Unlike Hollywood portrayals, warriors are not invincible super-humans. The warrior suffers from doing things and seeing things so others won't have to experience them. They are the proverbial shields, protecting liberty and preserving delicate minds from chaos, destruction and physical harm. Unfortunately, as a result, warriors suffer too - sometimes for many years. Susan Evans McCloud so eloquently captured this phenomenon when she wrote: "In the quiet heart is hidden Sorrow that the eye can’t see."
- Warriors know the true cost of freedom.
- Warriors understand what it really means to lose a friend.
- Warriors have silently wept at man's inhumanity to man…woman…and child.
- Warriors understand fear better than anyone.
- Warriors know about homesickness; they know how it feels to work weekends and miss birthdays, holidays and anniversaries.
- Warriors know all too well the feeling of prolonged stress and constant vigilance.
After critical incidents and lethal confrontations, warriors have experienced normal reactions to abnormal circumstances, commonly referred to as post traumatic stress or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Research suggests that around 70% of combat veterans will experience combat and operational stress reactions that can include depression and anxiety, or manifest itself through anger or substance abuse. Moreover, 20% of returning OEF/OIF Veterans—Veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—meet the criteria for major depression, acute anxiety or PTSD. (As qtd in presentation by Major Thomas A. Jarrett, Warrior Resilience Conference II, 3-4 NOV, 2009, Norfolk VA)
Suicide has taken far too many warriors. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, act now—ACT RIGHT NOW. Asking someone if they're thinking about killing themselves or committing suicide will not put the idea into their minds so that they'd act it out. If the response is "yes", ask them if they have a plan. If there's a plan that would place them in imminent harm, do not leave them. Get them help immediately.
Don't wait to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline until it's everlastingly too late.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The warrior often suffers privately. Family members play an integral part in the life of the warrior. As a result, not only does the warrior suffer from loneliness—and on occasion, true despair—but the whole family suffers too. Adjusting and adapting, healing and helping, and mending broken things can only be done with patience, long-suffering, strengthened resolutions and love unfeigned.
In order to fix any problem, admittance is mandatory. Developing a plan and maintaining the course is crucial for mission success. The goal is self-healing and helping troubled relationships. The aim is to feel joy and to be productive.
Don't be deceived through counterproductive and excessive alcoholic intake, fist-fights, pornography or dangerous flirtations outside marital vows; these may elicit temporary pleasure, but they have the capacity to bring lasting remorse, conflict and trouble.
Don't be deceived by thinking—even tacitly—that cruelty to others will make things better: it won't.
The warrior doesn't need to suffer alone. Families don't need to suffer in silence either.
Warrior SOS was developed with you, the warrior, in mind. From traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by explosions and other trauma-related head wounds to post traumatic stress, PTS(D), Warrior SOS was founded to assist, help and bless warriors and their family members.
Whether it's to save a buddies' life or win a lethal confrontation, Warrior SOS exists to add more tools to your "tactical toolbox." Additionally, Warrior SOS was created to emphasize the fact that you're not alone.
Finally, although no one's situation is always perfect, each of us can experience lasting peace and real joy as we focus on God, family and country. The warrior, among all people everywhere, deserves our highest admiration and praise. To the warrior we say: Thank you. We support you. We want to see you succeed.
May God bless you and protect you and your families, now and forever, and may God bless America.
- I'm the author of four books: Warrior SOS, The Work of Death, Together Forever, and Leaders Wanted. I'm in the doc film Please Remove Your Shoes. I've blogged for The Washington Times, and I write for Guns.com. I've worked for the high-profile U.S.-led Roadmap to Mideast Peace in Israel and Palestine. I've also worked as a SWAT team leader, a Federal Air Marshal and a sole-source training instructor on a classified contract with a U.S. government customer. My master's degree is in Military Studies and terrorism. I'm a former noncommissioned and commissioned Army officer, with service in Iraq. I've been Scuba diving and skydiving; I have trained with members of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, and I'm an FBI-trained crisis negotiator. My interests lie in helping others and in strengthening America through inspiring moral courage, government fiscal responsibility and accountability, and maintaining principles that have made--and will continue to make--the United States of America a blessed and prosperous country. I'm a father of six, a husband, and a police officer. I reside in Utah, and I'm a Mormon. See also www.Jeffrey-Denning.com.