Posted on Mar 9, 2015
LTC Jason Strickland
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Misty and miguel
When playing football, I always wanted to play the home game. I had the fans, the support, the surroundings – all were to my advantage. I loved the cheering of the crowd, my field, my home. And that is why I love playing a home game….

But when it comes to war, I’m all about playing an away game. I don’t want it on my field (the US). I want the game “over there.” I don’t want this to come to my background, my life, my hometown. I joined the military to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and my territory, including my family. So, I’m all about the away game.

Unfortunately, too many times after deployment, we struggle with thoughts of what happened in the war zone. As a matter of fact, many WWII and Vietnam veterans never spoke of what happened. They kept it “away.” But then the challenges and symptoms and problems came home, even though they wanted desperately to keep it “away.”

What about you? Are you now playing a home game or an away game? Are you dealing with issues in your life by not talking to your family and “protecting” them? Did you intentionally make the decision not to talk about what happened in theater to protect your “Home”? I did. I didn’t want to bring it home…I wanted it all to be kept away. And then reality hit.

One way to keep it “away” is to take it to a friend or a professional who can maintain confidentiality and help you work through it, without they themselves having to “carry it.” Trained personnel do not take it on personally; however, I’ve seen many spouses and significant others have difficulty with what their loved ones bring home. The military member is often afraid he or she will be judged or “looked down upon” for what was done during deployment.

If you are in this boat, keep it Away by “coming home” to a professional or a trusted friend. There is no reason to keep it to yourself when help is just a phone call away. Part of service is allowing others to serve you. Project Sanctuary has trained counselors and “friends” who care. And there are a host of other resources as well. So, I say bring it Home AND protect your Home field advantage at the same time.

Written by guest blogger and Project Sanctuary board member, Lt Col (Join to see), a licensed psychologist for both the Veterans Administration (VA) and the United States Air Force.
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Responses: 2
SPC Jonathan Sellers
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My thoughts are that the best ways to deal with military to civilian transition is to keep in touch with people who understand what you've been through. The non-veterans are trying to tell you what normal is, but if everyone was a veteran, then there wouldn't be this issue. Everyone would understand and there wouldn't be a stigma, there would be open communication, and there would be the social support necessary for the people who suffer the most.

Instead, psychiatrists want to get people on medication as soon as possible and isolate people. Real American Heroes is a networking community to honor our fallen comrades, get vets integrated back into communities, link up new vets with old vets who have made a successful transition, and assist vets with job training and housing needs. We're a growing organization that gets new volunteers to be mentors in their community. One of the strategies is to network with the VFW in your community and get involved at the community level with people who have been to Vietnam, and even some who are around from WWII.
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CPT Jack Durish
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Who are we really protecting when we keep our experiences to ourselves?

We claim to be protecting our loved ones. Is that really true? Or, are we trying to protect ourselves from their judgment?

How are we protecting our loved ones when we force them to watch us suffer while they stand by helplessly?

Just asking...
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PO3 Commander
PO3 (Join to see)
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Clear Jack we want to protect our families and friends, anything bad and today the Islamic fanaticism is watering hatred of many Islamists boys being indoctrinated in leisure ocidente the religion that the West processed ie Christianity on everything, but if necessary are able to attack and perpetrate attacks against their own people Muslim people. The culprit is the cu indirectly, tivo of all religions especially the Muslim religion that exist is changed the message of the Koran to face and adoctirnar Muslims turning them into Islamic terrorists
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