For Wilsonville native Matt Koslowski, things in his life are looking up.
The former Army combat medic is engaged, just purchased a house and recently finished his college degree.
But Koslowski remembers a time when his life was not so easy.
He was an Army combat medic with the 2nd Stryker Brigade in 2004 in Iraq. Koslowski saved many lives but says he could never forget the soldiers he could not save in the end.
“It was like I had a lot of guilt when I came back, a lot of battle buddies who didn’t have the opportunity to come back. So that was hard for me,” he told FOX 12. “I was in a downward spiral for probably seven years.”
Koslowski turned to alcohol and prescription drugs to help him cope with the guilt. He said he hit rock bottom when he spent 26 days in the Washington County Jail system.
It was at that point Koslowski decided to make a change, not only for himself but for his son.
“It’s really about learning coping skills and reaching out and asking others for help. Once I did that, my entire life changed…for the better.”
Koslowski was able to turn his life around and now he is helping other veterans do the same thing through Lines of Life. He answers phones and helps other soldiers work through their struggles.
“I take calls every day,” Koslowski said. “My best days are when I’m able to connect with another veteran that’s struggling. That’s what drives my spark.”
He has fought hard to be happy and he is determined to not lose sight of that feeling.
FOX 12 is helping to raise money to benefit Lines for Life. To make a donation to help give a voice for veterans, visit KPTV.com/Voice or simply text "LINES" to 444999.
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