May 7, 2017
It has been proven that peer support is the best medicine but when you have untrained folks offering the support, everyone remains lost and, so are far, too many lives are gone.
After almost 35 years of watching all of this, I've seen what has failed but I've also seen how lives are changed when they take back control of their lives. TBC? Really? Yes, one more thing that people forget to tell veterans searching for some hope. Tomorrow can be oh so much better than their worst day.
They cannot change anything in their rear view mirror but on the road ahead of them it can be like a Sunday drive.
They are not in a hurry to get to work or to a doctor's appointment but they may get lost and have to ask for directions.
They may encounter folks driving too slowly in the passing lane and have to switch lanes to get around them.
They may have to seek alternative routes to get to the destination they are headed for.
Pretty much a good day to start this. We have to help them take back control of their lives if we want them to stop taking those lives.
As I wrote in the beginning of this site, there is no doom and gloom allowed here. Veterans have had enough of that and we've seen the appalling results.
If you're interested in doing what is easy, like talking about their problems, because it is easy for you to do, please just go away. This road crew doesn't have time for you.
My friends and I came up with a 6 week training program so that you can actually be the one to help them find the road home to healing and give them back control of their lives.
My life has been a very long list of times that should have, not just could have, caused PTSD to hit me, but it didn't. There are actually ways to prevent trauma from gaining access to your soul. If it already has, there are ways to help healing.
Some get confused on being one who risked their lives to save others and being someone who had to kill to do it. That answer is clear in the following passage.
The Roman Centurion was a leader of the soldiers controlling the Hebrews, and crucifying them. When the Centurion went to Jesus for the sake of his servant, soldiers in his command were with him and witnessed him "lowering himself" to a Jew, the people they were trained to hate. Yet they also saw how much courage he had to do it in front of them and how much love he had within him.
That part always gets overlooked. Jesus knew how He would die and by whose hands would hammer in the nails. He did not send the Centurion away, judge him unworthy nor did he ridicule him. He knew what was in his heart and honored his request.
I am a Chaplain, so naturally I use Christian based spiritual therapy but when I address veterans, and they do not believe, I tell them to just think of what I say as a story. The power is in the message of hope and healing, not in making any converts to Christianity. Besides, this Christian Chaplain isn't sinless. I drink alcohol, smoke and swear. I also hang out with bikers. As for my personal relationship with God and Christ, I argue with them all the time before I do what THEY want me to do.
In my case, the wage I receive is watching them change from someone knocking on death's door to wanting to help other veterans get to where they are in life filled with hope and living a happier life.
This cannot be about going to the media or pulling a stunt. We have to be like the "72 others" going out "two by two" standing by their side. No one knows who those 72 were but everyone knows what they achieved when they went out and spread the hope and message of love.
I cannot talk about the veterans or families I work with and that is a promise I have kept all these years. It is not my story to tell and the pain they carry is theirs. How could I ease that pain if I talked about them? How could they trust me if I called a reporter every time I saved a life or restored a family? After I help them, I go back to being a wife, friend, writer and oh, almost forget, go back to my regular job for my paycheck. You have to be willing to do the same.
The training is in six parts once a week. One hour of a video and information followed by another hour of refreshments and conversation for five weeks and then on the final session, the road map is laid out.
If you are a local veteran's group and want this training, contact me and we'll set up the dates. If you a veteran's group too far for me to get to, also contact me and we can work it out.
Call 407-754-7526 after 1:00 pm Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 to 9:00 weekends.
It is time to change the conversation if we really want to change the outcome!