One-man army fights war’s stresses
COLORADO SPRINGS — Even his friends call him the angry guy now. And on a snowy evening, when he should be home putting his son to bed, Andrew Pogany is, in fact, ticked off. He sits with a soldier in a law office. The man has brought with him a pile of medical files, and another desperate story: Sent to war to fight for his country. He is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; yet the Army, the soldier tells Pogany, is drawing up papers to discharge him in a way that could mean no medical benefits. The soldier confides he thinks about killing himself, all the time. Pogany makes sure he has his cell number. Then he copies the medical records, and recommends a book by a Vietnam
veteran turned Zen monk. The man once helped Pogany through his own tough times. Two hours behind closed doors, then a handshake and the soldier leaves. Pogany seethes. “Disgusting,” he fumes. “This is so disgusting. “Yes, Andrew Pogany is angry again, but he shrugs off such labels. Better to be called angry than to be branded a coward, which is what the Army did to him in 2003. When the military tried to prosecute him, anger motivated Pogany to fight. When he began thinking about taking his own life, anger helped quiet the despair and kept him from getting a gun. When service members started coming to him for help, anger drove him to fight on for them.