“I’d be naive to believe”……

In the past recent years, veteran suicides have increased significantly with an insinuation that it’s linked to wars in Iraq or Afghanistan  coupled with the use pf prescribed medications.

In the civilian sector, more than a week ago, two-successful well-known celebrities  committed suicide within  48hrs of one another. I can’t help but believe that the world sees this in a similar aspects as the way I see it; “what triggered these two successful people in self-annihilation when they seemed to have it all?”

I know that the majority of the world sees things different.  More of the world views this through a sight that sees through a lens a little different as most of us aren’t rich or famous.  We see this in the ways of living the “average American life”; “realizing that we will probably never be famous”; “knowing that unless a miracle happen, we will never be rich”;  “what do rich people have to be miserable about, they can buy it all” or simply THINKING “I just want to be happy”.

The first ideas of rich and famous, yes we as common folk think that way.  However we also know that being rich is predicated on one thing or another happening.  However “I just want to be happy”, that’s not JUST the result of being rich or famous.  But, it means something different to everyone regardless of social status, regardless or race, regardless of creed, regardless of gender, regardless of the way others perceive it should be.”  Being happy is what we ALL desire for our lives.

On the other end of the spectrum, those that choose suicide, I CANT help but to wonder what were the burdens they carried; what are the things they’ve seen; what were their internal wounds and scars that wouldn’t  disappear;  or, what were their external wounds and scars that were constant reminders?

I know that regardless of whats uncovered or the opinions that are thrown around, no-one will EVER KNOW and no one will EVER UNDERSTAND the choice of suicide.

Most people truly don’t understand “that many veterans struggle to fit into the civilian world once they exit the military.”  They struggled to find “who they are” and “how they can make a great life for their families in addition to coping with the repercussions of war?” or “struggling to revamp their institutionalized mindset.”

OR simply “learning to rethink on our own while we fear the unknown.” Hey world,  did you know we struggle with that?

As I rethink the suicides of the well-known people, I can’t help but to relate it to my own life as a veteran learning to walk in THE WORLD  that is now, again, NEW TO ME.

To be honest, these two suicides along with the constant #22vets a day forces me as a veteran to evaluate my life and where my journey may take me?

The military community is challenged with #22vets a day attempting and/or succeeding in being responsible for their own deaths. From my book, titled  “The Realization of Irrelevance”  (pg 31) below is a quote speaking of suicide:

(pg 31, para 1)  “In 2012 the suicide rates was higher amongst veterans then lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq during that same year”

(pg. 31, para 2) “Sadly, veterans have  a suicide rare 50% higher than those who have never served.”

As I venture into the world of post-military and become a business owner, I can’t help but to wonder “if those two successful people struggled, what does all this mean for me?’ “How do I fight to make sure the thought of suicide or the attempt or the succeeding of suicide doesn’t come knocking on my door?  I venture to say that everyone at one time or another has conceptualized the idea of suicide.  This isn’t to say that it was a long-term thought or a reoccurring thought.  However, at some point we have at least allowed the idea to enter our mind even if just to say, “naw, I couldn’t imagine” or ” I couldn’t do that because I’m afraid of…” or  “I hope I never get to that point”

Id be naive to believe7

I’d be naive to believe Im immune.  I’d be naive to believe that all my failures will make me stronger, not make me believe Im a failure. I’d be naive to believe that my children are the reason to not do it. I’d be naive to believe that “I could never”.  I’d be naive to believe that the thought happens over time and its never a “one-event-tragic deal-ever”.  I’d be naive to believe that it could never be me.

I’m sure a few of my battle-buddies didn’t ever think they’d be part of the #22vets.

How do we come together as a society to combat this from happening?

This preventable tragedy happens in all societies, in all groups, in all societal classes.

Regardless, rather a veteran or a well-known person this “cry of “IM ALL OUT-I CHOOSE DEATH” is a rising problem that needs Everyones attention, constantly.  Not just when a famous person does it.

I pray for solutions.

I pray that people will feel as though they have PEOPLE and THINGS to live for.

As a Veteran Focused Purpose and Vision Coach I hope that I can make the difference in lives of others.  I want them to realize their vision and help them as they walk in their purpose.

I know “If we take One More Step TODAY, then we did YESTERDAY, imagine what TOMORROW brings!”

Please remember if you feel as though you need to reach out,

please call 1-800-273-8255,

if you are a Veteran, call the same number and press #1.

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

“THE REALIZATION OF IRRELEVANCE”; Finding your “You” after the military 

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No AMENITITIES needed.

no amenities needed.I recently read an article that spoke on the behaviors of others that women veterans experience when encountering men and women after the women veterans have served.  The writer speaks about how the military, as well as society, see women as an inconvenience, everybody have to make provisions for women as opposed to the male counterpart- the men can tough it out, apparently they believe women can’t, we need additional amenities.  The author furthers insist that the military urges women to view themselves on the same playing field as men if they desire to succeed-apparently there is an unwritten rule that mens levels are not the same of women. Further women are to show strength, confidence and expected to be judged on our merit- I’m assuming there are people who believe that women don’t come prepackaged with these things and we need to develop them. Other areas the author spoke about were ares pertaining to uniform conformity and lack of recognition during achievements and promotions-  in the military women are to wear the pants to look like the men yet our dress uniforms are issued with skirts as well; we never wear them, we are to look as one, like men. In this case of promotions, women won’t typically get a deserved promotion simply because of being a woman. 

However the area that intrigued me the most were the idea that others perceive women to not have direct military ties but to have merely earned their affiliation through others and the authors perspective on  female veterans lack of connection with civilian women.

During my time of being active duty, I’ve had experiences of calling the military doctors appointment line and instead of simply asking for a sponsors social security number, the receptionist would ask “whats your husband social security number.” I recall a time I stated “I can give you he’s but it’s not gonna do you any good.  My husband is a civilian I am the service member.”

*Side note, in the military environment, when you make any sort of appointment, the social needed.  Its equivalent to an insurance card number in the civilian sector. No appointment can be made until its clear the sponsor (service member) is indeed a service member. *

I personally believe women veterans have had issues that were more extreme in comparison to male soldiers. Its sad but I’ve even had male soldiers to say they wouldn’t hold a door for me as we were going through a door simply because, I was a Soldier just as him. SO I ask, “would you want someone to treat your wife, mother or sister that way”. He replied “they weren’t soldiers”. My reply “WE were girls and women before we became soldiers.  No matter what I do in life I will always have more experience with being a woman then a soldiers.” He walked off.

The other issues that I agreed with the author was regarding our engagements frcivilian women.  In my personal experiences, I’ve noticed it but never really felt that it was a battle to fight. I feel that we as veterans, once Soldiers, and happen to be women, are seen by everyone as having strength.  The author implies that only male soldiers act in this fashion and we as females have to show this as well, AS IF WE AREN’T ALREADY WORTHY OF HAVING STRENGHT. Women that have served, are strong. It shows a lot about the type of women we are when we raise our right hand.  This strength definitely is evident to ALL women, even the ones that have served.

We as veteran women are almost like a different breed. Men that we meet either like our strength or not.  Non-veteran women will either like our strength or not.  It’s a double edge sword, however I believe it gives us a “one-up”.  We aren’t looked at as “ones to play with”. People will know we are “fierce, dominating, a leader, and very tenacious.  We are viewed as “Go-Getters”.

In any environment rather it to be military, corporate America, political or hustling in the streets, people will always see ALL women from the perspective of lacking… having to prove what we are capable of doing in the field. Yes, I agree veteran women are viewed and JUDGED from the gate, but nevertheless we have to prove what we are capable of, just as ALL women. We having the unique ability to adjust to any situation. We are leaders, capable of leading ALL regardless of gender or rank. For us veteran women, no amenities are needed.  But if you want to make them, go right ahead.  We don’t believe chivalry is dead.  We simply make “lemons out of lemonade” BING

However, we are viewed as the epitome of STRENGHT.

I’ll take that judgement.

 

Additional articles on this subject:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/the-inconvenience-of-being-a-woman-veteran/545987/