I'm a bitter, angry Navy vet. I feel an overwhelming amount of anger, guilt, frustration, and shame. For one, I was stationed on a destroyer. Even being deployed outside of Syria and Russia, there was never any danger. It was tough, draining, and traumatic in some ways, but while some people were being shot at and watching their friends die, I was perfectly safe in the confines of a ship. When people honor veterans, when people say "Thank you for you service", and thank me for my sacrifices... I don't feel like a deserve it. I feel weak, sitting here complaining about my troubling Navy career when others are out there dying. I don’t feel like I deserve the same honor as these people, and yet I feel like the military has taken a lot from me. I was good at my job. I worked in comms. I was a bonehead though, and it took me a long time to learn. I was a good technician but a horrible sailor. I struggled with the Navy song and dance. The most shameful thing was the circumstances of my separation. I could never fit the Navy’s perfect body ratio. I was a wrestler, boxer, and a weightlifter before I joined. I always passed and excelled in the fitness tests, but between heavy pounds of both muscle and fat, I could never pass the tape test. Despite spending hours in the gym and putting on pounds of muscle, I could never get my waist small enough to make the Navy happy. The bitter irony is that it seems that all I need to do is look at a dumbbell to gain weight. Finally, 3 years in the Navy I failed the tape test for the last time. I was on track to be out. What followed was the toughest, most hopeless, dragged out 8 months of my life. Despite being told I was out, I was stuck in limbo for a long time, getting no answers, not being able to plan out my life. I feel like those last months I was purposely punished with more work. I was used in my job, and farmed off to other tasks at the same time. I was forced to go in early every morning for PT even though it wasn’t going to help my career. I was continuously denied leave to job hunt or plan my life, and two weeks before my separation date I had an interview to be a police officer that I wasn’t allowed to go to because we were doing sea trials that week and the ship wouldn’t spare me that one underway to get my life together. I was devastated, and even though I ended up getting lucky and found a job ( a month after my separation) I was put in a really tough spot because they wouldn’t allow me to prepare for anything. I was unemployed, and broke before I finally got lucky and got picked up by a defense contractor. Ever since then, I’ve been angry. I’ve been resentful, and I’ve wished horrible things on my ship that I regret, and I haven’t been able to get back to being myself. It’s destroyed my marriage, my motivation, my soul. Does anyone have any advice on how to get over this, and get my mind together? I feel horrible for asking this, because I know there are vets who have been through worse. People who have been shot at, watched others die. I feel such guilt because I don’t feel like I’m a real veteran….