I don’t think we see ourselves as victims ever but we get labeled as “damaged” so we are constantly fighting distortions and that’s rough. Damaged can mean anything within the entire spectrum of “abnormal” and that’s never good.
What we are dealing with is somewhat of an identity issue. We go to war and seemingly no matter what; we get perceptually stuck on the spectrum of “abnormal” when we return.
To summarize: we go to war perceptually cherished and accepted as a group then we return perceptually abnormal and we are separated from our group.
The “group” was the bond to our personal identity. It was also the connection to our before-and-after selves of who we are and were. It’s a bond like no other. So the conflict becomes one of personal identity. Do you get it?
This explains why the few of us that can get hired as LEOs or some sort of EMS workers don’t have the exact same identity issues. I could say the same about motorcycle clubs, warfighter businesses like GruntStyle and Ranger Up, and music groups like REDCON-1.
They feed the need by maintaining a group and valuing the common goals of the group.
The Spartan Pledge is effective because it re-bonds a part of the group and establishes a mission focus. The organization GallantFew, Inc. is effective because it links a civilian-world-established warfighter and a recently discharged warfighter in a mentor/mentee group with a common bond.
On and on, check out the same happening at Warrior Pointe, Inc and the ASMDSS.com 24-hour chat room for warfighters.
Additionally, under these conditions, warfighters get more respect. Respect is important to our folk and most of us get little more than pity. Pity is bad.
Once a person moves from the civilian group to the warfighter group; the warfighter group becomes the centric force of personality. It can’t be undone and it’s reinforced every time the warfighter group is stressed together, tested together, and under fire together. They share pain together, lose together, survive together, and WIN together.
Warfighters aren’t this way only because of training; we were born this way. Those of us that volunteered all had other options but we chose to be a warfighter on some level. Others didn’t and I believe people ultimately do what they desire most.
We need to stay together as a group to be who we are as individuals or we seek almost-total isolation from all facets of society. Isolation often leads to bad things such as: too much dope, too much booze, too much violence, depression, and suicide—we deserve better. Linking up is what fills the void for most of us.
We, the warfighter community, can change America’s ill-conceived perceptions by following “The Plan,” then we can save everybody else. One more mission; just one more. Task-step one is link-up.
All the way, Boone
This article was first published in The Havok Journal.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.