Marine Corporal Paul Wayman (L), served two combat tours in Iraq. His friend, Nathanael Roberti (R), is a former Navy SEAL who deployed to Afghanistan.
When they came back, they had trouble leaving the war behind.
Nathanael and Paul met in 2012, at a special court for veterans that takes into account the specific struggles that service members face.
The judge gave them a choice between incarceration or a program that helps vets readjust to civilian life. They chose to go through the program.
At StoryCorps, they talked about how they got there.
Nathanael and Paul are still working through the program and they hope to get their charges dismissed by the end of 2013.
In the business that they plan to run together, they will be teaching military skills to civilians.
Click here for the transcript.
Nathanael Roberti (NR): For me it started off with just bar fights. I pulled a knife on four individuals, that's why I ended up in front of a judge. I mean, we'd come back from these deployments and I just felt like, I cannot relate to anybody here in the United States anymore.
PW: The disconnect is huge.
NR: Yeah. Basically what the world's telling us is, we trained you one way to go kill bad guys, and now that you're out, you have got to completely change your way of thinking. And how do you do that? How do you switch that around?
NR: So how did you end up being in front of a judge?
PW: We got word that one of our buddies was killed in Afghanistan. Went to a few bars, was driving home and I got pulled over. I was obviously highly intoxicated. I had my .45 right there and the police found the firearm.
And I really needed the help because you walk though a river you're going to come out wet.
It's funny because I've noticed we've always thrived in hardship.
PW: But whenever things are easy…
NR: We're our own worst enemies because we don't live the quiet normal life.
NR: And that's why we hit it off in the beginning. And we told our war stories to each other.
NR: And it was important for us to have that relationship because, you and I, we kind of helped each other through.
PW: If you wouldn't have been here, I do not know how I would have got though this shit.
NR: But now, here we are a year later dude, and I'm running a successful business now. I'm about to be running another business with you. And um, without getting too, you know, mushy, I've seen you grow, man. And uh, you know, it's a good thing to see.