It lines your inside, this presence you've become so familiar with that you're not sure where you end and it begins. It's just... there. Always there. Images. Scents. Sounds. Fear. Memories. Pain. You try to shut it out. It returns. You lock it up inside. It gets out. It wants you to stare into its deceiving eyes. And when you … Continue reading What to Do When You Just Can’t Talk About It
This is a hard post to write. Not because the subject matter is painful, (I'll stare into the darkest pain with you), but because it is so personal to my daily life. Someone asked me why I let the events in Iraq bother me. I'll tell you why. Every day I interact with guys who … Continue reading Why the Fall of Iraq Bothers Me
First off, let me tell you this: forgiveness is a human issue. Not just a God one. There is ample discussion of forgiveness in religion and many sources to find those discussions. Instead of diving into theological viewpoints, I'm going to bring it all down to one fact: We are all of One Source. One … Continue reading Combat Veterans Ask: Can I Be Forgiven?
The public hears about Fallujah falling back into terrorists' hands and it's a blip on their stream of distraction. They don't give a shit. You hear it and it puts into question the reason why you continue to pay a high price for Iraq 24 hours a day. Why your life is what it is … Continue reading On Fallujah’s Fall: Was it Worth It?
One of the most challenging aspects combat vets face when coming home is the gap between who they are now and who their loved ones expect them to be. Warriors say that you can't translate much of what they've been through, because there is no substitute for being there. And there is deep truth in … Continue reading Things Combat Vets Wish They Could Tell You | Part 1
If you haven't read Part 1, please do. This is part of a discussion designed to help combat vets help others understand them better. If this article resonates with you, pass it along to a loved one. Here is what I hear from vets and what they are often unable to share with others: 1.) … Continue reading Things Combat Vets Wish They Could Tell You | Part 2
The only thing in life we ever actually have control over is our perspective. How we think and what we choose to believe. If you struggle with intrusive thoughts, it may feel as if you have no control. They intrude and interrupt at will, as if your mind is disconnected from the rest of you. … Continue reading Intrusive Thoughts & What You Can Control
Why are you still here? You survived. They didn't. Why? You know it just happened. There was no rhyme or reason. They were with you one moment, gone the next. And you were left alive. You'd take their place in a heartbeat to spare the agony you saw in their loved one's eyes. A hole … Continue reading Survivor’s Guilt
There is a myth that says it is possible to come back from war and be unchanged. It's perpetuated by how we've pigeon-holed whether or not you are affected by combat by measuring whether or not you have PTSD. It's an easy-out for our culture and an almost certain condemnation to isolation and suffering for … Continue reading The Role Your Energy and Soul Play in Healing
How do you see yourself? Don't let your wounds and fears and feeling stuck in this perpetual hell of the unknown take away your identity. Don't let it erase the truth that you are incredibly strong, resilient, tenacious, brave. Don't let a diagnosis replace who you are. You are not your diagnosis. You are not … Continue reading A Warrior’s Call to Courage After War
You're not supposed to talk about it. It's the underside of war that stays hidden deep inside. The unspeakable part of duty. The things you had to do to survive, the things you saw others do, the transgressions against humanity. No one wants to talk about guilt or shame. (Also called "moral injury".) But the … Continue reading What Veterans Can Do With Guilt, Shame After War
Losing a part of your body or function involves deep physical, spiritual, and emotional pain. The war is carried in your body and sometimes just looking at yourself in the mirror takes you right back to the trauma. There are days and nights of endless time, uncertainty, faith, fear, and somewhere deep—a gritty unwillingness to … Continue reading The Physically Wounded: Who Are You Now?