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
You come home from combat angry. Stupid shit sets you off. You lash out at people you care about only to see pain and fear flash through their confused eyes. Sometimes you start fights on purpose. Usually, you just react. A stupid driver makes you snap, before you know it you're in a blind rage. In … Continue reading I Came Back from Combat, Why the #@!% Am I So Angry!?!?
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
You came back different. Changed. You can't really describe it, but you're not yourself. Not who you used to be. You're angry. Blow up at stupid shit. Lack other emotions. Feel numb. Tired. Disinterested in stuff that used to be interesting. Tense. Sleepless. Have nightmares that scare the hell out of you. Forget shit. Can't … Continue reading PTSD, TBI, Sex and Relationships
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?
We live in a society that has a super short attention span. Maybe it's because we're inundated by a constant stream of headlines that bullet-point and define where our attention goes, and we allow it. The stream becomes white noise; part of the daily mindscape that feeds us distraction. Maybe it's because most people have … Continue reading Dear Veteran, Why We Forget You
We don't talk about this often, but there is a very real fear in many of you that says if you heal, you'll lose your identity as a warfighter. Fear that healing will cut the ties you have to who you were, who you are and who you want to be. Along with it, is … Continue reading If I Heal, Will I Lose My Warfighter Identity?
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
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to know where we are in life, to have answers, to see a clear path and walk on it. Society holds that expectation over us. If you're an adult, it's pretty much a given that you're supposed to be in control of your life, right? You're supposed … Continue reading When You Don’t Have Answers
Former U.S. Air Force drone operator Brandon Bryant gave an interview to NBC that stirred visceral reactions. In the interview, he discusses the spiritual and psychological effects he's felt from having participated in more than 1,600 killings. I'm not going to get into the whole drone debate - nor am I going to get into … Continue reading Your War is Not My War | It’s All of Ours