In the Military Scars Show Where We Have Been, But They Don’t Show Where We Are Going

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Short report on military news today…

Sexual harassment is now officially a crime in the US military

‘Sexual harassment, has for too long, been seen as something you had to deal with as part of the job if you wanted to serve.

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The Army is putting lasers on Strykers powerful enough to shoot down drones and helicopters

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I will share another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, but they are slowly running out.

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Scars Can Show Where We’ve Been, But They Don’t Show Where We Are Going

One of the hardest things for us as veterans and current soldiers is dealing with the scars we have had from the past. It may be a physical scar, or it may be mental or emotional. We can’t keep living in the past. Much of it is too painful to relive again. Yes, the present isn’t exactly rosy sometimes either, but it is here, and we need to deal with it. The one-day-at-a-time thought works for me. I just do what I need to do to make it through each day, and I am thankful when I have made it.

The future is something we can’t always control, but we can help shape it by being eager to take it on and conquering it with our determination and guts.

I feel deeply of those of you who have physical scars. I also feel deeply for those of you who have mental and emotional scars. I have been to the mountain with these kinds of scars.

Strive to never give in to the dark side thought of doom and gloom. Look for the bright side, and share it with others around you who need it as well.

This reminds me of Kris Kyle the sniper who was famous for his accuracy, and how many lives he saved by eliminating the enemy who was about to kill our soldiers. He was a tough and no nonsense kind of guy, and yet he lost his live trying to help a fellow soldier who was battling his own demons. Kris was trying to help others even though he had his own dark times.

Never give up! There may be walls in your way, but you will overcome them with perseverance.

Let someone pile expectations on and then exceed them. Your biggest goals in life become your biggest achievements. If you have discipline and drive, you don’t lose. You cannot lose. New ideas are sometimes scary, but can end up something special. Walls: They separate, divide, and isolate. But walls can always fall.

What we have to remember is that we have to go through the pains of life to achieve the joys. Pains actually inspire growth. 

I saw those words recently and at first I thought, Easy for you to say! Most people don’t know what real pain is. My neighbor recently complained she had double abscessed teeth. Knowing how painful that is, since I have had abscessed teeth myself, I thought about those military servicemen and women have lost their legs, arms, or are going to be in a wheelchair the rest of their lives. The level of pain is relevant to only what you are really going through.

We must always remember: With God on Our Side, who can be against us? No one!

IWILL

It is hard enough to exist in this cruel world without adding pain and mental strain to our lives. We need to battle the elements that attack us with vigor and valor, just like we would on the front lines, in the trenches, as we face the enemy. Stand strong and be brave.

Think about this

Isn’t it interesting how it takes bravery to face this world, but it takes even more bravery to give it all up to God?

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Hope you have been enjoying all these excerpts. There will be a few more, but not many. Keep coming back to see the last of the excerpts. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future post will come directly to your inbox.

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Checking in on you…How are you doing? Are you struggling?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,6675 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If you are battling mentally, because of your love for others, but it isn’t working, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will no hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

There is Hope for Those Military Who Have Come Home Battling PTSD, War Wounds, Etc.

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Military news…

Guantanamo Bay prison has outlasted the War in Afghanistan and it’s not going anywhere.

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The best part of the Army-Navy game on Saturday took place off the football field, when the victorious midshipmen put the youngest son of fallen Navy SEAL Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois in the middle of their celebration.

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The Marine Corps has released the service records of two former special operators who are accused of taking part in a kidnapping and murder scheme that eerily resembled a military operation.

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The Navy has little direct evidence tying an accused sailor to a fire that destroyed a $1.4 billion warship last year, But that did not stop prosecutors from calling several witnesses to talk about how he could be a cocky braggart at times.

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Nearly 17 months after a training accident that cost the lives of eight Marines and one sailor, the Marine Corps announced that it will no longer include its aging fleet of amphibious assault vehicles for regularly scheduled deployments or for waterborne training

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America’s three newest Medal of Honor recipients have very different stories, but there are a few things all three share: a relentless focus on the mission, an undying loyalty to the soldiers they served with, and an unhesitating willingness to sacrifice themselves for others.

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Because people don’t like you doesn’t mean you did what the government has accused him of … In fact, it makes you a target.” That’s from Gary Barthel, the defense lawyer for Seaman Apprentice Ryan S. Mays, the sailor who the Navy has accused of setting the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard last year.


“You’ve seen this airplane come and go countless times since the beginning of the deployment but this time your name is on the manifest. It is your ‘freedom bird.'” That’s from Jonathan Lenz, who wrote about the emotional roller coaster of finally going home after a deployment.

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I have been sharing endorsements for my new upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. It will be sent to the publisher in January. Here is another endorsement:

In the current conditions of our military, there is a need to find realistic affordable sources to reach out and help our veterans and current military. Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life, is that source. Doug Bolton spends many chapters on showing the veterans and military ways to cope in this not so friendly world.  Sadly, he feels and knows of the pain from his volunteer service and sacrifices for our great country first hand. Being a seasoned registered nurse and a battlefield Air Force flight nurse, I have seen many young men and women coming home sick, injured wounded and highly depressed. This book is a must for many. I highly recommend this book without hesitation to all those who have served and currently serving.  I am also advocating for the loved ones and families to read this read, as well.

Colonel Dona Marie Iversen-retired

United States Air Force

NYC, New York

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Checking in on you my friend. How are you doing? Do you have dreams about your service time? Are they nightmares?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,500 fellow veterans subscribed to this site who have your back.

If the dreams just too much for you right now, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until the know you are OK.

1-800-272-8255..texting 838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Transition Out of The Military Can be a Daunting Experience for Military Soldiers

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Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was sentenced on Friday to receive a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeit $5,000 of one month’s pay after pleading guilty to all charges stemming from his public tirades against top military and civilian leaders.

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Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston wants leaders to stop scheduling training just for the sake of it. Instead, he wants soldiers to make time for something very important.

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What follows is a long article written by a soldier going through transition to civilian life. I am using it to help those who may be struggling since they left the military:

A veteran’s ordeal after hanging up the uniform in an America he doesn’t recognize

Nothing had prepared me to live.

Sitting at the required transition briefing at my last military duty station, I watched a ridiculous civilian brief a room full of soldiers about our Veterans Affairs health and educational benefits.

I zoned in and out until he said, “Not everyone thinks your service is a good thing.”

My mind slowed down.

Before my eyes flashed all the news articles I had read about veterans leaving the service and landing amazing careers.

Weren’t headhunters recruiting Army junior officers like me? Wasn’t I being thanked every time I stepped outside the base for my service?

He was greatly misinformed. America loved its warriors.

Even if things were difficult for veterans, I was surely an exception. As an Army captain with command experience, with multiple degrees, and with combat time, as far as I was concerned, I was a damned unicorn

Then I left the confines of the base, took off my uniform.

Months and months after applying and applying and applying to hundreds of openings, I sat across from a human resources representative for a “military friendly” company. She had heard me speak at length about my service and deployments. She glanced at the resume I had specifically crafted for the job opening of head basket weaver. She calmly put down my paperwork, looked me in the eye, and said:

“Yes … yes … ” as she waved away my service with her hand, “but you have no real experience, do you?”

In the lobby sat another officer far more accomplished than I, awaiting an interview. The day after, there would be more. It wasn’t the last time I would encounter this.

My service wasn’t an accomplishment. It was a liability. It was just missed years of real employment—as far as I could see.

I started to see my visits to “hero” job fairs—with recruiters who looked dubiously upon my multiple degrees and combat experiences—as a financial and mental health liability to me. They offered no possibilities beyond accepting a resume, then citing a “poor fit” for any positions. One offered me a minimum-wage security guard position, knowing I desperately needed the work.

Where were the former officers from Forbes magazine and the poster children of Fortune 500 military websites? The real unicorns had fled the stables.

I was searching. I was searching for good examples of veterans who had left and hadn’t killed themselves or hooked themselves on drugs or lost their best selves in dead-end employment.

I was looking for an employer who wouldn’t treat me as the solution to years of fiscal monsters. The personnel mismanagement gods expected me to deliver a solution, like all mythical heroes, like those “skilled in the ways of contending” do.

I had become so wrapped up in my employment that I couldn’t see around me.

My children were growing like grass while I kept watch over at the distant sandstorms of Iraq, as if I were still driving there and wishing at times I was.

So I put away my service in a box and worked through Veterans Day. I watched resumes come across my desk that dripped in military acronyms, ones I knew would never see the light of day. I read another beautifully crafted document where the veteran had reduced his entire military officer service into a single line.

But the more I ignored who I was, the more I was reminded by my coworkers and others.

“This is probably cake compared to Iraq, right?”

“I don’t think I could have done what you did.”

During formal introductions at a company event, I hear the dreaded question come, from a tall man with salt and pepper hair.

“Where did you work before?”

I took a breath and recounted and, as an afterthought, added, “I was also in the military for a bit.”

His eyes lit up. I clenched, waiting for the usual formal questions about my sanity and the later casual questions about how many people I had killed.

Instead, he said, “Follow me.”

I resisted saying, like all good soldiers, “Lead the way.”

I walked down the hallway into his office. On the wall, hanging, were the requisite degrees and family photos.John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant. Photo courtesy of the author.

John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant.

In between all of them was a smudge of green—a younger version of him, standing among a group of men from the Ranger Battalion. I turned to him, eyes widened. He laughed..

It wasn’t the only time I would meet men and women like this. The veterans I had looked for in posters and magazines were all around me. They were doing what I felt I was doing, working and living, quietly and without a narrator’s voice in their ears.

I recall sitting for an interview debriefing. The company I worked for had reviewed multiple candidates, and some veterans and the HR manager asked me, “So what do we look for? What badge, what years of service, what locations?”

What was the combination that ensured the company got a mythic corporate hero instead of raving suitor-killing lunatic?

I didn’t have an answer then.

Maybe if they had the patience to hear it, I would tell them the protagonist never really comes back. Rather, it’s his friend who returns to an America he doesn’t recognize. He adjusts, and studies to become a teacher, and attends baseball games again, getting used to large crowds. I would go on to explain that he is married now and has children, and that he refuses to define himself by his service.

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A reminder that I have a new book coming out soon. It is called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

There will be many chapters sharing my time in the military, plus many more that speak specifically about PTSD, war wounds, depression, etc. It also is a book for all of those who suffer from “battle fatique,” and many other problems once you get out of the military.

I suggest you come back to this site often, because I will be sharing more excerpts for you to read. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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So…how are your days going? Too long? Hate to go to sleep at night?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,250 fellow veterans here on this site who have your back.

However, it the road is too rough for you to walk, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

_____________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.