I’m kind of a rare bird at a liberal arts college, being a combat veteran. Usually, me being fat and washed up helps me blend in with the kids here a little bit. A couple months ago I was asked to give a speech to the alumni association about being a veteran student here. I’m in the south now and the old southern money loves guys like me. I was pretty frank about how shitty the VA is to work with and how the school is aggressively in their ass to take care of us. A lot of them asked me about what kind of writing I wanted to do and I told them about the Marine Corps memoir I was working on. Anyways, somebody there liked me and told the magazine editor to give me 1,300 words and a two page spread.

My first draft got chopped down to 300 words which and he came back to me with the suggestion that I write about me getting wounded. I already had a pretty good piece for that in my portfolio and I sent it to him. He loved it, he could only take about 1,000 words of because of the page constraints, but he told me that he had actually asked for more room. I’m not gonna lie, that felt great. I know it’s not exactly New York Times, but this is huge to me. It really helped validate the countless hours I put into tinkering with my individual pieces. It really makes me want to do this for the rest of my life.

Source: reddit post


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