By Dustin Stevens. January 15, 2010
First of all I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I have been free of the Army for almost three months now. I have to be honest, life is hard out here. But I’m slowly aiming for my goal of inner peace. I have changed a lot in this past year. More so than even I imagined. I want to say something to those of you who are reading that have not yet followed your heart and for those who are still in limbo. You have only one life to live on this planet. Life is too short to be unhappy. Fight for what you believe to be right.
I tried to be what everyone else wanted me to be for so long that I gave up on any dreams that I may have had.
A conversation I had with a veteran last night got pretty heated on his end when I explained my situation. He told me that I would have to live with the fact that so many of my friends died for my freedom. My response was simply this. I quit because I don’t believe this to be a just war. True, a lot of my friends have fought and died and for this I am hurt. But how many lives have I and organizations like Courage to Resist saved with our constant message to follow your heart, your conscience, and no one elses?
He had nothing more to say.
I don’t have a lot of money, I don’t even have a place to call my own right now. I have my faults, but I recognize them now and with help from those closest to me I will overcome the hardships laid before me. I do have many things money can never buy, great friends, and a strong heart and mind. In that aspect I feel like the richest man on the planet.
So I leave you with this. Have no fear of the military or our government. Fear what you may think of yourself ten years from now when you realize that you were a follower of lies, and not of your conscience.
My name is Dustin Che Stevens, and I have made my choice, and for this I can look myself in the mirror and say well done.