Ironically, he was discharged from the Army for mental illness.
Via NY Daily News:
Death threats are just another part of life for Terry Holdbrooks Jr.
The ex-U.S. Army employee converted to Islam in 2003, inspired by the faith of the Guantanamo detainees he was charged with watching. Since then, he says he has lost his friends, received violent threats, and been labeled a “race traitor” online.
But he hasn’t gone quietly. The 29-year-old has done his fair share of media and has even signed on for a job as a speaker for the Muslim Legal Fund of America. Now the devout Muslim is racking up frequent flyer miles and touring the country with what he calls the “truth about Gitmo.”
“Gitmo was supposed to be a cushy deployment since we were just going to babysit detainees,” Holdbrooks said. “But it changed me.” […]
But over the course of several months, as Holdbrooks started speaking to the detainees and reading the Quran, he began to find some truth in Islam.
“The Quran is the simplest book in the world to read. It doesn’t have magic. It doesn’t contradict itself,” Holdbrooks said. “It’s simply an instruction manual for living.”
The faith lives of the detainees seemed to be proof that the instruction manual could work.
Holdbrooks took the leap in December 2003. In the presence of the prisoners, he read out a statement of faith that confirmed him as a Muslim.
His life changed drastically when he came back to America. He said he spent years trying to drink away memories of Guantanamo. He was honorably discharged from the Army in October 2005 for “generalized personality disorder.”