Community Spotlight: Nathan Crim, USMC Veteran and OSD Community Member
My last deployment was Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2010- 2011 where I was in charge of a security detail. I worked with foreign military forces, as well as US Army and US Air Force. When I returned stateside, I did not realize at the time I was suffering from PTSD. Numerous things had me on edge or wanting to hit the deck, thinking a mortar was incoming, maybe I should have known.
I started going to the gym more, to try to release my internalized anxiety. Unfortunately, one day after heavy training, as I was leaving the gym I dropped my ID between 2 elliptical machines. The ID was lying partly under the machine on the left, which was unoccupied. I squatted down to pick it up, my legs gave out and I extended my right arm to catch myself. Someone was on the right machine and at full steam. The machine impacted my forearm closer to my elbow breaking a chunk out of each bone and then splitting them to the wrist.
As a result, I was rushed to the ER, which sent me home for 5 days. No cast, no sling, and no pain meds, I was just told to come back to Orthopedics on the 5th day, which I did. The doctor asked why I did not have emergency surgery and I explained I was following what I was told by ER. I was told I would more than likely loose motion and strength. I was prepped for surgery immediately and remained hospitalized on a morphine drip for a week.
After this, as you can imagine, I was eager to get back on track. I was pushing through what I thought was just painful physical therapy. The physical therapist stopped treatment in fear of causing more damage and ordered for a 2nd opinion. The 2nd opinion noticed my bones were not healed when the doctors released me to physical therapy, which resulted in nerve damage to my right arm and side of my body.
After a year and half on medical hold the USMC decided to medically separate me. This was a devastating blow to me. I loved my Marines, my job and the separation sent me into a downward spiral. I became depressed, drank more, ended many relationships, my nightmares became worse, and I basically shut down. Once I was actually separated, I was home dwelling, getting lost in my own mind. I tried pushing myself beyond what I was supposed to, hoping to be “normal” again.
I started tinkering with electronics and computers to ease my mind. I was eventually contacted by Operation Supply Drop. Someone passed the word about the arcade machines I was building and wanting to give back to my brothers and sisters in the service. From the first phone call, it was like having my USMC family back. They helped with giving me the courage to start my own business, even helping with spreading the word about my new company, Crim Arcades. One of my favorite things, Glenn Banton (Operation Supply Drop, CEO), invited me out to Texas and personally took me to theChive Headquarters. I needed the get away more than anything because of hitting another really rough patch in life.
I love the Operation Supply Drop family, I preach it to others. They [OSD] have lifted me up through the hardest year of my life and the best part is that they continue to do so. My life has been very unorthodox this past year but they stand by me, work with me, and always give a smile.
OSD is so important. Without them, I honestly am not sure where I would be today.