SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – He spent almost three decades serving as a United States Marine and until this day, he continues to deal with the aftermath of war.
Steve Hanner, also known as Greenie, said he’s seen it all. From close calls of death to losing his brothers and sisters in fire fights.
However, Greenie said he’ll always cherish what the military gave him and that’s family hood.
At 17, Steve ‘Greenie’ Hanner became a Marine in the United States Military.
“Well, I was getting in trouble on the loop and I had to do something or all them speeding tickets was going to get me in trouble, or I was going to jail,” Hanner said.
So, he joined the Marine Corps.
“I was in the Marine Corps for 27-and-a-half years,” Hanner said.
Greenie spent three tours in Vietnam. When asked about his time there, Greenie said that was too difficult after spending 18-month tours there.
He said sleeping with one eye open wasn’t just a figure of speech.
“You couldn’t turn your back because you never knew who was right there,” Hanner said.
“They were your friends during the day and on the base your on, and at night they were coming in and blowing you up,” Hanner said.
Greenie said there isn’t much he hasn’t seen.
He tries to bury the memories that haunt him.
“Too much killing and too much other stuff and that’s all I can say. I don’t want to get into it because it bothers me. And I don’t want it to come back and that kind of memories to come back and bother me,” Hanner said.
Greeenie suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
“You had to live for today and pray for tomorrow and hope that bullet you hear don’t have your name on it,” Hanner said.
He said it’s an every day battle dealing with PTSD. Fire crackers and cars back firing trigger sounds and images from Vietnam.
“It’s hard. And I’ve, been times where I’ve thought about shutting it all off, bothered me that bad at times,” Hanner said.
Greenie said it doesn’t get easier dealing with PTSD but said the support of his friends and family gets him through each day.
He encourages anyone else who struggles to seek help, and know they’re not alone.
Greenie said three decades in the military he was around good and bad people. He adds at 17, he had to figure out which one he wanted to grow up to be like and said he likes to think he turned OK.