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
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
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
Warriorhood -- the status of being a warrior. Warrior -- a person who is called to defend others; to live by a code of honor and ethics in pursuit of the greater good; to lead the non- warrior class in living up to the ideals of the society. These definitions are my own, but I … Continue reading Find a Fight You Can Believe In 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
How do you keep going when the battles are drawn out, each day feels pointless, and you are so, so tired? When the darkness feels never-ending and nothing seems to get better? How do you keep picking yourself up off the ground, and talk yourself out of fear and back into battle? How do you … Continue reading How to Keep Going
This is an issue many of you, and especially me, are dealing with. I'm going to flat out tell you right now that I'm just beginning to truly understand the importance of true intimacy... I'm a novice at this, guys. Maybe we all are. God knows how many ancient walls guard my heart....or what it … Continue reading How Much Does True Intimacy Matter?
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?