The thrill of forging your own path is powerful. Nissan is bringing that thrill to our community in collaboration with the Black Effect Podcast Network to create The Thrill of Possibility, a community impact program and summit curated to support HBCU students in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, or STEAM, and introduce them to exclusive opportunities. Nissan is committed to creating opportunity for the whole community and ensuring that Black excellence is a part of the new future of automotive.
For more information about this program and how to apply, visit blackeffect.com slash Nissan. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound, so you can hear the sound of the earbuds. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, soundshaped to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. This is Lee Habib, and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. To search for the Our American Stories podcasts, go to the iHeartRadio app, to Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Our next story comes to us from a veteran of the US Army. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here's Fernando Arroyo. I remember it was 1991, and I was five or six years old. I was sitting in my kindergarten class when the school principal walked in, and Ms. Ponce, my Bandini Elementary School kindergarten teacher, she said, okay, kids, stop playing, sit in front of the class. And then the principal stood up in front of us and he said, you know, you can be whatever you want when you grow up. And all the kids are like, wow, that's cool. And I've always been quiet. I kind of just looked at the kids like, why are you so amazed at this, but whatever. And then the class got quiet. And I look up and everyone's looking at me and the school principal is looking at me.
And I thought I was in trouble. And then he looks at me and he kind of he put his hands on his lap and he bent down and he says, what's your name? I said, my name is Fernando. He said, what do you want to be when you grow up? I said, I want to be a police officer, a soldier, and a pastor.
And he's like, he made a face like, well, that's weird. And he said, why do you want to be a soldier and a police officer? I said, because I want to shoot guns and fight bad guys. He's like, okay, why do you want to be a pastor?
I said, because I believe in Jesus Christ. So at a young age of about five years old, I remember watching Desert Storm on TV and the coolest thing for me wasn't the stealth bombers or all the cool missiles and all the images of explosions. It was the guys on the ground. Those were the real heroes. Those were the guys that I thought, man, like I'm watching GI Joe cartoons and stuff, but like they're the real deal. They're charging towards the gunfire.
They're putting their life on the line. Well, as time went on, 10 years later, I'm a senior at Bell Gardens High School. It's September 11, 2001. I was late for class and I remember walking into my first period Spanish class, which, you know, Spanish was my first language. I just wanted an easy. I didn't even get an A. I got like a B.
That was terrible. But then when that class was over, the bell rang and I had to go to my government class, second period government. And when I walked in, all the students, you know, the bell had rang. They should have been the class should have been empty for the next class.
They were all still there. And the teacher had his TV out and everyone's glued to the television. I looked at the screen and I could see smoke coming out of one of the towers. And then I saw another airplane hit the second tower and this big ball of fire. And one girl shouted, who would do this? And some kids were crying. And then I heard on the news, America is under attack.
Then I watched live on TV as people were jumping out of windows to their death because they would rather commit suicide than burn alive. And I felt this deep pain inside me where something has to be done and it's going to be me. So on September 29, 2001, I was enlisted in the Army. I remember going to the recruiter and he said, what do you want to do in my army? And I said, I want to be a paratrooper. He said, do you know what that is? I'm like, yeah, you know, you jump out of planes and shoot guns.
And he says, dude, it's not nice. You're going to be jumping at night in full combat gear. You're going to be the first ones in combat. You're going to get shot at. You're going to be out in the rain, in the snow, in the mud.
It's going to be dirty. Like, you don't want to do that. I said, no, that's what I want to do. He said, look, we have this contract right now because the army needs cooks. So we can pay you $20,000 to be a cook in the army.
Sign up bonus of 20,000. I said, no, I don't want to be a cook. I want to be an airborne paratrooper. And he's like, all right, but don't come back to me later and say that I didn't try to warn you or talk you out of it or that I lied to you. And then at one point he says, look, have you ever been on an airplane?
And I grew up poor. I never traveled. I said, no, I've never been on an airplane. He's like, and you're going to volunteer to parachute out of a perfectly good aircraft into battle. I'm like, yeah, that sounds cool. All right. He pulled out the piece of paper.
He says this is the contract. Airborne infantry, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I graduated in June of 2002 and then in August 21st, 2002, I was on an airplane for the first time in my life on an airplane on my way to Fort Benning, Georgia. And I remember when that airplane took off, man, like I had never experienced that before. First time flying. I'm 18 years old and there's, you know, the plane's shaking and I'm like, whoa, whoa, what's going on, man?
Like, is this normal? And then once we were in the sky, I looked out the window. I thought, oh, I'm an idiot. The recruiter was right. I should have never volunteered for this.
This is dumb. He tried. He was being honest. He actually tried to save me. And I remember on that airplane next to me, this guy could tell that I was nervous and he says, what's wrong?
I said, I've never been on an airplane before and I'm on my way to train a parachute out of airplanes in the Army. And he asked me, are you a Christian? I said, yeah, I'm a Christian. He says, did you pray about this? I said, yeah. Do you believe that this is God's calling for you? I said, yes.
He's like, then you're going to be fine. And I felt peace. But all that peace ended when, you know, after checking in and getting my uniforms and equipment, it was time to meet the drill sergeants and these three drill sergeants. Their mission was to train me to shoot, move, communicate and kill. We trained as a team. It was brutal physical training.
I remember being a skinny kid, you know, never having left the state of California. And now I'm surrounded by people from every state, from all walks of life. And we're in this together. And that created a brotherhood. It created a bond. We had to rely on each other to watch each other's backs. We went through the suffering together and suffering builds brotherhood. It builds a team.
You have to suffer together. And that's exactly what an infantry school does. You suffer together, train together, and then you're taught.
You're only as strong as your weakest link. So all those things were instilled in me. And you've been listening to Fernando Arroyo's story. He discovers 9-11 in his government class.
He's a high school senior and immediately knows what he wants to do. Jump out of airplanes. When we come back, more of Fernando Arroyo's story, here on Our American Stories. And click the donate button. Give a little. Give a lot. Help us keep the great American stories coming.
That's our American stories dot com. Fall is here, which means it's time to refresh your closet. And Saksa 5th is the perfect place to do just that. Let your style take off this fall in chic faux leather jackets, cool chunky boots, trendy totes and more. Update your wardrobe now with designer names like Stella McCartney, Chloe, Stuart Weitzman, Vince, Moschino and more. So you can get everything you want at Saksa 5th, all at a price you'll love.
Discover all of the fall fashion essentials at up to 70% off at Saksa5.com or at a Saksa 5th store near you. Oh, my gosh. Did you hear the news? Your favorite new comedy from last year, Ghosts, is finally back with new episodes. It's an age old story. Husband and wife moved to upstate New York to renovate an old estate into a bed and breakfast, only to find out it's inhabited by ghosts from throughout the centuries.
That happens, right? There's a Viking, a hippie, a guy who knew Alexander Hamilton. Oh, and don't get me started on the ghost who died with no pants on or the one who died with an arrow in his neck. You can never decide who's your favorite. No shows made you laugh harder in ages, which is probably why critics couldn't stop raving about it. So, ghosts. It's back for the new season Thursday nights, 830, 730 Central on CBS.
Tell everyone you know. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, next gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound, so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound shape to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. And we continue with our American stories and Fernando Arroyo's story. His book, The Shadow of Death from My Battles in Fallujah to the Battle for My Soul, is available wherever you get your books. Let's pick up where we last left off. I graduated from infantry school and then it was time for me to go to airborne school. And it's just down the road. Somehow we made it to the hangar on the airstrip and the airplanes are waiting for us. And we put on our gear, we get inspected, and once everyone's inspected, all right, stand up. And we loaded up on this C-130 aircraft and we're packed in there like sardines. And then when the doors closed, the thought came, I am not going to be in this airplane when it lands. And then the command, 10 minutes.
And then command by command to stand up, hook up, check equipment, sound off for equipment check. The doors open, the side doors on both sides of the C-130. The air just hits us.
The plane is shaky. I look out the door, I can see tiny little houses and trees. I'm like, oh, no, this is oh, this is going to be terrible. Then I hear stand by like, oh, no. OK, the first jumper's ready.
I'm like jumper number 10. And I'm just I don't even want to look at this guy that's about to jump. I'm looking at the boots of the guy in front of me as the wind is making his pants move side to side, you know, violently. And then I hear green light go. And then one by one, everyone's jumping out of the airplane. And I'm walking forward with my static line, just following the boots of the guy in front of me. And then I watch him just disappear into this door, like out into the sky, get sucked out of this airplane. And I'm next.
I just hand off my static line. I make a right face turn and I just run out this door, just thrust myself out of this plane. I feel the 130 knot winds just smack me and I'm flying in this and I could see the airplane passing me as I'm jumping out.
And I count 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000. And then I feel a tug. And it's my parachute opening.
Oh, thank God, man. It was I felt a sense of relief, you know, like that was the fear of wondering whether my parachute was going to open or not. That was the scary part.
But I did that five times. And that included nighttime jumps and I made it into the airborne. Then after a short ceremony of getting my airborne wings pinned on my chest, I loaded on a bus with my gear and I went to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina is the home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces. You have the 82nd Airborne, you have the Army Green Berets and you have the Army's Special Missions Unit, a counterterrorism unit.
They're very elite, the most elite unit in the world. I was with the 82nd Airborne and I remember arriving at my battalion and I'm the new guy. I had to prove myself.
I just had to be on my best. And weird enough, I actually I was offered a position for a very privileged position for a platoon to be in a reconnaissance team that night. The scout platoon, it's the battalion reconnaissance platoon. And all these guys go to Ranger school. They're snipers. They have the best training and, you know, they're the strongest and fastest.
That's the you know, they're the best. We were trained to be ghosts. We wore ghillie suits. We dressed like trees. We were invisible. That was our job to go ahead of the 1,200-man battalion in teams as small as two, two to six-man teams, and be unseen, undetected, and gather intelligence about the enemy to give to the battalion commander so that he could plan his attacks.
That's what I was trained to do. A few months later, it was time for my first combat deployment. And my first deployment was to Fallujah, Iraq, after the invasion of Iraq. It was August of 2003, and we landed in the Baghdad International Airport. We did some missions in the Baghdad International Airport, hunting some of Saddam Hussein's captains and bath party Saddam loyalists. But then we were giving orders that we were going to go into the city that would later become known as the most dangerous city in the world, Fallujah. I remember my first combat mission. It was in Fallujah. It was at nighttime. And our mission was called a movement to contact mission, which basically means search and destroy. And I'm sitting in back of a cargo Humvee, and I'm looking towards the city at nighttime with night vision.
And I could see these glowing green and red trace arounds coming up from the city. The insurgents were in the city shooting their AK-47s and machine guns in the air, and they were challenging us to a fight. We had a military intelligence team intercepting their radios and cell phones. And they were saying that when the Americans come in the city tonight, we're going to kill them and, you know, bring it on.
They're cowards and all this stuff. And I remember Captain Kirkpatrick, he said, tell them, hold on, we're going to be right there. And the chaplain said a prayer, Chaplain Knight.
He said, all right, men, gather around. Now, Chaplain Knight, former Army Delta, the special missions unit that I said, you know, the most elite unit in the world. And he felt the calling to be a chaplain. So he left the unit to be a chaplain, and he was our chaplain. A Texas guy, big bald white guy, just muscular.
He was just, everybody feared him. And he says, let's pray, men. And he says, Lord, protect us against these savages as we go into combat and guide our bullets that they may hit them and take them to the depths of hell. In your name. Amen.
Like, OK. So then we get on this dirt road. All of a sudden, all the bullets stopped flying. We knew, OK, we're being watched. They know we're coming. So we go into the city and we're driving up and down the streets looking for a fight.
And there's no one. It's like these guys like cockroaches when the lights turn on. They just disappeared. And we're driving up and down the city. I have my night vision on. I could see every, you know, my infrared laser and everybody's infrared lasers were aiming at windows and watching rooftops and like, where are these guys? And then I caught a glimpse of a guy in an alley with a cell phone hiding behind behind a dumpster in the alley. And he's on his cell phone. And then that's when I heard over the radio, we're being watched.
It's coming. And then I heard two explosions. Boom, boom. And I felt the blast wave in my chest. And I saw two RPGs glowing red. They flew over my head, like five feet over my head.
These rockets were meant for me and my friends. And then it was just an eruption of gunfire. And now you see these green and red trace around, these bullets whizzing past me. And I could hear the sonic boom of the explosions as the bullets are flying by me. And it was like an out of body experience. I just did what I was trained to do.
The training kicked in. I'm shooting at a muzzle flash from AKs. I'm shooting at windows. We're taking fire from a two-story house. I mean, there's machine guns going off.
And we're driving out of there trying to get out of what's called the kill zone. And then I hear Maguire yell. And he says, there's a guy running as he's reloading his grenade launcher. He says, there's a guy running.
And I see this guy running. And I aimed right for his chest. I put my infrared laser on his chest, tracking him. And I must have shot him five times. And I watched my bullets enter and exit his body. And he fell into the swamp and disappeared.
And then I heard click. I'm changing mags. I reload.
I come back up to shoot. Cease fire, cease fire. It was over.
This was so fast. There was something bothering me. And I was thinking, like, what bothered me? And I remembered shooting that guy. And I thought, well, you know, I mean, if he hadn't shot at me, I wouldn't have shot him. So it wasn't bothering me that, you know, I killed the guy. I killed a human being.
What scared me, rather, I think it scared me, was how easy it was for me to do it. It kind of made me wonder who I am. You know, just kind of like the thoughts of who I am. What kind of person am I? You know, I'm 19 years old, fresh out of this small city.
Grew up in Belle Garden, sleeping on the living room floor. This is my first time leaving the country. I'm learning who I am, and I'm learning things about myself I didn't know. And you're listening to Fernando Arroyo tell his story. And what a story it is. From high school, watching 9-11 and the towers fall, to joining, well, joining the 82nd Airborne. And within months, finds himself in Fallujah. Indeed, one of the most dangerous places in the world, and in battle. And he has his first kill, and now he's got to live with himself. And he's wondering what kind of a man he is, and what kind of a man he'll become as more of this comes his way.
When we come back, more of Fernando Arroyo's story, here, on Our American Stories. Fall is here, which means it's time to refresh your closet. And Saksaaw 5th is the perfect place to do just that. Let your style take off this fall, in chic faux leather jackets, cool chunky boots, trendy totes, and more. Update your wardrobe now with designer names like Stella McCartney, Chloe, Stuart Weitzman, Vince, Moschino, and more. So you can get everything you want at Saksaaw 5th, all at a price you'll love.
Discover all of the fall fashion essentials at up to 70% off at Saksaaw5th.com, or at a Saksaaw 5th store near you. Oh, my gosh. Did you hear the news? Your favorite new comedy from last year, Ghosts, is finally back with new episodes. It's an age-old story. Husband and wife moved to upstate New York to renovate an old estate into a bed and breakfast, only to find out it's inhabited by ghosts from throughout the centuries.
That happens, right? There's a viking, a hippie, a guy who knew Alexander Hamilton. Oh, and don't get me started on the ghost who died with no pants on, or the one who died with an arrow in his neck. You can never decide who's your favorite. No shows made you laugh harder in ages, which is probably why critics couldn't stop raving about it. So, Ghosts. It's back for the new season Thursday nights, 830, 730 Central, on CBS.
Tell everyone you know. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, next-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound, so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound shape to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. And we return to our American stories. We last learned about U.S. Army Paratrooper Fernando Arroyo, the 19-year-old Bell Gardens, California, native, having to shoot an Iraqi insurgent while out on his first mission.
Let's return to Fernando. That deployment, I would get in several more gunfights, and I would experience several IEDs and near-death encounters and see the horrors of war. I made it through that deployment. I came back from Fallujah, and I got home for the two-week vacation, and I'm sitting in my living room watching TV, and it was garbage day, and behind my house was an alley, and there's a dumpster in the alley, and I'm sitting with my mom and my brother. I don't think my dad was there.
We're just enjoying family time together watching TV. So the garbage truck picks the dumpster up, and then it shakes it once it gets up top to get all the trash out, but when it shook, it was like an explosion, right? Boom, boom, boom.
I yelled, incoming, get down, and I dove to my living room floor, and I said, get down, get down, and my family's looking at me, and I started laughing. I said, oh, my bad. Yeah, I'm back.
No problems. Ha, ha, ha. It's funny. And I got up, sat down, and my mom's crying. She's like, Miho, are you okay? I said, yeah, Mom, I'm okay.
I'm okay. Two weeks pass, I'm back in North Carolina, and I'm doing training, and it was between Iraq and Afghanistan for me during that time that I went to Army Ranger School. So first, before you go to that hell, you got to go to pre-hell, which is pre-Ranger. Out of the 50 guys that went, 15 of us made it. Then I went to Ranger School, the big leagues, and I made it past the first phase. I passed the land navigation part.
I made it past the Darby phase, the first phase. Then I went to the mountain phase of Ranger School in Dahlonega, Georgia, and I failed Dahlonega, Georgia. So I was a recycle, so I had to wait a week for the next class, and during that week, we eat three meals a day, but we're so hungry because we've been eating only one meal a day for so long that three meals a day is not enough. So at night, we would sneak out and go dumpster diving, and we'd eat out of dumpsters, and man, you can find some good stuff in those dumpsters, especially the one behind the chow hall.
It's like, wow, they're throwing out perfectly good cake. So I finally, I redid the mountain phase. Then I went to Florida for the jungle phase. I passed, and yeah, all right, I earned my Ranger tap. I felt so good, and then I got hit with a letter saying that I've been stop-lossed. The army said, anyone getting out after June of 06 is not getting out of the army. You are hereby stop-lossed.
Stop-lossed. The army cannot afford to lose you. We need enough soldiers to be combat effective, so you're going to Iraq for a year. I told this to my girlfriend, who thought I was going to get out and we were going to be together, and she was upset just as I was, but then she said, you know what, I can't wait for you. I can't do this, and she broke my heart. So by this point, I started off my army service praying to God, going to church, and I hadn't done that in a while. God wasn't on the top of my list of things, of people I wanted to talk to or have a relationship with, and I remember I had no one else to be angry at but God. I just blamed God, like, this is your fault. If God is in control of all things, then you're the one that's keeping me in the army. You're the reason my girlfriend just dumped me.
I was just mad. I remember going to war and thinking, I'm going to die. So that one year deployment was to Beijing, Iraq, and it turned into a 15-month deployment, and I lost a lot of friends. I remember my buddies, Miller and Girard, one night they went out on a counter-IED mission. We were living at an oil refinery for days at a time and carrying out missions from the Beijing oil refinery, missions to conduct counter-IED missions, kill or capture missions where we would go into people's houses at night, you know, these bad guys.
We used cell phones and other intelligence means of finding bad guys and snatching them out of their beds at night, which was really fun. And, yeah, going into a house at night, and they're like, there you are, there's the guy. We have a picture of him. This is his name. He's making bombs, and there he is, sound asleep. And I just zip-tie him slowly, turn him around on his stomach, zip-tie his hands behind his back, and then I would shake him.
Wake up! And they'd wake up and, oh, no, America's here. Like, hey, we got you, you know? So that was fun. War is fun until somebody gets hurt, and that night, Miller and Girard were blown up. Before we went out on missions, we always said, I love you, stay safe, because you just never knew what was going to happen. And I had told them that that night, before they went out, I said, I love you, stay safe. And now they were being loaded on a helicopter, and I didn't know if they were going to live because they lost so much blood. Miller did end up flatlining, but the medics brought him back. Girard, he was fine, so they both survived, but I didn't know this, right?
Like, I didn't know. They got on the helicopter and left, and that was it, and I was filled with rage and anger, and again, I blamed God. That deployment, I lost several friends. We even had a Chechen sniper hunting us, and he was getting headshots. We were hunting bad guys, but they were hunting us. Fifteen months in combat, I come back.
About a month and a half later, I'm a college student at Cerritos Community College. My body was here, my mind was in Iraq. I couldn't go anywhere without a gun.
Going shopping at the mall was hell. I would plan my visits. What do I need? I need pants and shirts. Cool. I'm gonna, like, I had a map of the mall. This is where the store is. I'm gonna come in this way, park here. I'm gonna go in this door, make a right. I'm gonna pick two pairs of pants, two shorts, and I gotta get out of there. I remember being in, like, the dressing room, you know, trying on clothes and sweating, because I'm just, like, I'm taking too long. Like, if the enemy's gonna find me here, and, like, you know, I need to hurry up and get out of there.
That's, like, my, I don't know, it was weird, you know? About three years after I got out, it got at its all-time worst. I finished my bachelor's degree at UC Irvine in Criminology, hoping that I would be in law enforcement. No law enforcement agency hired me. I applied for several government jobs. All of them rejected me. The only job I would get was working at a wholesale, uh, a warehouse.
I don't know if I should say their name, but I'm a shopping cart collector. That's what I was doing. I had combat experience, leadership skills, Army Ranger School under my belt, a bachelor's degree from one of the top universities in the country, and I'm collecting shopping carts. In the Army, I had a mission. I had a brotherhood.
I lost that. I was going to church, but I was, like, sitting in the back of church with a hangover. I had no purpose. I felt like I failed at life.
I thought, you know what? I'm 26 years old at the time, 26, 27. I lived a good life. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day, and that's the statistic.
I was about to become one of them. And you're listening to Fernando Arroyo share his darkest days with you, with all of us. He comes back from Iraq. He's in junior college and even a trip to a mall.
Well, he can't do it like the rest of us can. He's left Iraq, but Iraq, it hasn't left him. He finishes at Cal Irvine but can't get that job as a cop and ends up collecting shopping carts. He's lost his mission. He's a man without a purpose. And 22 vets commit suicide every day, and he's thinking, well, he just might be the next.
When we come back, more of the story of Fernando Arroyo's service and his life after service here on Our American Stories. Fall is here, which means it's time to refresh your closet. And Saks Off 5th is the perfect place to do just that. Let your style take off this fall in chic faux leather jackets, cool chunky boots, trendy totes, and more. Update your wardrobe now with designer names like Stella McCartney, Khloé, Stuart Weitzman, Vince, Moschino, and more. So you can get everything you want at Saks Off 5th, all at a price you'll love.
Discover all of the fall fashion essentials at up to 70% off at SaksOff5th.com or at a Saks Off 5th store near you. Oh, my gosh. Did you hear the news? Your favorite new comedy from last year, Ghosts, is finally back with new episodes. It's an age-old story. Husband and wife moved to upstate New York to renovate an old estate into a bed and breakfast, only to find out it's inhabited by ghosts from throughout the centuries.
That happens, right? There's a Viking, a hippie, a guy who knew Alexander Hamilton. Oh, and don't get me started on the ghost who died with no pants on or the one who died with an arrow in his neck. You can never decide who's your favorite. No shows made you laugh harder in ages, which is probably why critics couldn't stop raving about it. So, Ghosts. It's back for the new season Thursday nights, 8.30, 7.30 Central on CBS.
Tell everyone you know. When the world gets in the way of your music, try the new Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound-gen earbuds uniquely tuned to the shape of your ears. They use exclusive Bose technology that personalizes the audio performance to fit you, delivering the world's best noise cancellation and powerfully immersive sound, so you can hear and feel every detail of the music you love. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, sound shape to you.
To learn more, visit Bose.com. And we continue with our American stories and with Fernando Arroyo's story. After years of combat experience in the U.S. Army, graduating from both Ranger School and the University of California, Irvine, with a criminology degree, Fernando Arroyo failed to get a job with a police agency or with the federal government. Instead, he was collecting shopping carts at a local grocery store.
Let's return to Fernando's story. One day, I just had a miserable day. You know, I'm collecting shopping carts in the sun. Like, what am I doing? I remember going home and just going to my studio apartment, and I was just drinking and drinking. Closed the blinds.
I'm in the dark. I passed out, and I had another nightmare. By this point, I was so afraid.
I didn't want to sleep because the nightmares were so real. I wake up and, like, just soaked in sweat with a gun in my hand. I went to the fridge. I grabbed a beer. I went to the fridge. I grabbed a beer. And then I closed my eyes as t-
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