Today's Thoughts...

1-800-273-8255 Veteran's Crisis Line

Most Americans have heard the phrase, 22 a day.  There are many veteran service organizations, the Veteran's Crisis Line, the VA itself, and many non-profit organizations are trying to combat this issue.   I haven't been blogging much because I have been dealing with many new different issues (as life will continue to do), and as I have been I have learned so much that I wanted to share.  At the end of this blog post, the number for the Crisis Line will be there and it also has a texting option.  Never think that you are alone and that there is not a network of hidden angels waiting to get you the help that you need.

This part is for any veteran who is struggling in any kind of situation, whether it be financially, physically, mentally or all of the above.  One of the main things that I want you to know is that there ARE people out there who appreciate everything that you have sacrificed for their freedom.  There are actually bunches of people.  There are so many people who are trying to advocate for veterans because their lives have been personally affected.  These people will come in the form of strangers, professionals, and your veteran brothers and sisters that are in place to get you the help you need.  Your mission is to seek these people out and ask them to help.  No one ever wants to put their loved one in the ground.  



They have been where you are.  
They have marched in your boots.  
They know how to get you to where you need to be. 
They know that you do not know what to do.
They have used the same methods that you are currently using to get rid of "it".
They know you have no idea what "it" even is.



The other main thing I wanted to share was, I discovered some interesting articles when I was researching.  I found an article that discussed why veterans commit suicide.  When I opened it, I couldn't believe how off the mark it was.  So I decided to dig in a little more, and just googled "why veterans commit suicide."

I read all night and I had yet to see anything remotely relatable.  Okay, maybe the one about brain injuries or sustaining injuries.  These people left out keynotes.  They left out the big pictures.  

Before I even get started:
I only did one deployment.
I was not anything more than a security guard most of the time.
I did one four year tour and was honorably discharged.
I did earn an Air Force Achievement Medal for my service in Iraq.


All of the people left the main factor out.  We all gave up a part of ourselves we will never get back.  We will never get back the person we were no matter how hard we try.  When I look back at my life and I think about my "worries" before my service to our country they were so simple.  Now it is a completely different world that I live in.  



Being a member of the military taught me things that I would have never learned in my environment.  It changed the way I see the world.  

I remember leaving for Iraq, and I was talking with my flight chief.  He had been to the Middle East over a handful of times.  When your feet get back in America it will feel like nothing you have ever felt before.  I will never forget that statement he made to me.  When he told me I had no idea what he even meant.

That is the truth.

No amount of training will prepare you for what you will see or experience.  
You can train to respond.  
You can train to do your job.  
You can train to save and rescue. 
Nothing can train you for the evil that exists in this world when you grew up watching Boy Meets World.

AS IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH!

When it's over, you can feel all alone.  My last days in the military was like waiting for Christmas as a child.  Enlistment is up.  Thank heavens, it's like the day I was waiting for and I am sure many other veterans were waiting for.  The time you put in, the family that you create, the missions you completed, the holidays you gave up, the training exercises that you worked 3 days straight with no rest, it was OVER.  
Just like that, you signed out.



It was really over.  You just drive away, and it literally is over.  That is a huge thing.  You no longer answer to anyone.  

Now, this is where the real important parts come into play.
Home is not the same.
Family is not the same.
You missed so many things while you were gone.
In fact, it seems like everything is different and it is wrong.

How do you fix that?
Everyone tries their own ways to fix this, but there are professionals for that.  You wouldn't try to fix a heart murmur, would you?

When you end up here or your loved one ends up here, it is time to find help.  Get on the phone, get on the computer, and find out what you have to do.  I think one of the biggest reasons veterans commit suicide is because they end up alone.  Without knowing how to and what to do, families and loved ones get lost.  

Veterans deserve people who will fight for them.  
They need people who are not going to leave them when it gets really tough.  They need families who will understand and help instead of condemning.
They need support systems that will help them figure out what needs to be done.
They need love and a lot of it.
There is nothing wrong with them, except that maybe they think they are alone.
They may drink, they may be destructive, they may not make any sense to you but there are trained professionals that navigate through it every day.

Reach Out.
Speak Up.
Never Give Up.
A.Levesque




Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone.
Send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder.




















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