This article belongs to Obesity and weight issues theme.

Gerlach, Nev--"I'm writing a story about how I lost 35 pounds being homeless, selling plasma for cash and drinking a fifth of vodka a day to ease my PTSD," I told my lady companion as I sipped a PBR at the Gerlach Club, one of four bars in the small town I live in.

I weighed about 214 pounds when she dumped me
The last four years, I have been in and out of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as trip in the Persian Gulf on the USS Stennis. Some of my adventures are on The Cheers.

After I returned from my last night trip to the war, I traveled in a grease powered box van with Esmerelda Strange, a one woman accordion band. She plays accordion, drums and sings at the same time.

She spoiled me plenty. I weighed about 214 pounds (97 KG) when she dumped me last June. At the time, I was having a series of incredibly vivid nightmares about the time I spent in the war.

The dead and dying humans were crimson and white with leaking blood and exposed bone. Campfires of flesh and the smell of hair burning in oil filed my nose. I was with them, those wreathing in the pain, the last feelings before death. But I had no body. I felt no pain. I would just breath in the experience. They moved like an orgy, but there was no pleasure.

I've looked down both sides of the gun with my camera and pen. Sometimes I feel like I carry the dead as if my heart were a Christmas tree decorated with body parts, a garland of intestines and spent shell casings, sparkling with radiation from depleted uranium rounds.

I made my money selling my blood plasma, and I did such so that I could purchase the cheapest vodka
After four years in the war, sometimes my holiday decorations implode with morbid gravity. I look out my hazel eyes and don't see where I am. Inside me the souls of dead children pull me deeper into their ashes. Once in Kandahar, I watched women and children the Taliban were using as a human shield turned into a thick black cloud by a 500 pound bomb. The smoke was lit up by the tracer rounds of a few Apache AH-64 like red meteors sent from Hades.

I was living in Austin, Tex. at the Comal House with Esmerelda when we separated and she made it clear that she didn't want me around. At this time in my life, I made my money selling my blood plasma, and I did such so that I could purchase the cheapest vodka in Austin-Taaka. I would drink about a fifth a day.

The hardest part of returning from the war is that your body returns, but the war is still in your mind. I was home for almost a year when the worst parts of the war started coming back to me. I lived off of vodka and I ate food out of dumpsters. I moved into a 10 X 10 foot storage place, that I wasn't supposed to live in, but I did anyway. Sometimes I would sleep by the Colorado river in Austin, but mostly just stayed in my hot box. No air conditioning. It was over a hundred degrees all the time.
My secret to staying thin? Heavy drinking of hard liquor and being homeless.

So, I live in the United States. It's fairly obvious that this country spends more money trying get rid of fat bellies than many other countries in the world have to spend food on.

My secret to staying thin? Heavy drinking of hard liquor and being homeless. It's a sure way to loose that 35 pounds of spare tire you are carrying.

Now that I am single again, living in Gerlach, where the Burning Man festival is held, I feel much better having lost weight. Besides all the ravers and blinky lights that Burning Man brings in, there is actually a good population of combat veterans in this town. Most of them are fatter than me, though.