably shouldn’t do that. So we get done, he tells me take you sunglasses and go pay for them. I’ll meet you outside. So I paid for the sunglasses.

I went outside. He was nowhere to be found. He actually ended up getting picked up by the lost people. They caught him stealing and he called from jail. To my second guy, the guy that I was working, he was like the dude underneath him, [00:55:00] he handled like. Money and like knowing contacts and stuff like that, there was like real people on like that I associated with.

So he called one dude and that kid called me and he was like, you’re fucked. Like, you’re, you’re done. Like I would do. I would just find somewhere to go. And I was like, I didn’t do anything. We got into a yelling match on the phone altercation. I called a friend of mine and I just said, dude, I need you to come and drive me to, you know, my girlfriends.

I forgot that they knew where my girlfriend lived. So two people showed up asking where I was. I was in a back bedroom. He basically talked to them, kind of smooth it over. And then they left and within 20 minutes more knocks on the door, except this time she came back and told me, like, you need to get in the closet, you need to hide.

Okay. So that’s, that’s how, that whole thing, how that whole. So it was just a miss miscommunication and the guy being stupid. I said, you’re going to get caught. I was like, no, I’m not. And he got caught in that and pretty much,[00:56:00]

De’Vannon: well, I’m glad you I’m glad you’ve made it out and that you were able to run. I think I read that you ran four miles to the to the bus station earlier. Sometimes you have to run. When I left Houston, I didn’t run for miles. I ran from the cops to way more than probably four miles one night, because I didn’t want to go back to jail.

That’s another story there, but, but I had stolen, like if he was like chunk of meth from the guy who I think snitched me out that got me drug rated and then he was after me and everything like that. So I. I think my brother bought me a Greyhound ticket to leave, but Houston overnight, and I had to get the

Shaun: hell out.

It’s weird. It’s weird. How similar.

De’Vannon: Right. And then that’s how I ended up back, you know, living with my parents, you know, begin my whole rehabilitation process. When you got to move, you got to move, you got to get the hell up and her up

Shaun: nowadays, nowadays I face things, you [00:57:00] know I don’t put myself in precarious enough situations to have that flight or flight.

And if I do, it’s probably a, a good fighter response that I can go back to therapy and just say, like, I had this feeling and we work it out and there’s not really much running for me. And one positive of this whole entire thing.

De’Vannon: Right. Okay, Sean. So I’ll just go ahead and tell everybody your final pieces of advice and your, about your website and your social media and your book that you’re working on.

Shaun: So I would start off with the, with the social media stuff. I have a Facebook that is called it’s backslash. Sean speaks, I have Sean coffee.com. My Instagram is willows underscore runner. So it’s like the, like a Willow tree. So a Willow’s underscore runner. And that’s predominantly where I do a [00:58:00] lot of the work.

Like there’s quotes, there’s parts of my life. There’s just snippets of me thinking about things. A lot of motivational stuff. The kids or people have an addiction. So there’s that you can get the boys do cry books still on Amazon. That came out in 2018 and we are in the middle of working on kind of like a prologue or where are you now?

The the book that I’m working on now, I, I don’t really have much information other than it’s in the works. Been in the works for a really long time and I kind of just grabbed some of the reigns and started to take all of that. So it kind of goes a little bit of that, that the story from boys do cry, but it elaborates on more of the the childhood trauma and how that affects you know, how that affects you into adult.

So, you know, there’s that. And then if, if I was going to give a final message to somebody or to, to the people listening, I would ask for. Them to practice. There’s so much stigma [00:59:00] nowadays, and it doesn’t even have to necessarily be in my realm. It doesn’t have to be in substance use in the LGBTQ community.

It could be in schools, it could be bullying, there’s so much stuff, but just for people to pack this action, because a lot of people want to talk about their problems. Very few people want to talk about solutions. And that’s one of the biggest mantras for me. And that I tell people, you know, in talks is you’re part of the solution because you’re not doing anything, talking to somebody about their own you’re you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re trying to get across your point of view.

And the other portion is trying to get across their point of view and there’s no common ground. So for me, it would just be to practice, compassion be empathic and just try to be better, you know, today than you are. That’s really what I live by.

De’Vannon: Amen brother. Both since you since, well, since we brought up the next book, give, give us a little snippet and a [01:00:00] teaser so that the book is going to cover what’s happened since you wrote the last, last book, which came out in 2018, kind of like a, where have they been now?

What, what is one significant, impactful thing that has happened since the first book?

Shaun: If I could say in totality, I would just say therapy. I didn’t know until I was 38, I’m 42. So I didn’t know until I was 38 that I had 88. I sat down with my therapist and he was probably like, what the fuck is going on?

You know? And he had mentioned like, maybe, maybe this is a thing. So I go and talk to my psychiatrist at the VA. And it was almost as if he just literally looked at a piece of paper and started. Right. I kind of was like everything. Okay. And he’s like, oh yeah, yeah. He’s like, I’m going to put you on this medication and we’ll see how it goes.

I’m on the med for like three weeks. And I go into my therapist’s office and he’s like, I don’t even know who you are. Like, you can formulate sentences. You can keep attention for more than 10 minutes. You’re [01:01:00] identifying, you know, like emotions and, and, and other things. And he was like, literally, like, it was just a godsend like that.

A lot of people are against medication, but I can live in an ADH D world for so long that like, this was like a clarity understand you, like, you can actually talk and I can sit here and listen to you without like interrupting you and say, well, but my story, or, you know, I know, you know, like just like interrupting you and stuff.

So a lot of these things I found out late in life, but I would say it’s probably the, the therapy piece because that’s where I’ve made the biggest gains to understand more about myself and to be able to kind of put more perspective and more thought and more meaning this next.

De’Vannon: Absolutely. I’m happy that you found help with the VA.

Not everybody kids, kids say that

Shaun: I have actually found this VA to be very helpful. And before we leave like a huge part of that story is that for the entire time that I left the [01:02:00] military, I didn’t know that I had enough time in grade to be eligible for benefits. So I went through this whole entire home homeless period and all this drugs and all this other stuff, and I never knew that I was eligible for the VA healthcare.

So I finally get the VA healthcare and I go to school, right. I’m going to school. And I was literally 42 days past my GI bill, like the 15 year point of my GI bill. And they wouldn’t give it to me. So I lost $75,000 in school, money from the military. But I guess my point is that I didn’t know that I was eligible for, for the benefits.

I ended up living in a a military transitional housing, which is where I work now. I work in the same place. So had I been able to know this beforehand, things might be drastically different, but I like, I think he would say do like, everything happens for a reason. And I feel like that not knowing that had led me down roads that I needed before, before I could move on.

So [01:03:00] the VA actually has also been a godsend because. Probably seven or eight surgeries in the last that the VA has helped. So everything happens for a reason, but just going on a tangent, I guess, as a VA, but you know, I do feel how you feel sometimes it’s, it’s hard to get a hold of people and, you know, stuff like that.

De’Vannon: I, that could have been clear. I was thinking specific to VA mental health, which has been a hot mess from my down here in dealing with the ones like in new Orleans and Baton Rouge. But yeah, for any veterans out there, you there’s a, there exists a thing at the VA called the eligibility department.

I used to do a

Shaun: compensated work therapy

De’Vannon: program, which is like where people who are used to be homeless, a drug addiction. At the VA, but not really for the VA. So anyway, I learned about all this. So you can call your local VAs to speak to eligibility that they can run your record and tell you what you’re eligible for.

And then if you serve, like, I [01:04:00] think it’s something like one hour in the military, know if you’ve got a bad conduct, discharge, the VA, you can go to the VA for free mental health services. You know, you’re not completely out of everything, no matter what kind of discharge you have. But especially when it comes to mental health, the VA has to see everybody who ever served even.

It will even if it wasn’t, but for like an hour, a day or something, right. So call your eligibility department and who knows, you might have some benefits you could be missing out on overall though, the VA has improved. They, they got me like free housing and stuff and all of that when I was home with we trying to come back up.

De’Vannon: So, you know, I’m, I’m not saying they perfect. They’re not as much of a hot damn mess as they used to be though. So it’s, it’s worth the phone call. Yeah. So thank you very, very much, Sean, for coming on the show today, we’re going to get everything added to the show notes and and then we look forward to following you and hearing, having you back on [01:05:00] when your book comes

Shaun: out, I’ll get on.

That was, that was really good conversation. And I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to kind of put some of that stuff out there and, and hopefully touch some people and change hearts.

De’Vannon: Absolutely. My pleasure.

Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at SexDrugsAndJesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@sexdrugsandjesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.

My name is De’Vannon and it’s been wonderful being your host today and just remember that everything is going to be all right.

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