he day I left active service was one of the hardest of my life. A bored clerk handed me my discharge papers, and I went from being a leader, a Marine, and a warrior, to Paul. The military machine wouldn’t stop when I left. The people I cared about were still active and had work to do, but my purpose was gone. I would never be Capt. Harper again, and when that realization sank in, it left me sobbing so hard that I couldn’t finish the drive home. I pulled over and cried in full uniform. It doesn’t matter if your discharge was medically required or signed by your own hand, that day sucks. Out of everything I experienced while serving, that day bothered me the most. I had never told that to anyone. Not my mother or sister. Not my girlfriend or buddies from college. I could never find the courage, but I heard the words spilling out of my mouth and into a hotel conference room in Moab, Utah. Looking around, I saw heads nodding in agreement. The people there understood that day. They knew it, because they’d lived it, these people who, five days ago, were complete strangers congregating at a Las Vegas hotel, gearing up for the 2018 Veterans Charity Ride.