Ranch & Coast Magazine

April 2023

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Page 45 of 91

I COULDN'T LEAVE MY HOUSE. I WAS AFRAID to go out on my front porch to get the mail. I was afraid to go out in the backyard — I thought people would come over the fence," says Victor "Vic" Martin, a 46-year-old medically retired Navy Mineman who suffered a severe brain injury while serving in the Persian Gulf in 2012. Following his injury, Martin was physically fine, but his speech became slurred and his vision blurred. Back in San Diego, his doctors didn't know how bad it would get. He developed a tremble on his left side and started having trouble with numbers. Eventually he had memory issues and once left his family at Walmart, forgetting he had come to the store with them. "I no longer trusted myself. I was angry. I was screaming in front of the kids," says Martin, who is married and has three children, now 22, 17, and 12. "It was a horrible environment. ey're asking me to come to their performances and I can't. ey're crying and I'm crying. I saw the pain I was putting them through — just being a weight on the family." It got so bad for Martin that he attempted suicide in 2013, but thankfully he was unsuccessful, and the experience became a turn- ing point. Understanding what he'd tried to do and why, Martin recognized he really did want to live — and just as important, he was ready to seek the help and do the things that were necessary to make that possible. Heroes Serving Heroes Supporting San Diego's transitioning servicemembers BY BILL ABRAMS Focus military Vic Martin, photographed in Encinitas, where he lived for many years as a young adult PORTRAIT: PHOTO BY VINCENT KNAKAL ranchandcoast.com 46 APRIL 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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