Transcending from the military is Often Tough

Today I am just going to talk to you. I have been sharing military news, and now I am sharing with you directly.

What is happening in your life? Do you have times that you are depressed.? Are there times you wish you could just stay in bed all day? How about your daily routine? Do you avoid projects, because you fear failure?

There is much more of course, but I think you get the picture.

When we transcend from military life to civilian life, things can be very tough. People don’t understand you. They think you are still a soldier and some fear you. Finding work is a challenge. Your training does not fit most jobs.

If you are there I hear you.

When I first go out, I got a job as a grocery clerk. Not a job you really want to brag about, but my cousin got me the job and I was grateful. It was with Pigglly Wiggly, the grocery change with a funny name.

I decided I needed to get back to college, and get a degree. I had one term at George Fox College, and even played on the college football team. I was feeling good again.

The drive from Salem, Oregon to Newberg, Oregon was about a 40 mile drive each way.

One day early in the morning I was driving to school. It was cold and slippery and there was black ice. (Ice you can’t see.) I hit a patch of the ice and I was out of control. I hit a deep ditch that had water in it. I rolled several times. When the car stopped I was just above water. I was in pain, but I crawled out to safety.

My car was totaled and I had to quit college because I couldn’t afford getting a new car and paying for college at the same time.

I felt defeated, alone, and depressed.

I finally packed my family up and moved to California. I was told that Safeway, a huge grocery chain, was looking for new people. I got there and they put me through a training school and hired me.

Long story short….. I worked for them for eight years, and advanced quickly to being the “third,” man in one of the huge stores.

I still wasn’t happy!

We had added two more children, and I was working crazy hours. I never got to be with my family much. I decided to go back to college again in a Junior college. I did really well there. Had several terms of a 4.0 GPA.

I was feeling good again. However. Safeway asked me the important question: “Are you using your college training to advance with us or are you going elsewhere.”

Being honest I said I was planning to be a teacher. BOOM! They put me in the basement, and had me marking prices on cans. They didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

I transferred to Oregon State University, and got my degree in education. I had reached my dream, and the rest is history. I spent 22 years of joy working with children.

Finally, I made it to what I really wanted to do, but I hit a lot of walls, and disappointments to get there.

That may be how you will have to struggle once you get into civilian life. Many ups a downs, but a huge reward in the end. Let me share some suggestions to help you transcend into civilian life:

  1. There is always sunshine somewhere.
  2. The path may be rough but it leads to a smooth ending.
  3. Throw out the negative thoughts, and keep the positive ones.
  4. Perseverance should be your main word for life.
  5. Take one day at a time, and make them count.
  6. Above all…never, ever, give up!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

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A Story of Sadness About a Wounded Warrior

It has been a while since my last post. I hope this is a start of many more post.

It has been sad to see how many of my fellow veterans are struggling. It breaks my heart when I hear their stories. I will share one here, and hope you will support him.

Sgt Michael Thorin was deployed to Afghanistan. He was a platoon leader of a escort unit protecting the caravans of vehicles traveling.

One day he was escorting a caravan, when the vehicle in front of him caught on fire for no reason. It burst into flames very quickly. Sgt Thorin jumped out of his rig and ran to try to save his men. They couldn’t get close, because of the heat of the flames. Two of his men burnt to death.

When I interviewed him this was the toughest part for him to talk about.

To be helpless and watch your men die has to be hard at best.

This is not the end of the story for Sgt Thorin. During his deployment he contracted some virus, or germ. This tore into his lungs. When he got out, he attempted to be a firefighter, and did well for a while. He had to stop working later because his lungs were closing down.

Today he is still alive, but needs a double lung transplant.

He is a very strong Christian, and he said that is what is keeping him going. He posts a lot on Facebook to share his love for the Lord. Go to Facebook and put in his name, Michael Thorin, and be blessed.

There are many more stories like this in my new book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

What about you? Are you struggling? Please understand the you are not alone. There are over 7,000 followers of this blog and they are in the same boat with you.

Reach out by making a comment and we will support you 100%

Don’t let the dark side take over your life.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!!

Veteran News and Updates.

Some good veteran news to start with:

  1. Complaint Line for Veterans: President Trump started a veterans complaint line. It opened June 1st of last year, and fully functional by August. It is 24/7. This is where you can share your concerns about the VA. The number to call is: 1-855-948-2311.
  2. Comics Made by Veterans: There are veterans are putting together comic books. These book about war and military issues. They are no nonsense comics that are pretty graphic at times. Not sure how you are able to read some of them, but go to: www.cartoonstudies.org/index.php/tag/va-medical-center. You may get some help there.
  3. Physical Activity Pays Off: A study shows that if we keep active in our senior years we have a much better change of living longer. They study was for those 60 years or older. It showed if you had high levels activity you had a 35% better chance of not dying than those who had low activity. Even if you have only medium levels of activity you still have 28% chance of longevity. get out there and walk!!

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My book, “Signs of Hope for the MIlitary: In and Out of the Trenches of Life,” Is nearly finished. I will be adding a countdown clock to this site when it is getting close. Just a few more interviews to go to make this the most comprehensive book for veterans ever. I am not trying to brag. Let me share an endorsement by General Jim Jaeger:

Most of us are fortunate not to have experienced the stress of combat.  Words cannot adequately define the grinding daily pressure of knowing that every time you step outside the gate the enemy will try to kill you and your buddies.  You are constantly alert, on point; but how can you protect your team from the instantaneous blast of the IED?  You are part of a highly-trained team poised to execute, but what has prepared you for the mental toll of being on edge every moment.  The skills that helped you survive….have taken a toll and are now working against you when you return home.  What do you do now; where do you turn?  Whether you are dealing with PTSD, TBI, depression, homelessness, or recovering from wounds; Doug Bolton has answers…..this book has answers!

Jim Jaeger

Brigadier General, USAF, ret

San Antonio, TX

Member of the Board, Victory for Veterans

Keep checking back to see the progress. You can also subscribe at the top of this page. When you do you will get future posts directly to your inbox.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…Never, ever, give up!