Some sounds you never forgot, especially in a silent movie.
360 degrees of real. With a birds eye view on top of a roof. Eyes only focused on the streets below, filled with rumble, panic,dust and Marine Corps camo soaked with blood. Camouflaged soaked stains of brotherhood. Breaking the barrier of silence was an unfamiliar sound, a sound which pulled me to the edge of the roof.
What eagerly awaited was death, life , love, hate. I was greeted by 13 year old sonya, with her baby brother clenched tightly to her chest.
Bloody. Burnt. Lifeless. Young innocence echoed by a horrified loving mother. Deep screams from her soul, and HEART shattering wales tore through my body, heart..imprinted in my mind forever.
Some sounds you never forget
This was war. Combat..complete disregard of human life. A Suicide bomber,
Aftermath is something you read about or hear on the evening news. This was my reality. This was what the recruiters never told me about.
Jan 23 2010 I was haunted by humanity. Several warriors shed blood that day, but every marine there was wounded not all wounds can be healed with a pressure dressing and stiches. Causalities of war do not end on the battlefield. Its something ive learned to call the 8,000 mile sniper shot
Between 2005 and 2011 49,000 veterans died by suicide. The very next year, 2012 Suicides out numbered combat deaths, 349 to 295. Marines are trained to adapt and overcome.
We adapt to situations in life, The more you can adapt to situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life. All of us have a toolbox of life skills. some tools we use during certain times in life, some we leave on the bottom among other tools we forgot how to use.
2,136 Days: I was willing to sacrifice to bestow to warrior hood.
712 days: to war
10 days: of transition assistance into civilian life
Warrior hood trains to take a life, It does not train us how to deal with killing and loss. Coping with grief was not a tool acquired during initiation into warrior hood. Wearing the mask of dehumanizing and disconnecting from what we know is true.
My mask protected me from the fog of war. It was my savior in a place where heros are taken. It allowed me to survive combat but nearly the cause of my own demise internalizing hate towards myself.
I was one of the lucky ones. the mask decayed with unconditional love form those around me. Some aren’t so fortunate.
Warrior-hood is a life long journey. A journey that doesn’t end unit we ourselves become healers. 10 days to unlearn 2136 days of conditioning.
1424 Days more I’ve finally learned the needed skills. Blessed to be able to create the social contract that once was. A bridge of community if you will. A bridge held together by compassion, tears, sweat, love; empathy
It was a tool needed for a warrior and the community to move from absurdity to meaning, isolation to inclusion, being haunted to witnessing, angry to forgiving, and rejecting to affirming.
My time at csun as taught me the most basic human nature. EMPATHY. Education has taught me the importance of a tool many of us take for granted. I’ve learned love. Unconditional love. I’ve learned what words for strangers can mean the world of gratitude. I’ve learned acceptance in the Greek community. Ive learned humility.
Ancient cultures from the Plains Indians, Vietnamese, to South African communities teaches that preparation, social and spiritual support, moral and homecoming rituals are central to the wound.
I moved from ignorance and innocence to experience with wisdom. My wounds are blessing that have led to new visions of who I am. New dimensions of honor and service.
Listen, nobody likes to talk about war, civilians don’t and veterans don’t. But we have to do it. Because the people who can make the change aren’t watching.
We must not only help our veterans through support but also educate nonveterans on their responsibilities if we allow our leaders to continue waging wars.
See it doesn’t matter who you are or what your trauma is, if you connect with someone who understands, hope is created, you, I, we can make it.