Former Marine Overcomes Addiction Following Deaths of 29 ‘Brothers’ in Iraq

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By Competing in Ironman

By Cathy Free

Original Source: people.com

For 10 years, haunted by the memory of 29 Marine comrades who fought with him in Iraq and didn’t make it home, Mike Ergo numbed his sorrow with drugs and alcohol, hoping that each time he passed out drunk, it would help him to forget.

Nobody is more surprised than he is that on Oct. 14, he’ll compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in honor of the same soldiers who once visited his nightmares. 

Ever since he kicked his addictions five years ago and decided to channel his frustrations into competing in Ironman contests, “I feel like a new person with a sense of purpose,” Ergo, 34, of Walnut Creek, California, tells PEOPLE.

“When I’m running, I can feel the presence of the friends I lost, and not just in a metaphorical sense,” he says. “Several times, I’ve had the profound spiritual experience of feeling…click here to continue reading

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