Combat PTSD Wounded Times
December 25, 2016
When I think about all the results of a decade of folks running around the country screaming they are raising awareness about veterans committing suicide, it may all look pretty but in fact, there is nothing inside of what they are willing to give.
This morning I was thinking about how some things are not what they appear to be. I have a regular day job in an office within a cubical. One of the departments has taken an empty cubical and filled it with boxes wrapped in Christmas paper. There are stacks of gifts that look pretty but have nothing else to offer. After Christmas, the paper will be taken off, thrown away and the boxes will be recycled. There will be no traces of joy left behind, nor reminders of the fact someone cared enough to think of the what was within the wrapping.
Everyday more and more veterans have only one wish, that the next day would be better than their last worst day. One reason to reach out one more time at the glimmer of hope before their eyes. What they, too often, discover is that glimmer turns out to be nothing more than the metal tips at the end of a taser gun. The pain they felt is still there but it hurts even more knowing there is no hope in the hype being sold as help.
What good do push-ups do them? No help for them but plenty of feel-good moments for the folks lining up to do them. What good does it do to write a check to support the talk about what someone thinks if happening when talking is free? What good does it do to set up a Facebook group with thousands of followers if the only support being given boils down to "I'll pray for you" which again, is free.
The doers simply do not want to invest the time of researching what the veterans really need. They do not shop around for the best help available and support that work already being done. They probably know more about their cell phone than they do about how to save a life.
Every time you argue with these folks and try to ask them to specify exactly what their goal is, they respond with "raising awareness" yet do not even know the basics. Asked who they are trying to raise awareness to and they reply with "veterans." Yet somehow they missed the part about veterans already know they are killing themselves but what they do not know is how to stay alive.
I did not start out over three decades ago to make this my life mission. All I wanted to do was figure out what I was getting into when I met a Vietnam veteran. I had to fill my head with facts before I opened my mouth, so I sat in the library with stacks of clinical books and a dictionary. The more knowledge I gained, the more I knew why he had PTSD along with millions of more veterans the average citizen had no clue about.
Back then, there were plenty of folks, just like me spreading the word. Backed up with enough facts to offer comfort, understanding and above all else, hope that healing was possible. It was harder then because we did not have computers or cell phones. We used hand written letters to the editors of newspapers and eventually, other researchers, used typewriters to write books before bookstores had self-help sections.
The key in all of this is, back then it was actually producing better results considering there were a millions more veterans still alive in the country. For proof of this, you need to look at the study from the Department of Veterans Affairs on the all too often quote of "22 a day" veterans committing suicide.
So, if you really want to do something about saving their lives, stop talking and start learning. Stop offering empty stunts to get attention for yourself when they have been forgotten. Stop supporting stuffing when they keep suffering. If saving their lives is actually as important to you as you claim, then invest the time to prove it and then, only then, will you actually do something to save the "one too many" everyone keeps talking about.
The results produced in the last decade are more despicable than re-gifting last years fruitcake and expecting it to be appreciated by the recipient when they rush to the bathroom.