It's imperative to look up to and learn from army veterans; only then can we truly understand the sacrifices made by men and women in uniform.
We're Letting You Go!
Generally, when you enter the military you plan on making it your career. For some that enter, it means we enter as a child and leave as a more mature adult. When I look back on my time as a committed airman, I am proud to have been a part of the journey. However, I am saddened and regretful that I couldn't make at least the 20 year mark.
We all celebrate the Fourth of July, Veteran's Day, even Memorial Day. We like to say thank you to a gentleman or woman we see on the street displaying veteran status, or to express our appreciation to the veterans that we know personally. But many do not realize the staggering number of veterans who are homeless, or who are struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, or chronic unemployment. These men and women were willing to sacrifice their lives so that we could continue to enjoy the freedom to tweet about hating Donald Trump, or simply vote in an open election. Little do we know what often happens to them if they are fortunate enough to return home.
20 Per Day
The other day I asked in a Veteran's group on Facebook, "Why do you think so many vets suffer from depression? Even those that did not deploy?" and the response I got was overwhelming.After reading every single comment that was made, I really learned a lot from my fellow Veterans and let me tell you, just a glimpse into their life made me feel like I am not alone. But it also made me feel extremely sad that there are so many of us out there who suffer from this sadness.One person said, "Because you go from being surrounded by and with your best friends 24/7/365 enduring some of the toughest shit imaginable to being thrown out alone into this bullshit world. You miss it. Humans are tribal by nature and when we are in platoon sized groups we are in our element. When you get torn away from that, you suffer."Another commented, "Because you were once a part of a team who valued each other more than themselves, an altruistic group. The depression comes when you realize that you may not ever experience that again."These are both incredibly true. Although I have some amazing friends that I love and hold dear to me, no friendship will ever be like one you had when you were in the military. It is a truly, and completely different lifestyle. A different mentality. And different family. Yeah we might not get along with each other, but we all went through the same shit. It is similar to a blood bond I guess. There are no words to describe the bond you have with people when you are in the military to someone who is not.Some other comments that really spoke to me were, "In my experience working with my fellow vets, I have found that a majority become depressed when they lose that sense of purpose or belonging that they had while serving in the military. We go from being a part of something, having a sense of importance, to being a nobody in the civilian world. Often with no idea of where to go or what to do with ourselves. So we drink, we self medicate, we isolate, and we ultimately tear our selves apart from the inside out.""We leave a life of structure, purpose, and brotherhood and find ourselves in a civilian world filled with chaos, deadend jobs and apathetic people.
What Is This Journey?
I wish I could think of something quick whited to say here. I wish I could tell you exactly how this journey will go, or what direction I want to take. To be honest though, if you are reading something I've written, you are one of those who enjoy piecing together the random thought fragments into a strange and twisted story that reads as my mind and life.
A Shattered Soul
To all of those who have served in the United States Marine Corps. Semper Fidelis! Also to Reisae, Becky and Kathy for the overwhelming support and dedication.
The Misuse & Abuse of Military Tribute
The US military has evolved greatly since its inception in 1776 and with that evolution, so has the civilian support of it. The past thirty years have seen an increase in programs and events for returning veterans. But what if this civilian fervor is being misused? Opposition to civil rights activism has been masked in patriotic passion and humanitarian crises have been disparaged with references to unrelated issues such as veteran homelessness. It is not to say that concerns like veteran homelessness and respect for the troops are not valid, but they should not be used to silence people who have matters that are just as legitimate.
Why Celebrating Veteran's Day Is Important... Everyday
If you are like me, you have veterans in your family, you know someone who is currently serving, or you have youngsters in your life who have decided to enlist in the armed forces instead of going to college. I've been lucky enough to gain a stepdad who has taught me the importance of serving your country.
A Little Red Flower
When Dad came back from Viet Nam we were stationed in PA at a now long gone Air Force base (Olmsted closed in 1969). There were many things about him that were different, but it was something that we never discussed. It was about this time that he became a member of the VFW, the Highspire post. In those days the post was very active and had frequent events which we would attend as a family. We were frequent visitors there. It was the normal routine for us on a Sunday afternoon. I went because that’s what my choice was, it was very simple; we were going and that was the end of the discussion. I had become a regular, the bartender knew how to deal with me. I was particular even then. My “Shirley Temple” was always served in a tall frosted glass and never stirred. I would sit there and sip on those and eat Slim Jims, while the grownups sat and drank and talked. They talked quietly, occasionally laughed, but mostly just talked amongst themselves and drank. Old men (compared to me) telling war stories. Reliving the horrors, trying to make sense of it all. The occasional smile and good-natured backslap was the distraction from what those hollow eyes were seeing once again. Most of those events have passed from my memory, but one thing did linger, one very simple thing.
Most Important Things for Veterans to Know About GI Benefits
Those who served for our country missed out on a lot of the education that they should be gaining knowledge from. That's where the Forever GI Bill comes into play.
- Top Story - October 2017
Best And Worst States For Military Retirees
When you're retiring out of the military there's a lot of work to be done in connection with your personal life. Deciding on marriage, your girlfriend should know what becoming a military wife truly entails. You should also feel comfortable in rejoining the human race. What to do now? How do I move forward? And, most importantly of all, where do I go?
Best Jobs for Veterans
Getting out of the military can be a jarring experience for many of our servicemen and women. Returning to civilian life can be hard enough, and while these brave men and women are trying to get their personal lives back in order, they have to worry about something that can be extremely stressful even under the best circumstances: finding a job.
What Is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day isn't exactly one of the most easily-remembered holidays in the American calendar. Most people don't even remember what day it is, or what we're supposed to remember about it, aside from veterans who have served in a war.