Forrest Lang was born on May 24, 1977, on Long Island in New York. After moving to Oxnard, California, he was raised by his biological mother, who beat, tortured and humiliated him until the age of 12. During this time he was sexually assaulted by his older sibling and beaten severely by his stepfather. He was removed by child protective services and placed in the California foster care system, where he was physically, sexually and mentally abused by his foster mother. At the age of 15 he dropped out of Oxnard High School. He earned his GED in 1993 and then attended Ventura College, studying illustration. After Forrest’s foster mother tried to kill him at 16, he was homeless for two years in Oxnard, then joined the Navy. Forrest’s first enlistment was from 1995 to 2000. Shortly after he was honorably discharged, he accidentally shot and killed his best friend. After he was acquitted in a jury trial, he was homeless in Los Angeles.

In 2003 he reenlisted and was deployed to Iraq, serving as a line corpsman with the First Marine Division. At the age of 28 Forrest returned to San Diego, where he has been a tattoo artist for the last 16 years, along with being a motivational speaker. In 2015 Forrest founded Sparta 12-Step, a suicide prevention group for veterans. In 2016 Forrest heavily supported the founding of The Sparta Project, a five-day inpatient PTSD treatment for veterans.

Forrest currently resides in La Jolla, California, with his fiancée Kristin and daughter Grace.