You are not alone in your struggles. Transition is hard and takes time, but you CAN DO IT!!! This is another battlefield and war you’re fighting. The key now is to learn how to fight it: what are your weapons, how do you use them, who/what is your supply & provision. Most importantly in this battle know that defeat is not an option & NEVER EVER give up or quit fighting!
I ran across the above picture that a facebook friend and veteran Marine had posted. It was a visual image reminder that made me think of what God showed me about our combat veterans…. they are lions returning to live among lambs. These warriors are trained and ingrained with training that will keep them alive on the battle field. However, these very same traits, reactions, reflexes that keep them alive and their buddies alive in a combat zone are the very things that make reentering and being able to function in everyday civilian life an extreme challenge. They need support and training to learn a new norm. Make no mistake, they don’t need to be changed or turned into something they are not. The traits and skills they have accrued during their military service help make them who they are, have been engrained into every fiber of their being, and honestly have the potential to make them great leaders and outstanding employees. The key is to help them cope/process the trauma they’ve experienced and have a time of recovery and then help them learn how to function in civilian life. Those things may seem simple to an outsider looking in, but those two steps are complicated, require patience, a strong support system & from my experience/observation a LOT of prayer.
If you are a military service man or woman dealing with PTSD or having trouble getting settled into or finding your place/where you belong in civilian life…I urge you to seek help. Don’t feel ashamed, weak or alone because you are none of those things. There are countless men and women going thru the same struggles you are. Reach out. There are resources, organization’s beyond the VA that can help. The VA does have programs, but they are not your only source. Groups like Save a Warrior, USACares and Wounded Warrior can put you in contact with help. Don’t forget the veteran you live near or work with…. Guarantee they will understand what you’re going thru and can be a potential part of your support system. Just having someone to talk to and affirm you haven’t lost it and you’re not alone is a priceless commodity. Just please don’t remain silent and struggling.
If you are a family member or friend of a combat veteran… Don’t give up and don’t think you are alone. I know from experience you endure an exhausting roller coaster ride of emotions and responsibility. Know that you are not alone and don’t give up. No matter how angry or uncooperative your loved one may be, they appreciate what you are doing for them and your efforts are making a difference. Loving the not so loveable or down right unloveable is, in my opinion, the most difficult task ever to be set before someone. However it yields the greatest reward and changes lives. So don’t give up! Also remember to take care of you. Get the support, rest and care you need as well. If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else.
In closing, if you are a struggling combat veteran or family member of a veteran and can’t seem to find resources or don’t know where to look for help…..please feel free to Facebook message my husband and I. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do anything in our power to get you connected with the help you need and do what we can to be part of your support system. You can find us on Facebook under Nick and Faith Wells.