Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald

My Service

I am an Iraq War Veteran, I served in active duty / army for 5 years in the Military Police Corp I was honorably discharged from the military in 2013. I was stationed on Joint Base Lewis McChord and conducted Law Enforcement operations, as well as Schofield Barracks  Hawaii.

My reintegration

My reintegration into the civilian sector, it started off me enjoying the new found freedom for a short time. I had broken up with my girl friend after a year and few months of dating because of  a ton of issues I was having, and I tanked our entire relationship. It all quickly turned dark as my medical condition when released from the military was extremely poor.

I was dealing with depression, Myofascial Pain Syndrome (Chronic back pain), torn ligaments in both my ankles, anxiety, I was over weight and found little joy in my day to day life, I was drinking all the time because my pain medication wasn’t helping.  I was taking about 9 different medications daily multiple times a day.  On top of all of this I struggled with this impending feeling of loneliness  the culture shock coming from active duty to being a civilian was horrifying. I never felt so alone, broken, and filled with self pity.

Now, as of current I worked and fought my way to a healthier life, had surgries on both ankles, continue to try and manage my chronic back pain as well as other injuries. I am on no medication now.

My Photography Project

My reasons of doing this project is my way I can give back to the veterans community, by raising awareness of issues we are left to deal with. The photos will speak for themselves but there are tons of issues that are not being talked about. All I hope is that my photos are a way to invoke a conversation.

The Photographs

 I took these photographs with the intentions, and thought of what is happening in the veteran community that people need to know about. Many of us are going through a lot of different struggles, but we all are connected in these struggles through our service we need to stay connected and show other veterans that they are not alone in their struggle.

What I have done since I’ve been out of the army.

I recently was certified as a tier 2 operator, I got very passoinate about the project I created and decided to keep persuing it, my project is still in motion and continues to gain traction and to catch the eye of people in and out of the veteran community.

No ones perfect, but every veteran has a responsibility to take care of themeselves when they reintegrate and find a new mission. Find out how he can serve his community or give back to the veteran community. Or just get fucking healthy again and never stop fighting your battles with the VA and your own pursuit of happiness.