Nashville, TN

Soldier: Everybody calls me Soldier. I seen combat. 11 Bravo. 

I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I came down here for my sister's funeral. After my sister's funeral ...  I kind of lost it. I came down here to the downtown area to get back on the Greyhound bus, but somehow, some way, God told me to stay. I've been sitting here for the last 10 years in this spot. Ask anybody out here who Soldier is, they'll all tell you.

BW: What do you think the hardest day of your life was?

Soldier: The day my daughter died. She was eight years old. She died of pancreatic cancer. Samantha Ashley Murphy. She was beautiful. She got sick. She passed away. That destroyed my life. I lost a beautiful wife, a beautiful daughter, and a good home. When she died, I walked away from everything.

BW: Why'd you walk away?

Soldier: I believe in God all my life. I read my Bible every day, and I pray to God every day.  but He took something away from me, and I don't know why. I don't know why He's forsaken me, but I will learn.  He done it for a reason.

BW: What could the...

Soldier: He needed another angel. He needed another angel. That's the only way I can put it.

I would rather be out here on the streets. In the VA, all they did was stick a morphine needle in me for 25 days. I laid in the bed watching TV.  That ain’t no life. I’d rather be out here, be alive, meet people, talk to people, enjoy life.

BW: Do you still talk to her?

Soldier: Every day. Every morning I get up. I sleep in the woods right down the road here.  Every morning, I kneel right there, and I pray to God. I thank Him for another beautiful night. I pray for a good day.  I kneel down and I pray. Every morning. Every night.

It's the way God wants it. I'm being tested. I'm being punished for being a soldier.

BW: You're being punished for being a soldier?

Soldier: In the military, I took 11 lives. I got 11 confirmed kills. I've killed 11 people as a soldier. That's what I was trained to do. That's what I was taught to do, and I had to do it.

 I've had people come by. They'll see my sign. They'll see my flag. "Thank you for your service." And I've had people come by and spit on me. "You killed children!" 

I killed whoever I was told to.