By SGT Jerrod Lee Osborne
Bravo Company (1-502nd Infantry)
Police Officer, Springfield Police Department
*This is an article from the Spring 2023 issue of Combat Stress
It seems like yesterday that I was there, so far from home, and depending on you. We deployed in late 2005 to Yusufiyah Iraq, this place called the Sunni Triangle of Death. We were all proud to be part of the War in Iraq, the 101st Airborne Division, and Bravo Company 1-502nd.
As soon as we arrived, we made Yusufiyah our home. We were met by both a loving village and one that hated us for everything we stood for. In that year’s time that we were together, I lost my sanity and some of you. AK-47’s, IED’s, and your blood-stained uniforms were all I could remember.
Reading the book Black Hearts made it worse. Even though it was accurate, it reminded me of all of the bad times and a war crime in which the majority of us had no part. Over the years since I have been home, I have been able to piece a lot of it together and the other 99 percent of our story the book never mentioned. Stuck in time, we are all there and I have come to realize that I will always be there. What makes it hard, is there is always a bad ending to my memory and the way I ultimately remember you.
Through self-reflectance, embracing who I have become, and letting go of who I once was before the War, I have been able to see the sunsets there. The way the sun caught all the ripples on the Euphrates River. I can see the palm trees and the little boy out herding his sheep next to the canal. The rustic little brown buildings and smell of freshly made Flatbread.
There are a lot of days that I cannot see the sunsets there and I can feel the anxiety flowing through me like a drug. One that I cannot stop and know all too well. At the end of a bad day though, I can always hope that the next day will bring that time I remember you and your smile. The hope you once had and the time we spent in Yusufiyah.
To Ethan Biggers, his family, the other members of Bravo Company who never came home, and all the members of the Armed Forces who continue to struggle every day. Every new day brings hope and a little more understanding to our lives and what we have been through. Even though we are all different, we believed in a common cause. I think that our cause now is to make sense of what we can and to forgive ourselves for what we cannot change. God bless all of you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SGT Jerrod Osborne was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He has served as a Police Officer for Springfield Police Department for 15 years and has made Springfield his home for the past ten years. He is married to Miranda and is the father of three beloved children.
SGT Osborne was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for five years. His father, Maynard Osborne, a Vietnam Veteran, told him never to join the Army. His father was also the last person he called before the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, for which Officer Osborne was deployed.
SGT Osborne was awarded the Purple Heart on 12 June 2006 for shrapnel wounds suffered due to a VBIED (vehicle-borne IED) ambush in Rushdi Mullah, Iraq.
Combat Stress Magazine
Combat Stress magazine is written with our military Service Members, Veterans, first responders, and their families in mind. We want all of our members and guests to find contentment in their lives by learning about stress management and finding what works best for each of them. Stress is unavoidable and comes in many shapes and sizes. It can even be considered a part of who we are. Being in a state of peaceful happiness may seem like a lofty goal but harnessing your stress in a positive way makes it obtainable. Serving in the military or being a police officer, firefighter or paramedic brings unique challenges and some extraordinarily bad days. The American Institute of Stress is dedicated to helping you, our Heroes and their families, cope with and heal your mind and body from the stress associated with your careers and sacrifices.
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