So, I met with a friend of mine this week. It was great to catch up with Nate, I’ll leave the rest of his name out for privacy. He and I talked about life for over three hours. I don’t know that I even managed to get close to eating the lunch in front of me.
Veterans are damaged. We are all kind of out there searching for what we think we need to do when we are removed from a life we have known for decades. All of us have to make that transition at some point and it takes a toll on you. It’s built up in your mind as a “light” at the end of the tunnel. Trying to find solace and hope in suffering through all the things that come with deployments, deaths, relationships, moving, losing friends, gaining friends. You seem to ALWAYS be in transition when you are serving your country. When you leave though, it is NOTHING like you would have imagined.
This isn’t supposed to make folks feel down, but, it is my realization that you left Kansas. Kansas just voted you off the island, Kansas took all your belongings and purpose and left you a letter. Kansas then gets inside a tornado, you can’t keep up with, and moves along to breeze over another person.
The Veteran Affairs, an organization intended on taking care of Veterans, does nothing but put up walls. The VA walls you off and hopes you can’t find the army to storm the castle. Everything is an uphill fight, with all advantages given to them. I would want this organization to be overhauled, period. There just isn’t room for those that have no passion to serve those that served us. I hope to see this change over the next few years, but, I am not holding my breath.
I can not state enough that Mental Health is critically important. With an ever-rising suicide rate, Veterans cannot continue to ignore the trend. After dealing with it for over a decade, I am intimately familiar with what it can do to you. We are all touched by it in the military, I don’t care if it’s acknowledged or not. I found that both of us had to make an effort to be there. Not because we didn’t want to talk, but that even something good, can be “exertion”. It takes energy, that when you are dealing with other things, can seem exponentially larger. I am glad, as was he, that we managed to make this happen. It reinforces a system of support.
It is good for me like writing is good for me. Not everything though, that is good for you, is something you want to do. It takes a kind of dedication to yourself as a person, to see you may need a little more than what you think. I look forward to catching up with people in the future, making more of an effort after the new year.
I hope to maybe write my last book in the Naysayers Trilogy, Change of Hands, in part of however much at his secluded area. Nate lives in a secluded area and that seems like a good place to let my mind wander and write. Who knows, I will certainly consider it, sometimes it’s nice to get away from all the “Socialization” and kick your feet up.