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An Afghanistan War Veteran Reveals His Nightmare of Becoming a Gold Star Brother
by Scott DeLuzio
Scott DeLuzio and his brother Steven were deployed by the Army National Guard to Afghanistan in 2010. Both were fighting just miles away from each other on August 22, 2010, when Scott was told Steven had just been killed. Moments later, Scott was thrust into battle against the Taliban, who had just taken his brother’s life.
SURVIVING SON: An Afghanistan War Veteran Reveals His Nightmare of Becoming a Gold Star Brother (Drive on Studio, LLC; August 30, 2021) is the true-life story of Scott and Steven DeLuzio. Scott DeLuzio takes you on a journey from his Connecticut upper-middle-class childhood to his call to service after 9/11. With college degrees and a bright future ahead of them, these brothers left the safety of suburban life to fight on the front lines in Afghanistan. When Scott was asked why he would do this, he responded, “Why not me?”
In SURVIVING SON, DeLuzio explores the hostile war zone and the soldiers experience engaging in combat with the Taliban. He describes what it was like to be a soldier and the raw emotion he felt when learning of his brother’s death. He vividly reveals how he continued to struggle with PTSD from the stresses of combat, the loss of his only sibling, and the transition to civilian life.
Scott’s homecoming was not the hero’s welcome he deserved. As you read the story of his
return to civilian life, it will leave you laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. However, in the end, Scott’s message is one of hope. He addresses the reality vs. perception that often accompanies those struggling after a traumatic event. He candidly explains how a flashback or “reliving experience” can for a few moments take him back to the hot, dusty ground in Eastern Afghanistan.
By telling his story, Scott hopes to reach out to those veterans still struggling with the impact of war. His message is one of hopefulness that can potentially reverse the stigma that often accompanies those who seek mental health treatment. Scott continues to give back through his Drive On Podcast (https://driveonpodcast.com/), which reminds veterans they are not alone in their struggles and provides resources to those searching for help.
Especially timely with the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, Scott opens up about U.S. withdrawal from the region. “I believe that every service member who took part in the war did what was needed to keep Americans safe at home by taking the fight to the enemy,” writes DeLuzio. “We did what our country asked us to do. Be proud of that!”
About Scott DeLuzio
Scott DeLuzio owns an e-commerce software development business and is an Army veteran, having served six years with the Army National Guard, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. Scott’s brother, Steven, was also deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. Unfortunately, Steven was killed in action on August 22, 2010. After returning home, Scott struggled with PTSD and the loss of his only sibling. Scott started Drive On Podcast to connect with current and prior service members. He interviews veterans and civilians to discuss personal triumphs, life experiences, resources, and emotional hardships to give hope and strength to the military community. Scott lives in Surprise, Arizona, with his wife, Vicki DeLuzio, and their three children.
TITLE: SURVIVING SON: An Afghanistan War Veteran Reveals His Nightmare of Becoming a Gold Star Brother