To Cynthia Goetzinger and Josh Eagleson, for saving me when I didn’t realize I needed saving, and for never giving up no matter how much hell I put you through.
This weeks blog is about, well, the title. Let’s start off with a story, since some folks call me a writer and all. Back about ten years ago I was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Infantry. Then I became a civilian with a bad memory and worse knees. All compliments of Iraq. When I got back home folks expected me to be the same man they’d known. I wasn’t, home didn’t even feel like home. Between the nightmares and not remembering much of anything, well, life was more like hell than heaven. I could have run to the VA to get help, looking back I probably should have. Then again, Infantry tend to have more pride than brains most of the time. Being stubborn is a well known trait of us ground pounders too. Made for a bad combination when it came to getting help or even accepting it when offered.
After years of struggling, and a few stern words from some great people who refused to give up on me, I got through it. Now though, I see a lot of people doing the same thing. A lot of fellow Vets and even more who never served. They go about life pretending to be ok, while deep inside their dying a little more each day. Not everyone has people who refuse to give up on them like I did. Being hurt is bad enough, but to go through it alone amounts to being in hell. To them, I say let go of your pride and stubborn ways. People will help if you let them. No matter what you may think or feel, this world is better with you than without you. As for the pain, well, like an old drill sergeant said to me once; “Your mind will quit before your body does.”
What that means is to push through it. Take meds if you need to, if you can’t then just fight it day by day and minute to minute. Eventually you’ll get used to it. Will any of this be easy? Sorry to say but it won’t. Will it be worth it? To someone else it will mean the world. Never forget you are someone’s hero. Those willing to ask for help, and not making my mistakes are my heroes. At the bottom are some phone numbers to call if you do need help. I sincerely hope you reach out to them, or to anyone you feel comfortable talking too. If you want you can always message me on Twitter, I’d love to talk to you.
Now onto the rest of ya’ll. Things won’t change overnight, or even while your looking. One simple act of kindness, or maybe simply a smile could change someone’s day. Maybe even save their life. More than likely you will never now. Then again do you need to? We don’t always see the results of what we do. All we can do is trust that God put us there for a reason. So take some good ole fashioned manners down off the shelf and dust them boys off a bit. Hold the door for people, sincerely say hello, if you can buy a hungry man a meal do it. Or just simply talk kindly to others. If you do that, well, you may just be surprised at what happens in your life. You see, people watch what we do. Who knows, maybe one of those people will be hurting in a way you can’t see, and just by taking a little time to talk to them you could be saving their life.
Now I’m going to end this little blog, before I go and start rambling more than I have. I just pray you take something away from all this no matter which side you are. No matter which way you get there, please get help if you need it, and let go of your pride and stubborn ways.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 800 273 8255, plus they have an online chat service.
Veteran’s Affairs Crisis Center: 1 800 273 8255
Drug and Alcohol Anonymous Hotline: 1 800 840 0762 (AA), http://www.na.org/
(Just in case you want to talk to a grunt) Gunfighterfiction twitter: @Gunfighter_FCT or visit the facebook page Gunfighter series and message me from there.