first published on October 4, 2015 by Josh
Sometimes you just have to spill the ink of your soul. You have to discard everything you know, want, and feel and just type something. Put pen to paper, fingers to keys and let words flow from raw emotion.
You’ve been there, you’ve done that, and you’ve got the t shirt. Except now you’re just here and you feel completely isolated. You’re afraid to reach out to anyone because you don’t want anyone to see the weakness. You don’t want help and you don’t need a shoulder to cry on. You’re just existing in this moment. All you know is right now it’s dark and all you think about is how it used to be.
You were a jolly green giant roaming the Earth with a gun. You led men into the depths of hell, you brought them home. You protected the innocent the best that you could, unless it failed to fall within the guidelines set by politicians, most of whom never walked a mile in anyone’s boots. Let alone yours.
You were larger than life, but the men you led were even greater than you. They looked to you for guidance, and you dedicated every ounce of your being to their welfare praying that at the end of the day you had earned their respect. Without that respect you were meaningless. These men were and still are your brothers, yet you’re afraid to reach out to them because you’re still afraid of losing their respect.
The innocents you protected never knew you and they will never remember your face. To them you were a man from another place, the dog who kept the wolf at bay. You wore a big smile, showed your heart of gold, and gave candy to their kids. All of this but they knew, do not provoke this man. He carries a big stick, and behind that quiet demeanor is a man who should not be tested.
Those parasites, those damn politicians. They never once winced at your plight. You were a chess piece strategically moved for convenience and power. If you fought when it wasn’t convenient they slapped you on the wrist. If you succeeded at a period of convenience you were treated as a hero. Only until the next press conference though.
You did your time and now you’re left wondering. How did I get here? How was I capable of so much, yet now I am unable to do anything? Why am I at this dead end? One paycheck bleeds to the next. Your day starts at six, ends at six – wash, rinse, repeat. Nothing seems fulfilling, life’s forward progress has halted. Staring into the mirror you look down those woeful thousand yards into your own soul and ask: “What has happened to me? What is wrong with me? Why do I feel like my life is the end of Rambo: First Blood? Why am I lying on the floor remembering every terrible second of my life?”
I wrote this to help you brother. The trigger on that Sig might seem like the only key to redemption, but I can’t let you beat yourself. I’m asking for your help because I can’t stand to lose another veteran who is too afraid to reach out. I’m reaching out to you now because I know you don’t feel like you can reach out to me. I’m encouraging you to not become a statistic, because you are better than that. I know its dark right now, but you can find the light if you just keep pushing. One foot in front of the other, do not defeat yourself.