Author hopes new book will help make life happier | City News

Robert Serocki Jr. fought on the front lines of the first Iraq War for less than a year.

The Mesa native has spent more than 25 years battling what it did to his body and soul.

Serocki, 52, who has documented his struggles with PTSD in three books, hosts a weekly webcast on in hopes of helping other men and women recover from PTSD.

Now he has published a new book called “The Blacksmith”.

Inspired by an old Civil War photo that bears a striking resemblance to him, the book offers a guide to overcoming life’s obstacles that he formulated while successfully battling PTSD.

At one point, the battle seemed hopeless.

Four years after leaving the Marine Corps as a corporal in 1992, he didn’t immediately realize he was a victim of PTSD. As a demolition engineer, he performed one tour in Saudi Arabia and one in Kuwait.

At one point, he lost everything but his truck, was homeless, and felt like an outcast. He nearly committed suicide twice.

In his faith, Serocki turned to the spiritual for answers, saying he analyzed his dreams and extrapolated the messages he thought his subconscious was giving him in order to put the traumatic past behind him.

Through meditation, dream analysis, prayer, healthy eating, and an array of goals, he moves his life in a more positive direction.

“The Blacksmith” looks at the map of the route he used to get there.

Subtitled “Life Doesn’t Get Better By Accident; It Gets Better By Changing,” the book is his ethos, philosophy, and practical application from homeless to homeowner, poor to investor compilation of

He takes pride in helping his son and boy’s friend turn around their high school grades and get into college.

“While this is all going on, people will get in touch with me from time to time through my YouTube channel and my website,” he said.

“They would reach out to me for inspiration, guidance, and support so we could have open and honest conversations about our experiences as Veterans, Veteran families, and/or Veteran friends, and people who have gone through trauma and life struggles .

“I spend most of my time studying, writing about my struggles and victories, and helping others in any way I can.”

He takes his spirituality, especially prayer, very seriously, as does his healthy lifestyle through exercise, wholesome food and even chickens and vegetables in his yard.

“And mental health and mental health,” he said. “Everyone works together, you can’t do without other people. I meditate part of the day… I pray at night when I go to bed, and it’s always the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning.”

He started The Blacksmith after finishing The Sword and the Anvil, his “definitive guide to natural and healthy recovery from post-traumatic stress and trauma.”

Through painstaking research, he discovered the identity of a Civil War blacksmith who resembled the photo.

Serocki, John Hart, a blacksmith in the Regiment of New York who he said “had been in countless battles,” was wounded at Gettysburg and, after a life full of pain, He eventually died in a veterans’ home in 1907.

Serocki believes the guidelines he lays out in the book may have saved Hart from a life of misery.

“In my opinion, PTSD is getting more attention from the scientific community and society, but for two different reasons,” Serocki said.

“More and more veterans, athletes and ordinary people are talking about their issues and bringing them to the forefront,” he said.

“It’s great because as more and more people share their stories, it creates a growing awareness of mental health issues and how pervasive they are in today’s society.

“Secondly, and more importantly, it also helps individuals recover because they’re talking about it.”

He also felt he changed turning points in his life through books.

“Not only do I write about my struggle with PTSD,” he said, “but more importantly, I write about how I overcame it in natural, healthy ways and how I rebuild my life.”

“With all these tools and skills that I have now, I feel whole, complete and happy because I know myself and I’m doing the job I was put here to do,” he said.

“My life is very satisfying and fulfilling. I can now say with great confidence that I am happy, and I mean it.”

His books can be found at


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