How war led to a ten year prison sentence for Andrew Chambers.
People often talk of the daydreams that soldiers have while at war. The dreams of returning home to their wife and kids, reunions with brothers and sisters, a beer at the bar with old friends. But few talk about the dreams of going to war. In 2003 I joined the United States Army—after we were already engaged in two wars. Everyone in basic training knew we’d be going to war. We weren’t draftees, we were volunteers. We had volunteered to fight, to kill, and to die. We daydreamed about leaving that wife, kids, and job behind, going off to war. We daydreamed about spending time with our new friends. Writing those emotional letters home. Killing the enemy. Saving our friends. Fighting for something worthwhile. Being something more than we were back home.
The problem is, that like most parts of life, things never happen as we expect or hope. War happens, people die, things are seen, and then we begin having daydreams of coming home. But home isn’t what we expected either.
For Andrew “Sarge” Chambers, his journey back home ended with a ten year prison sentence for attempted man-slaughter; and it led a judge to declare, “Your service in Iraq makes you a threat to society.”
What follows is Andrew’s powerful story of coming home and how the dream of war led to the nightmare of reality.
“Find a veteran and listen to his story … a lot of us just need someone to talk to.”
In our new War & Veterans section here at GMP we’ll be doing just that. Giving a place where veterans, and family-members of veterans, can simply talk and share their stories.
About Andrew: Andrew “Sarge” Chambers proudly hails from Pickerington, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army and has maintained the habit he acquired there of cursing just a bit too much. Throughout his service, Sarge was also able to maintain and hone his sense of honor and kindness, but the experience did slightly alter his sense of humor. While categorically not a morning person, when he is able to finally pry his eyes open, he always thinks to himself that he would rather be fishing. Most of his days are filled with coaching softball, Garth Brooks songs and thoughts of the family he hopes to be able to start soon. He is taking the stage to tell his story, parts of which can be seen in the documentary Operation Resurrection: The Warrior Returns. After TEDxMarionCorrectional he will work on his next unique thing.