Important Keys for Survival
June 11, 2017 Veterans Corner by Ronald Verini
Several of us have been talking these last few weeks about how we see so many veterans that stop by and ask us about what we can do for them because they have’ so many problems’ and they have been so long without help. Then we see the veterans that stop on by and ask what they can do to help us and other veterans. Doesn’t take a lot to realize that so many have given up hope and in so doing have given up on themselves and their ability to do anything or very little for themselves. All of us vets went through a basic training that emphasized ‘teamwork’ and how that developed our individual strengths to the point that we could help others just as much as ourselves if not more. That built up our self-confidence and then also challenged us to try to go to the next level. Oh of course setbacks were always just a step away but those lessons we learned when overcoming an obstacle built an unforgettable feeling of self-worth and accomplishment. So why do so many vets loose that self-determination and loose that desire to work themselves out of a situation? We came up with a lot of different answers, but are still perplexed as to why someone does not want to help or better themselves.
A particular situation comes to mind here that is an incredible ‘positive’ story on how a person would not let his situation ruin his life. He lost a leg from an IED in Afghanistan besides other physical scars and a possible case of PTSD. And besides not being able to return to his Company, his girlfriend left him.
He was having problems getting assistance for rehab from the VA, and was being bombarded with more and more medication to the point of not being able to take care of himself. The people that occasionally came around to take care of him were actually just taking advantage of him, and one day, after a few days of no one showing up, he realized, that ‘he’ was the only person who could care enough about himself to try and make his life better. So, that self-realization was one of the ‘keys’ that turned his life around, and he remembered this because during his ‘boot camp’ experience his Drill Sergeant told him that he had better start caring for himself and develop some Self-esteem if he was going to be a ‘team player’ and care about the team and know that the ‘team’ also cared for him.
The ‘person’ in our story realized that by facing his situation, and his ability to examine it (from whatever the circumstance), that it gave him a ‘reason’ to make a choice, and that allowed him to either ‘improve it or not’ thus making clear the course of his actions. And he is now ‘vibrantly’ alive working to help others with similar experiences and hoping to raise a family in the near future.
We know that there are always exceptions, as we also know that sometimes the ‘exceptions’ are consciously employed as crutches, and we also know that we should never give up hoping, for losing hope is like losing life’s energy. We realize that some circumstances of life’s folly’s have so impaired a persons’ ability to comprehend and reason that they require constant care and supervision. We also know that through the experiences of war and conflict, a person can instantly or over time, loose touch and sight and fact of who they are, and who and what they have been, thus throwing them into a totally unrecognizable world.
Being able to greet all vets with respect, honor, compassion and openness is always a ‘good door to open for them’ and make them feel appreciated, and a part of the ‘Family Team’.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Buddha.