The trucks came down the road about six in a line. And about, I would say, 300 or 400 yards past our camp, there was a whole bunch of gunfire.
There was a couple of Taliban on the bikes and they had open fire and lit up the convoy of gravel trucks that were civilianized.
The individual that got killed that day was the contractor that we had hired.
We put him in a body bag. Talk about an intense moment.
And wondering personally what the rest of the tour was gonna be like after the third day on the job, that happens, I would think for anybody, it's hard to get over.
I knew it was gonna be probably pretty hectic and pretty dangerous. But we're soldiers, we do what we do.
The purpose and the goal was to try to revitalize parts of Afghanistan and do a road project that would provide funding for individual Afghanistan people and try to better their livestyle and be proud of what they accomplished by building this road.
The hardest thing was the checkpoints.
So, every morning, the workers, they showed up on site at a certain time. So, you have to check these workers down and pat them down. Like, say, you want them to have an IED strapped to them, it was gonna happen there, at that checkpoint.
So, I pushed it away, I pushed it down deep inside, but I knew that I was gonna have issues.
So, I started drawing out parts to build a motorcycle because I work with my hands and I'm a motorcyclist. And that's how, actually, the parts on the bike came to life, is they all reflect something I'm in through and all the adversity that I was faced with on that tour.
Well, it's probably the most trying time of my life. So, I got back home, everything was quiet. It's hard for a family to adjust when you don't say nothing.
Obviously, drinking is an issue, right? So, you start to drink too much.
I can tell you one thing I absolutely did, is I got on my bike and drove way too fast. So, I soon realized that I had a family and still had a job to go back to and I wanted to live.
So, I dug out the drawings that I made for the bike and I decided that I'm gonna use all that frustration that happened, that I gathered up over there and all the anxiety and all the adversity I went through, but also a lot of the accomplishment.
The headlight and speedometer assembly are made, an exact replica of my .300 Winchester Mag Scope. The risers that hold the handlebars are exact replicas of our C7 magazines that go into our weapon. The clutch and brake levers are shaped in a form of brass knuckles.
So, the bike, yes, some days, I get on it and the reflection of Afghanistan comes to a forefront and those days, I usually turn the bike around and park it.
But there are other days where I get on that bike and I've won. You know? I've accomplished so much to overcome what's happened over there.
I use it as a tool to get better. To take all those mental health issues and cast them away.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, there's a lot of dark days and there's always a light. You just gotta find out what the light is, right?
And if I can talk to somebody about something and it happens to be the bike that starts the conversation and I provide them with a little bit of inspiration, I provide them with a little bit of light, then I think I've done myself and the bike, I've done justice to why I built it.