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?
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)
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”?
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?
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