22 Veterans a Day
On a daily basis there are 22 veterans on average in this country that commit suicide. The number of veterans who try per day is a number that’s not even known. Sadly the amount of people who die is vastly too many. Why is this an epidemic in our country? The life a veteran lives after the military is never an easy one. It’s full of pain, and loss, and a lack of self worth like few will ever know or understand. What kind of pain can someone feel that would be enough to override the simplest of functions, self-preservation? When the world beats us to the ground, when our value seems to go away the notion of self-preservation is the farthest thing on our minds.
Sometimes it’s a single trauma that can cause enough pain to force our hand. I’m not saying it’s ever right, but I do understand. When you feel you’ve lost everything you once held dear to your heart, everything in your life you rated as being who you were, that loss can be strong enough to wish it all away. As a soldier we are trained to do. We are trained to react and do so without feeling, without questioning the decision, so why not when it comes to our personal lives. The training isn’t like a switch you can turn on and off anytime you wish. What happens is sad, but true. When threatened the brain automatically kicks into fight or flight response. As a soldier our flight response doesn’t usually kick in it’s always fight and never stop fighting. When we feel as if the mission is done, and or lost, that flight kicks in. We are trained to avoid emotional attachments, so when something happens that’s extremely emotionally charged, we don’t know how to handle.
2 Timothy 2:4 “4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” This of course defines a big problem with today. Soldiers of today’s wars will go from war to home in a matter of a week. This is never enough time to decompress, to deal with the horrible things we face in war. When we get home and the real battle begins so few understand. We struggle to open up and let others know how we feel and what we think, sadly we often fail.
The true nature of the struggles is we just don’t know where to look. There are plenty of people who may not know exactly what we feel, but have struggles of their own. It’s not for us to push people aside. The mission isn’t over it’s just different. When we return, the mission is no longer to seek and destroy the enemy it’s to be there for our fellow brother and sister veterans. We must have faith that whatever battle we face, the battle will not be waged alone.
Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Help is all around us. There are people there who are willing to and want to help. If you’re a veteran and having financial troubles there are organizations to help. Facing PTSD there are places that help. It’s just a matter of using the resources that are there for you. Do not place your self worth on a temporary pain. When the mission doesn’t seem so simple anymore, when life seems bigger then we can take, we feel alone, realize we aren’t. What’s one soldier to do when life is so big? When the pain we face every day is a solitary one it’s more likely that we will loose the battle and sadly we can loose ourselves. The only truth that matters is we aren’t alone. The pain we face in basic training is only temporary. Sadly when one war is over and the next begins something about civilian life is harder to face. We feel as if the world no longer cares about us. We feel as if the problems will never go away, but the fact is they will and they do.
Joshua 1:9 “9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” God is always with us. As we may feel alone, we must not loose our faith. If we look hard enough God will always send someone to be there for us when we need it. God expects us to be proactive. God is not Santa Claus, things won’t be gift wrapped and left on the door for us. He will however give us exactly what we need, when we need it. Romans 8:38-39 “38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No matter the fight ahead, no matter the fight behind we have hope. There will always be hope as long as we remember where to look.
As for me, I know who my friends are. I know where my support is. In the last 8 months my close friends have come out of the woodwork to help me. My close friends have lifted me up, supported me, helped me, talked to me, hugged my neck, called me, written me, and have gone out of their way to help me change my future. I can never thank all my veteran friends, or tell them how much I appreciate or care about them. Faith in the future may not come easily for some, and some days that faith will be tested to the absolute max of it’s limits, but no matter what is going on, PLEASE reach out and let someone know if you need help.
You don’t have to be a victim anymore. Take control of your life and start to live again.
I’ve Got Your 6.
I’d like to dedicate this Blog to a few people very important to me. (Galyn, Tabby, Doc, Brian, David, Paul, David, Michaela, Thacker, Chelsey, Dustin, [just to name a few]) You know why your name is on here.