Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Following are letters from warrior's children in support of their dads acquiring a service dog from Train a Dog~Save a Warrior.

" My dad has been to war twice and sometimes when he's at home he worries a lot and gets flashbacks.  Which causes my mom to worry about him.  Like, for example, you can't come up behind his back, without him knowing or else he'll get scared.  I think he needs a special dog to comfort him when he worries and gets flashbacks.  I think it would really help the family.  We would be thankful and grateful if our dog got trained to help my dad.  We really appreciate your kindness."

Dear Mom,
I think a dog will make you happy.  You could play outside with the dog.  A dog would make you smile.

And another:
I want my dad to be as happy as he was before he deployed.

And finally:
I want my dad to be relaxed in public places like he use to be.

PTSD and TBI aren't just a warrior's problem. It is a family affair!  Mothers, fathers, wives, kids, aunts, uncles, and the list goes on, to include the community in which the warrior lives.  PTSD/TBI impacts them all. 

It is impossible for our warriors to live in a bubble. No more so than it is for us to isolate ourselves from their problems. 

As one of my favorite authors wrote, "Put it as plainly as it can be put, we need to suffer some of the cussed wrongness of life in order to find its deep rightness.  We have to feel pain we do not want to feel, carry burdens we do not want to carry, put up with misery we do not want to put up with, cry tears we do not want to shed.  If we feel no hurt now, we will, when all is done, be the most miserable of all people."

Seems a bit wrong when you first read it, but from personal experience, I have found this to be absolutely true.  I have known people who have had what we would call, the perfect existence, but in the end they are miserible.  Because they have never experienced "the cussed wrongness of life", they are quite unable to feel compassion, passion, true joy, if they have never been hurt.

I, for one have, had a lifetime of hurt and perhaps, just perhaps, that is why I feel so deeply for other human beings, feel compassion to the core and want, above all things, to help stop their suffering for I know what it feels like. And for me, no one was there to stop it...only to add to it. 

I am no different than most.  I want peace in my life, love in my life. I want to alleviate the pain in others.  I want to be of help where there is none. And on a personal note, more than anything, at this time of year I want to experience that first inhalation of crisp mountain air resplendent with wild flowers, berries, ushering in the beginning of spring time and wildflowers in the Rockies.  I want to strole the streets of Santa Fe and inhale the addictive fragrance of burning pinon, and roasting green chiles, and search the emormous array of handmade silver and turquoise jewelry and fetishes sold by Native Americans to add to my collection, as I like to call it 'my collection of courage.'

There are burdens I don't want to carry.  There are issues in my life I have no control over.  And I shed tears at a moments notice for the wrong done from those I thought were my friends. But when all is said and done, I am stronger and better and wiser, and yes, a bit more battered, and in the long run I still find that place inside of me where I know the truth and as it is said, 'the truth shall set you free.'

So today remember the families of our warriors who are carrying burdens that are far too heavy.  And let us hope and pray that they can find that place, however small, where they too can have a dream and that perhaps one day that dream will come true.

We must all keep our hearts, minds, and souls open to wonder.  And we must realize that the hearts of ordinary people are not always ready to accept this.  Today let us not be ordinary.

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