On Masculinity

This post also appears on We all remember our fascination with the physical prowess of brawny men. There’s something about the mustaches, the short shorts, the faded pictures of big eye glasses, and slabs of meat for traps. I was 23 when I started  I had some sort of infatuation with masculinity. IContinue reading “On Masculinity”


My friend’s son made this for school, and it makes me cry like a babe. Not long ago hearing the words “hero” with my name made me want to vomit. Does the person know I believed I deserved to die? That I believed I wasn’t good enough for anyone? That the fearless warrior in combatContinue reading ““Hero””

Christmas Truth

Social media influencers shine the light of their happiness on every post. It’s manicured bullshit. They use a platform that sells everything we do to advertisers and then act as an actual advertisement. Their entire page is curated to do so, including the types of smiles, pictures, and captions. Nobody wants to buy an iPodContinue reading “Christmas Truth”

Just Another Morning

It was just another morning. This picture was taken a week before I stepped on the IED. I was in charge of a six man element, and we used the Polaris RZR I’m leaning on to drive to nearby partner force outposts. I had a mechanic with me to take a looksie at their generators.Continue reading “Just Another Morning”


These were some of my Afghan comrades. Some valiant, some survivors, but all of them freedom fighters. Some will fight to the death. Everyone has an opinion on AFG right now. I deployed there during a counter terrorism period where only US Special Forces conducted operations. It wasn’t a state building mission. It hasn’t beenContinue reading “Afghanistan”

Speedy Brain

The following is the short article I read on Episode 9 of the podcast titled “Speedy Brain”. One morning I awoke to snow blanketing the trees and mountains. As I sipped a cup of coffee, I realized the act of looking out my window was a respite from Speedy Brain. It’s easy to forget anyContinue reading “Speedy Brain”

Waking the Tiger

One of the greatest challenges of trauma for a trauma survivor is how nobody understands it. This can lead to others’ expectations not being met, particularly with how they think a person should heal. This results in the survivor directing all of their traumatic anxiety inwardly to avoid subjecting other people to their symptoms. It makes everything for the survivor worse.

A Letter to SOF

By Justin Lascek U.S. Army Special Forces Medical Sergeant The nature of Special Operations is to accomplish near impossible missions. We are the action arm of policy for our nation, a tool in war and peace. Nowadays we are the primary effort in combat, conflict, and influence. We may be tasked with everything from humanitarianContinue reading “A Letter to SOF”

Ketamine Essay

The first time I received ketamine was after I stepped on an IED, and the experience of emotional and physical trauma while under the influences of this medication were profound. I wrote this essay so medical providers — doctors, nurses, combat medics, etc. — can improve their understanding of how this drug can influence aContinue reading “Ketamine Essay”


I wrote the following transcript for the introductory episode of the cleverly named “The Justin Lascek Podcast”. You’re listening to the Justin Lascek podcast. And I’m that dude, Justin, and welcome to the show. Shout out to Bobby Emmett for the intro song – he’s Sturgill Simpson’s keyboard player. I’m actually recording this in aContinue reading “Introduction”