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In college I lost my faith and then became a comparative religion major.
I worked in finance and publishing for a couple of years after college and then joined the Marines.
In 2007, after my second deployment to Iraq, PTSD, moral injury and severe depression took over my life. I began trying to drink myself to death. Thoughts of suicide became common until they were a near daily presence by 2011.
In early 2012, after thoughts of suicide had evolved into plans for suicide, I began to have breakdowns. At rock bottom, a description for a circumstance I used to think cliched until I met it personally, I somehow made the right decision. I entered into therapy and stopped drinking. Minus a few days, I’ve remained sober. I also take medication.
The concept of a future is available to me again; PTSD, moral injury and depression take that from you. It is an incredibly profound joy to once more have a life ahead of me.
More importantly, my soul, which I had kicked into a hole and subjugated years ago, is getting healthy too.
I now live in Wake Forest, NC with a dog, Sky, and a cat, Amos Lee. I can be reached by email: Matthew (@) matthewhoh.com.
+ In February 2016 I was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in addition to my psychological issues.
Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and is the former Director of the Afghanistan Study Group, a network of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in US strategy in Afghanistan. A former State Department official, Matthew resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over US strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in September 2009. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew served in Iraq; first in 2004-5 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-7 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, Matthew worked on Afghanistan and Iraq policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department from 2002-8. Matthew’s writings have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Defense News, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He has been a guest on many news programs on radio and television networks including the BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, MSNBC, NPR, Pacifica. and RT. The Council on Foreign Relations has cited Matthew’s resignation letter from his post in Afghanistan as an Essential Document. In 2010, Matthew was named the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling. Matthew is an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts (ExposeFacts.org) and an International Advisory Board Member for Veterans for Peace. He is certified by North Carolina as a Peer Support Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder.