I burst into unexpected tears standing in the dry soil of my flower garden, watering the wilting zinnias. Afghanistan has fallen and suddenly all the sacrifice, all the pain, all the fight of the last two decades has been called into question. What was it all for? I thought about a young sergeant, gaunt and … Continue reading Afghanistan falls. What was it all for?
Memorial Day: Make This the New Normal
By Joe DeCree One of the problems with Memorial Day is that it is so hard to get our heads around the complexities of what we feel about it. We are glad to be home (some more than others). We are glad we did our job, again some more than others. We might be glad … Continue reading Memorial Day: Make This the New Normal
Most of us experience fear. We all experience it uniquely. For some, it is paralyzing. For others it is energizing. We see scary movies, ride roller coasters, visit haunted corn mazes at Halloween. Fear. We like it. When I went to airborne school, an experienced jumpmaster got angry with me. He asked me in typical … Continue reading Fear
What if our experiences are meaningful, but our emotions are not? What if the things we did made a difference to a nation? What if our lives can be joyous even though our days are not? What if the things we feel are not as real as the things we achieved? What if the brothers … Continue reading What If?
You Are Holy Power (read this if you’re about to give up)
I come to this place more times than not, words stuck tight in my throat. There is so much felt, deeply, and I trip and stumble over words that might possibly express what's in my heart. For you. Words fail. You wait, faces upturned, eyes on me, hearts hungry for the offering that will satiate, … Continue reading You Are Holy Power (read this if you’re about to give up)
Memorial Day: A Letter from the Fallen
Dear Living One, I still love you. I miss you. I am near you. I sense you. Your heart is cracked, shattered. The pain overwhelms, takes your breath away, and in that flicker of a moment, when you can't, I breathe for you. I am with you. Always. Mom, Dad -- I'm still your child. … Continue reading Memorial Day: A Letter from the Fallen
Warriors: The Hidden Reason You May Not Feel Like Having Sex
Not having much libido or having issues with sex is actually pretty normal for combat veterans. There's many reasons why. Meds, relationship stresses and tensions, exhausted bodies and adrenal glands -- all potential causes. But there's one that you may not have considered and it's an important one. Because it not only impacts your sex … Continue reading Warriors: The Hidden Reason You May Not Feel Like Having Sex
Special Forces: How Do You Heal When You Don’t “Exist”?
You were never there. You never existed. Your war will never be acknowledged or validated. How can you hope to find healing? You live with the reality of your experiences. Your losses. Only those there know. Only those who were there will ever know. Only you will know their names. You can't walk into a … Continue reading Special Forces: How Do You Heal When You Don’t “Exist”?
Warriors: We Have Earned the Rest of Our Lives
By Joe DeCree To All My Brothers and Sister Warriors, I have been reading the traffic on this blog for a couple of years and it has helped me immensely in my own journey back to light. The recent post “When You Can’t Be a Warrior Anymore…Is There a Reason to Go On?” hits such … Continue reading Warriors: We Have Earned the Rest of Our Lives
This is Not the Night You Die.
This is not the night you die. This is the night you let the belief that you cannot change die. These struggles feel so solid. So permanent. They are made of thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings can be changed. Your entire being, your spirit, your mind, your beliefs are designed to change, to grow, … Continue reading This is Not the Night You Die.
When You Can’t Be a Warrior Anymore…Is There a Reason to Go On?
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?
Combat Guilt, Forgiveness and Mercy
It sits in you like a cold stone. Immovable. Heavy. Part of you. Combat guilt. Survivor's guilt. Shame. Failure. Self-loathing. Self-hate. That weary surrender to the belief that you deserve to be punished. Because you know you do. You know it as truth in your soul. Good exists for others. You're grateful and happy for … Continue reading Combat Guilt, Forgiveness and Mercy