Hi, my name is Kipper Breckenridge and I am a protective security officer that is contracted through the federal government to protect a social security office. Last year a young man tried to stab his mother and grandmother to death right in front of me in the lobby of the building. I had to shoot him to save the two ladies, who were both in critical condition, but survived. This resulted in the death of the young man and my life spiraling out of control.

My name was kept out of the news, even though it made the national news, to avoid unwanted media attention on myself and my family. I have just recently decided to out myself and speak up about it after dealing with a year of PTSD, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and financial problems with no support from the government, my union, or the companies I've been contracted through. Workers comp covers my therapy and medicine, which is good, but even though I still work the same job I bring home $1,000 a month less now due to the new company taking over the contract taking our extra health and welfare pay and putting it into a 401a (it gives them a tax break while hurting the 60+ officers on this contract financially), which I don't need as I already have a 401k. Right now I'm off 5 weeks for a medication change and sleep study and am only getting 60% pay.

I'm advocating for changes in the way we are contracted. When the contract first went into effect it was in the aftermath of 9/11 and only meant to be a 6 month temporary contract to make people feel safe in federal buildings. Almost 18 years later it's still treated as a temporary contract. TSA isn't contract, FPS isn't contract, DHS, ICE, and the list goes on. They are all federal employees with good pay and benefits. So I'm working on trying to find out why we are still treated as temporary and why we aren't granted the same benefits as federal employees.

I'm also advocating for changes in policies in the aftermath of a incident like mine, such as mandatory amount of time paid off and a mandatory number of therapy visits during that time to make sure officers mental health are properly taken care of unlike mine.

Link to my facebook post where I first came out about it and go into more details: https://www.facebook.com/kipperbreckenridge/posts/10215967037141498

Link to the original story after it happened: https://apnews.com/50eba13c79d847d7852c31ca6b4788cc

Link to the news story where I first spoke out through the media:https://www.wjtv.com/top-stories/exclusive-security-officer-in-deadly-shooting-at-mccomb-social-security-building-speaks-out/

Proof was submitted to mods.

Edit: If anyone has any advice or information on getting through to congress or anyone else that can help me gain support, please let me know. I've already contacted my local congressman, but haven't heard back from him. I've also filed charges against my union with the national labor relations board for failing to respond and properly represent me. Any other information I'd be grateful for.

Edit2: Thanks for the gold anonymous redditor. I appreciate it.

Edit 3: thanks for the silver. I'm going to bed now because I have to get my son off to school in the morning, but keep asking questions and I'll answer tomorrow. I'll keep answering as long as people keep asking. Thanks everyone.

Edit 4: I'm back up again and saw my son off for his first day of 6th grade. Someone I don't know contributed to my gofundme yesterday and if you were from here, thank you very much. much appreciated. I'll be available all day to answer any more question if you got them. I'm an open book. Ask Away.

Comments: 75 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

Boatstory29 karma

I’m really sorry for what happened. It’s crazy how one moment can change your life forever. I’m happy your putting towards something positive to help others. And good for you on making a mental recovery from something like that. My question is what was your lowest low and what was your highest high after the ordeal?

Hamsnibit34 karma

My lowest low would have been when I first started getting the symptoms from PTSD. Id never been through anything like this before and I always thought PTSD was from seeing you buddies killed in war or mistakingly taking a life or something. I had no idea that when you do something completely justified you still can have symptoms. I would be at work and doubled over in pain from my head and neck hurting. It hurt so bad I thought I had a brain tumor or something and I was scared to death I was going to die. When I went to the doctor and they asked questions about it they told me it was classic symptoms of PTSD. It also hurt a lot that my company at the time backtracked on their offer to pay me for as much time off as needed when the therapist took me off work for 6 weeks. Also, the fact that my union was a no show and still hasn't reached out to offer support to this day.

My highest high would be the support of my friends and family. Them looking out after me and checking on me means the world to me and has helped me keep my head above water.

CornerPieceOfPie19 karma

This is really insightful. Thanks for sharing. I’ve often wondered how people in your position deal with the idea that they may find themselves in a situation where they are forced to shoot someone, to save lives. The movies make it seem so easy, but I really don’t think it is for very many people. Real life is more complicated.

Based on the article this guy was a hazard to put it nicely- charges of statutory rape and sexual battery of a child just a year before. The legal system failed terribly and should’ve had this guy off the streets to protect the public. I think you saved more lives than the 2 ladies that were attacked by him that day. I think you are a hero. I wish a hero had been present when my family member was killed by her ex, and she lay dying while officers played stand-off with her murderer. Believe me, the world needs people like you. People who will act. People who will do what needs doing.

I’m truly sorry for how hard this has been for you. I don’t know if it helps much to know people like me, who don’t even know you, stand with you. I hope the light your shining on how protective security officers are treated will result in changes that will better your life, and others in the field.

Do you have much support from other security officers regarding the changes you’d like to see in employment practices? It seems crazy to me that you’re not categorized as federal workers. Are people rallying from different states to also show support?

Also, are there any state or nation wide support groups for people in your role? There must be others who have been through similar circumstances as you.

Hamsnibit16 karma

The security officers in my state definitely support the changes, but even though it's a federal contract, each contract is done by state so every state has different companies running them. I have no idea how to reach out and get in contact with all of these other state's officers. I'm sure many feel the same way though. I'm trying to figure out how to go about it. I've reached out to my local congressman, but have yet to hear back from him.

PTSD has a real stigma behind it. Like if you can't handle it you're lesser of a person or are weak. It's hard to shake that and get people behind you. My brother, who is in law enforcement, started a group on facebook to support people with PTSD, but it doesn't get a lot of attention. People are scared to talk about their feelings. It took me a year until I got to the point I would speak out about it to anyone other than my therapist. There's just this response to keep it bottled up inside. I didn't want attention. I just wanted it to go away, but I realized maybe my only hope of making something positive out of it was to speak up and gain it some attention.

scottwhitty10 karma


Don't let anyone including yourself blame you for this young man's tragic actions. Life can suck, badly but that's life.

Also, maybe a career change? God only knows, you might be faced with that situation or similar again. Well you still save lives or freeze?

At any rate my friend, take care of yourself. No one else will. Xo

Hamsnibit5 karma

Thank you for the kind words. I do actually want to change careers, but I live in a small town in Mississippi where the only options, are fast food, retail, nursing, physical therapist, and truck driving. That's all that ever come up in job searches. and I'm definitely learning to take care of myself, because no one else is.

Duke_Paul8 karma

Hi Kipper,

I'm sorry for what you had to go through, but I'm glad that you are still able to stick up for yourself and your fellow employees. What are some of the worse problems with (federal) government contracting, in your experience? What is the period of performance on your current contract--I don't know if "temporary" means they kept renewing the contract 6 mos at a time, or if it's a 5 year base with another 5 option years, or what?

Thanks for doing an AMA.

Hamsnibit7 karma

The contract is renewed every 5 years now. It's bidded on and goes to the lowest bidder. Sometimes this companies don't know what they are getting themselves into. Take the current company taking our health and welfare pay to get a tax break, great business decision for their bottom line, but everyone basically lost 20% of their income. A lot of people like me already had their own retirement plans and insurance and relied on that money to be part of their income to support those things. Now we are being forced to give that up for something I don't need as I already have taken care of that like a responsible adult.

Every 5 years you basically have a reset with new management, HR, etc... Doesn't matter if you've been a model employee for the past 10 years, to them you're just a name and social security number in their system. It just so happened that I was going through all of this when the company lost the contract and another took over. They didn't know what I'd been through and how good of an employee I'd been, they just needed a body on post when they took over. It was made clear to me that if I hadn't returned from medical leave by the time they took over that they would fill my post.

So you spend 5 years building up a good reputation, just for that to not matter anymore.

sodumb4real2 karma

Sucks. I’m on a government contract and the contract out of nowhere was taken over by another company and I got about 20% pay cut. Pretty demoralizing.

Hamsnibit3 karma

Sorry to hear that. I feel for you. It's exactly what I went though and it's hard to just out of nowhere lose 20% of your income. I don't feel it's right. If they wanted to do that for new hires coming in where they could explain it and them be ok with it, that would fine, but someone like me who has been on the job 10 years shouldn't be forced to do this.

I knew what I was going into with the job when I first started and prepared my whole life around it, and now it's thrown everything out of whack. My daughter is starting her 2nd year of community college and I have to come up with tuition that her scholarships don't cover by december. She doesn't have a car yet, something I was planning on buying her this school year, but can no longer afford it. I have debt piling up from all different sources. Just spent $300 on a sick cat. Other vet bills. Both my kids have ADHD and have to go to a therapist. It's just so much. And it's all so the company can get a tax break to maximize profits. It's all happening at our expense.

Everyone I've talked to on the contract is seriously demoralized. You know what you don't want protecting your life? A demoralized officer who is trying to figure out what bills to cut just to make it by. The should be focused and alert at their job, and everyone I've talked to is just beaten down and broken feeling and not at the top of their game.

sodumb4real2 karma

Sorry man. I’m going through rough times too. 10k in dental bills right when this pay cut hit. I’m in a different line of work than you, but it almost feels like a lot of different areas got hit by this? My full time government colleges and supervisor said they’ve never seen this sort of back pedaling before. Probably some sort of deal behind closed doors. Some guy gets to become a Congress man for saving millions of dollars and the guy low balling us on the contracts gets his yacht.

Hamsnibit2 karma

Sorry to hear that. I'm hearing similar stuff from all kinds of people. One officer had a large emergency room blll, one had just taken out a loan to get he daughters teeth fixed and then her husband died, one was a diabatic and was having trouble getting insulin. The whole thing is a mess.

AnotherAnonGringo1 karma

Now we are being forced to give that up for something I don't need as I already have taken care of that like a responsible adult.

Why can't you just stop your contribution to your personal 401k?

Hamsnibit2 karma

That 401k is through my wife's work and the company matches the contributions and it's been compounding for 15 years, so it would be silly of me to stop contributing to that which is matched. The 401k the company is forcing on us has no match and it's just a way for them to take our health and welfare fringe benefits so that they can get a tax break and maximize profits.

AnotherAnonGringo3 karma

A 401a is a very nice addition to a 401k - and has about 3x the annual contribution limits. But I understand the frustration of being "forced" to take it.

Good luck with your PTSD battle and kudos for having the courage to speak out about it.

Hamsnibit2 karma

Thank you.

amanuense4 karma

Sometimes we need to do hard things in order to do the correct action. I really wish you can continue to get the help you need.

How are you doing today?

Hamsnibit8 karma

I'm struggling. I'm off for 5 weeks due to a medication change and a sleep study at the end of the month. During this time I'm only receiving 60% pay though workers comp and I'm already in debt due to all of this. My son starts school tomorrow and my daughter 2nd year of college today. I'm supposed to be trying to relieve my stress, but so much is going on it's been hard to. I try to get caught up in shows or video games to help take my mind off things and that helps some.

carltheawesome3 karma

What would you most like to tell us that no one ever asks about?

Hamsnibit9 karma

Nobody really asks about much of anything, other than how I'm doing. I guess the main thing is my empathy for the family. As bad as my situation is, I can't even fathom what it's like to have a loved one turn on you and try to kill you and then to lose them also. I'm sure they have tons of questions that they will never have the answers to. I don't know if it was mental, or drugs, or what, but I wish he would have got the help he needed so that this never had to happen.

kingshmiley3 karma

Have any administrations made meaningful positive changes to the issues you’re presenting here? Likewise have any administrations made things worse?

Hamsnibit4 karma

No, there have been no changes. There is no training about what to do to care for yourself after something like this happens or if you have PTSD. I brought this all up a year ago to the Federal Protective Service who oversees the contracts and was told they would see about it, but they have yet to respond to me about it.

As far as making things worse, when the new company took over they decided to take our health and welfare pay from us, which is $4.41/hr. That is a huge amount of pay to lose on short notice. Basically a $10,000/yr paycut. Yes, the money is being put in a 401, but I already have a 401 and have no need for two. I was using my health and welfare pay responsibly to pay that and medical bills and such. It saves them on taxes, but has demoralized every officer on this contract. Now people are telling me they are sitting at work with their mind on bills and such, when their minds should only be on who's walking through that door, do they have a weapon on them, etc...

BenevolentNihilist12 karma

Do you think a taser would have been enough to stop him without killing him?

Hamsnibit23 karma

Possibly, but we don't carry tasers. I also had a very slim window to make a decision. When I first saw him swinging on them I thought he was punching them. It wasn't until the grandmother fell on the ground and I saw him swinging down on her that I noticed the knife. The whole incident took 9 seconds and he stabbed them 12 times between the two of them. He was swinging fast and hard. I knew the next swing could hit the neck, a major artery, the heart, etc... so I had to make the judgement then to pull my gun and fire as I couldn't live with letting him kill these ladies.

I fired one shot to the lower torso that I basically had a 1 second window of opportunity to make due to other people around him. I didn't shoot to kill, I shot to stop, and when he went down I got the weapon away from him. I honestly didn't think he was going to die, but it just so happened it hit a major artery and he bled out internally.

Frenchieinparkinlot2 karma

This sounds like it was very difficult for you to process, and I’m sorry you didn’t have non-lethal options available.

Hamsnibit14 karma

I was amazed when they showed me the video afterwards and said it was 9 seconds. It seemed so much longer in my head, and window of opportunity I had to draw and fire was so small. There was a guy running behind him, his mother was trying to pull him off and he started to stab her again and they were spinning around. I had this brief moment where the guy behind him was just barely past my shooting angle and the mom had spun until she was just to the right of him by inches. In my head it was like slow motion, but when I rewatched it I was amazed that I was able to pull off the shot that I did in that 1 second opening.

I'm thankful that I was fully aware of what was beyond him and timed it where I didn't hit his mother. When he fell, she did too and I was so scared I had hit her too. It's a lot for your brain to take in in such a short amount of time.

Iconoclast12310 karma

It sounds like a non-lethal option may not have been the best response in that situation. It was very close quarters (meaning he may not have been able to get close enough to effectively tase without getting stabbed himself, or missing the right spot, or hitting the wrong person), there wasn't a second to spare (edit: one more blow and someone might have been dead), people get tased and keep going if the adrenaline is high enough or drugs/mental illness is strong enough. No, as hard as it was, he did what needed to be done to save two lives. That doesn't make it any less shitty for him, but he stepped up and stopped a killer. If he handn't been there to take action, the outcome would have been very different. I'm sorry you had to do that, but it was fortunate that you were there.

Hamsnibit10 karma

Thanks, and you're correct. I wouldn't change anything about what I did. Any hesitation on my part could have been the difference in a killing blow landing on one of them.

Iconoclast1235 karma

Right before you commented, I was just about to edit my post to add that point - that 'there wasn't a second to spare' meant that one more blow and someone could easily have been dead. I'm glad you said that - about not wanting to change anything about what you did. That means you will eventually heal from it. The ones who don't heal from a trauma are the ones who are stuck in a place of wanting and wishing that it was different - like a spirit that can't move on from the place where they are replaying a moment in their life over and over, in order to somehow change it, when they cant accept and move on (I hope that analogy didn't sound wierd - its just what came to mind). I wish you the best, and thank you for being there.

Hamsnibit2 karma

Thank you for your kind words. I hope that I will heal eventually, but a year later and my anxiety is worse than ever, and my stress is compounded by the financial struggle this has put me in. I'm off now for a medication change that I hope will help, but I haven't been adjusting too well so far, but they did tell me it would take a few weeks or so for me to adjust.

Iconoclast1231 karma

I absolutely know that you will heal. I can hear it in your (online) voice. A certain strenght and resiliency, and a good outlook, even through the anxiety.

Shit can take years to work itself out. If there is anything I might contribute, it would be this (which I'm sure you are already doing, but still, it bears repeating): Have as many modalities as you can, don't just focus on one thing (like meds, which can be fickle motherfuckers): Good food (staying away from things that affect the brain, like sugar, alcohol, caffeine (some ppl are sensitive to wheat). Having a meditative activity, whatever it is (running, biking, doing something creative like finding an art form that you want to use to make beautiful things with, playing some kind of music, etc - whatever puts on in the zone)... Maybe joining a support group (Recovery Self-Help Mental Health is one, Emotions Anonymous, any other support group)... Looking into other kinds of healing modalities... Getting into a sport that takes a lot of time and energy and puts you around other people (whether its competitive or just being at a gym on the reg). Attending to your professional life, becoming more autonomous, maybe getting some new education or training in something.

It's like throwing a bunch of spaghetti at a wall... You don't know what will stick in the end, but something will - likely a few things. And everything you do that is positive, nurtures and strenghtens you in some small way, and it all adds up over time.

Another advantage of having a bunch of things that nurture you, is that on different days, you are going to tap into different things, depending on what you are up for, how you good or shitty you feel, how much energy you have, how loud the negative voices are that day. It's good to have a range of choices.

Don't put too much faith in meds - like I said, they are fickle motherfuckers - especially for things like mood. And their side-effects can be as bad as what they are trying to help. For some people (like people with schizophrenia or Bipolar 1) the right med can be a magic bullet that keeps them functional. For people with depression and anxiety, it's not usually that black and white. It's good to have a bunch of supports, and not put too much faith in the meds being the big cure (not to say that one shouldn't try stuff and see what works, of course - and if you can find something - great, but it doesn't always go that way).

Do a bunch of your own research also - on everything that might be helpful, and on pros and cons of anything as well.

This has been a bit long - it was all to really express something that maybe could have been said in one sentence, but I couldn't figure out how to do that, so I wrote it out longer and rambled a bit.

Best of luck to you - you are going to find a little piece of what you need in a lot of different places, until you are a different person than what you were before this happened, but a whole person, with something to give to others as well.

Heres the last thing - it's an asian art-form called Kintsugi You will get the idea...

Hamsnibit1 karma

Thanks. I am trying to push myself to be more social and workers comp may be able to retrain me for something else. I have my therapist looking into that right now. My main thing is trying to get us all federalized and not contracts sold off to the lowest bidder. Cut out the middle man. They have plenty of FPS officers that could train us. I feel if I can pull off something like making a big change like that, then all my suffering be worthwhile and help me heal.

BenevolentNihilist11 karma

You did what you had to, no doubt. I was implying that if you had a stun gun on you instead of pistol, do you think it would have been enough to take him down.

Hamsnibit6 karma

It's honestly an impossible to answer question. As /u/Iconoclast123/ mentioned, people with strong mental problems or on certain drugs, a taser won't even effect. So if I did have a taser and fire it first, he may have still landed a killing blow. I have no way to tell if it would have been effective or not. It's possible it may, and it's possible it may not. We train on an escalation of force scale. At the time he was using deadly force, which meant I also had to respond with deadly force.

Dnforever092 karma

Regardless of weather a stun gun would have worked the man doing the stabbing didn't deserve the chance. He was in the process of literally stabbing to death two women. He deserved the bullet he got. If he had been screaming and brandishing the knife sure stun him, but he made the CHOICE to use his knife on the victim's.

Hamsnibit3 karma

You have a lot of time to think at work so you tend to play scenarios through your mind in an attempt to be prepared. Like what if a guy walks through the door holding a gun, or what if a fight breaks out and someone pulls a weapon. I've played dozens of scenarios through my head, and the one this that was usually a common theme was an argument or shouting of something leading up to it.

In this case there was none of that. They were just sitting there quietly and he reached into his pocket and immediately started stabbing them. He never said a word the entire time, even after he was shot. It was a really eerie surreal thing that I wasn't prepared for. None of my scenarios played out like that.

LleoOneiro2 karma

If you did what you felt was right, so be it. In terms of, where's the support? Where'd everybody go? Something I learned the hard way, and been through many times, you have to get right with yourself, the universe, "God", whatever you believe in, even if you believe in nothing and are suffering. You have to accept what happened, and channel that grief or whatever all you're feeling into something creative. Get it out with your mouth, say the words, preferably alone so you can expend the energy and thoughts. Some will take a handful of sticks and yell, cry, curse at them while binding them in thread, then burn them and walk away. The rest, other people, human beings, companies, policies, promises, insurance... in the USA everything EVERYTHING is a ponzi pyramid that leads you up and goes nowhere. Business. Capitalism. Capitalize. Take advantage. Profit. Unequal trade. You'll be alright https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swv7O8tRfOs

Hamsnibit4 karma

I realize how things work. I know everything is about money and the bottom line. I'm trying to do what I can to change that. The safety of the public and of federal workers should not be a business. I honestly don't know how I'm going to change that. I don't know how I get to speak to congress or where to start, but I'm hoping with the attention I bring to this, that I'll find a way. I've kept a journal and may possibly write a book about it. We'll see.

juggarjew2 karma

If you were not prepared to kill, why did you take the job? You cant take a job like that and say "well it wont happen to me, its so rare".

We know soldiers can have issues with PTSD from killing, etc... so why put yourself in a position where that becomes a possibility?

Im curious why someone would take such a job that carried that risk. It makes sense to me to let veterans that have been deployed have those jobs, provided they are mentally well.

Hamsnibit3 karma

I knew the potential to kill was there, and I was prepared to fire and shoot someone, which i did. My biggest issue in there is no training on aftercare of yourself in such an incident or about how PTSD works. My knowledge of PTSD was just bits and pieces of stuff I heard, people seeing their buddy get killed in war, firemen responding to gruesome wrecks that involved children, someone mistakenly killing the wrong person. Nobody ever told me that even if you do your job 100% justified you can get PTSD and I was never trained on how to take care of myself after something like this. So, in my mind I was fully prepared to kill someone to save lives, but I wasn't fully prepared for the aftermath.

This is one of the things I'm trying to change is the training so that it fully prepares you for the aftermath and teaches you how to take care of yourself properly, something I didn't do because I thought I was good to go. I should have been made to take a certain amount of time off and visit a therapist a certain number of times. I didn't know PTSD could onset late, so I just took a week off and went back to work because I felt fine as I was justified. A couple of weeks later the symptoms started manifesting. I didn't know it could manifest in physical pain, so I didn't think it was related. Just one of many things I feel we should be taught about up front.

readparse2 karma

Thanks for sharing your story. Do you think our bravado gun culture is out of control? I feel like there are lots of families out there with an AR-15, just HOPING for an invasion so they can “blow them away,” and have a great story for Sunday School.

Also a lot of concealed carry people who might be just a little trigger happy when they see an opportunity to use that weapon that they have focused on so intently.

My concern is that these people have no idea what it feels like to kill somebody, and they’ll actually end up feeling tremendous remorse, even if they were technically within their rights.

Hamsnibit6 karma

Yea, I think our culture glorifies guns too much. Although I own multiple weapons, mostly passed down from family, I'm not a big gun person. I think there should be smarter gun regulations. I don't think everyone just needs to be walking around all willy nilly with a gun on their hip. They need proper training, and I don't mean just how to shoot, but on proper judgement, the after effects, etc.. Every time I see a mass shooting in makes my stomach turn.

ManagerNoOperate2 karma

Are you trying to reach your state reps or federal? I would start with your state reps because they’re easier to catch in person. Find out if they hold town halls/office hours and show up. Ours usually have their schedules on their websites or in the local paper. Also, a lot of times they will show up at your local Chamber of Commerce events or ribbon cuttings. These are usually open to the public. Or go to your local township/borough meetings and talk to your elected officials after the meetings. They will likely be in the chain and can connect you with the next level up. Or a staffer for your state senate may be there. The staffers are the gatekeepers to your actual reps. Start at the bottom. Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your story!

Hamsnibit3 karma

Thanks for the info. I was always trying go federal since it was a federal contract. That's why I contacyedy local Congressman. I’ll see what I can do.

MajorSecretary2 karma

Have you tried USAJOBS? Are you a vet?

Hamsnibit2 karma

I've looked, but there aren't many options available near me. I'm not a vet, but I would now qualify for jobs with disability preference. I actually used that to try to get a job working directly for social security administration, because they have only been able to hire vets and disabled for years. I interviewed and was probably going to get the job. Unfortunately at the same time someone quit at another office in the state, so they ended up getting priority based on need and the position went to them instead.

MajorSecretary1 karma

I'm sure you'll find one on there if you'd like, and put your mind to it.

I'm sorry to hear what happened to you, but its already done. I hope you will focus on getting credible therapy and work towards (indefinitely) rehabilitating yourself from this experience.

I have a lot of love and respect for you, and wish you the best with everything you pursue moving forward. Please feel free to message me anytime!

Hamsnibit2 karma

Thank you. It'll all work out. I constaly see a therapist and will continue to do so. Trying to get my medicine right for the best quality of life has been a bit rough, I don't want to end up a statistic. I've got a lot of fight in me, there always this nagging voice in my head to just give up. It's a constant battle with myself.

MajorSecretary2 karma

Yes I understand what you are saying. It will take a lot of time but I know that you will get through it. Have you considered traveling for a little while, to reset? Maybe some where safe clean sweet and simple and just getting paid to teach or play with kids for a year? It helps and I've seen a few vets along the way, which I am categorizing you as.

Hamsnibit1 karma

Unfortunately not that easy for me as I have a wife, kids, house mortgage, etc... I do have a loving mom that is taking me on a cruise with her to alaska and canada next week though, even though it's a bucket list item for her, she wanted to include me to get me away from everything for a short while. So hopefully that will help some.

19abto1 karma

I appreciate u sharing this experience. I hope u stay strong for yourself and your family to fully make it through. When was the moment u realized u had to take action to speak out about it (to a therapist, publicly) ? ..Was there an event/turning point that led u to doing it, or was it more-so coming to your own realization internally that it was time to speak on it? Thanks for your time, God bless.

Hamsnibit3 karma

They had me speak to a therapist within a couple of days of the incident. I felt fine. Everything was justified and I felt good about my decision, and still do. It wasn't until a few weeks later I started having symptoms from the PTSD, which I didn't realize what it was at the time. I went to the doctor expecting to need an MRI and them to find a brain tumor, to them telling me it was due to the incident and they sent me to a therapist where I was diagnosed with PTSD. I've been seeing the therapist ever since.

When I finally decided to go public was on the one year anniversary of the shooting. Leading up to that I had been very stressed and frustrated that nobody was listening to me. I had reached out to the union and they never responded. I had reached out to the FPS that oversees the contracts and they made these promises that they were going to look out for me, then they just quit contacting me. The company was taking our health and welfare pay that we normally got in our check and putting it into a 401 account that I don't need since I already have one. Nothing positive had come from what I did. I didn't want to be a hero or anything, that's why I kept my identity unknown this whole time, but I knew the only way to shed some light on the situation was to speak out about it publically and try to find a way to push for change.

I feel if I can make some positive change come from it that will help others, that at least all my suffering won't be for nothing.

yeomania1 karma

Have you considered or looked into (at least) Ayahuasca to remedy the PTSD?

Hamsnibit1 karma

yes, but it's not like there are ayahuasca clinics just wherever, and I can't afford to travel to peru or somewhere to see a shaman, but if I ever got the opportunity I'd definitely try it as I've heard it's amazing for PTSD.

yeomania1 karma

In my experience --if you decide to do it - do it properly.


Hamsnibit1 karma

Yea. I'd definitely want to do it the right way. Again it's going to be a lot of money and I have to get myself out of debt.

Rexrowland1 karma

Have you looked into magic mushrooms to help you with he PTSD?

Hamsnibit1 karma

I'm aware of psychedelics and their ability to help with PTSD. LSD, Mushrooms, ayahuasca, etc.. It would be something I'd be willing to try if it were legal. The fact that there is a stigma on these things still after much proof that they can help people is frustrating. but some places are starting to change their tune about it like they did with marijuana, so hopefully in time these things will be legally available. Unfortunately being from Mississippi, we will probably be one of the last states to open up to it.

Rexrowland1 karma

Just go to Denver for a weekend trip

Hamsnibit2 karma

Well, that has already crossed my mind, but it's not financially feasible for me at this time due to the debt all of this has put me in. Maybe once I get all of that squared away.