It's that hollow numbness, the sense that you are already dead, the complete lack of desire to go on, the craving to be gone, to be done here. The feeling that you are nothing more than an empty husk blown about by gusts of wind. There’s nothing left of you. You're not who you used … Continue reading When You Can’t Be a Warrior Anymore…Is There a Reason to Go On?
The rain drips off the peak of my cap; Speckles my vision. The marching band plays in G Major, but I hear only minor chords. Old Glory passes by and I make the automatic, but heartfelt, salute. I attend the ball games and barbeques But I am not really there. I want to leave so … Continue reading Memorial Day
I am angry tonight. Angry at the lack of understanding that returning warriors have faced for millennia and I still must face in the broken hearts of those who have been fighting our goddamn wars for more than 16 years now....and still they come home to blatant insensitivity. Angry that any heart could not stretch … Continue reading 16 Years & They Still Don’t F***ing Get It
Another day another screaming interview with someone who wants to roll back a few rights to increase their perception (sic) of safety. It is tough to hear these opinions isn’t it? Every time I hear one of these people scream about how my rights are killing, hurting, insulting, offending, etc. them it starts a cycle … Continue reading Coping with the News Cycle
"But I love my wife. She's everything to me. I don't want to lose her." "He's not the man I married. I can't do this anymore." I hear these two expressions all the time from good people whose hearts are aching and weary. Brave people who are dealing with intense trauma and changes in each … Continue reading After Combat, When is Love Worth Fighting For?
Do you recall the Nicole Kidman thriller The Others? In it she lives in a haunted house which she does not know to be haunted. Eventually the ma & pa caretakers, also ghosts unbeknownst to Kidman, tell her about the “others” who are the other ghosts in the house threatening her children. And some … Continue reading The Others
It is almost February 2nd. Time for more reruns of the Bill Murray/ Harold Ramis classic movie. It is a movie that works on many levels for many of us. In thinking about this movie (it is a favorite of mine) I found an interesting parallel to post military life. Speaking for myself, when I … Continue reading Groundhog Day…Again
Finding purpose after the military feels almost impossible, doesn't it? It's not that you don't have skills to translate into civilian work. It's the underlying sense of why you are doing it that feels so off. Once you've been responsible for life and death, millions of dollars worth of equipment, or leading others into and through … Continue reading How to Create a Meaningful Life After the Military
You miss warfighting. Miss war, miss your team, miss having life and death within your power. Miss the cohesion, the shared misery, the trust. Life was simple, fucking hard, and combat required all of you. Now nothing requires all of you. Warfighting is a spiritual calling, which means that tug on your soul doesn't go away just because … Continue reading When You Miss War
We spend a lot of time thinking that we need to let go of the past. "Let it go". "Move on." "Leave it behind you." "Try not to think about it." "That's not who you are anymore." These are phrases that are well intentioned and often eventually work for broken hearts, break-ups, job losses, and … Continue reading When the Past Feels More Real Than the Present
Okay, so the words themselves mean the same thing in your mind. Fucked up. Pain. Shit. Issues. Doesn't matter what you call it, right? Who cares? What if how you think of it is keeping you stuck? No, I'm not being "a writer" here and picking on words. On the surface, it doesn't matter how you refer to the … Continue reading Combat PTSD: F***ed Up or Wounded?
From the time I was five, I have lived with a body that subjects me to pain. Severe headaches at age five, joint pain that kept me on the sofa at age nine. Then an adolescence of debilitating fatigue, sensitivity to sound and temperatures, allover muscle and joint aches, flu-like symptoms. It would last for weeks, months … Continue reading PTSD: When No One Believes Your Pain is Real