Coming back to civilian life brings new challenges, new opportunities, and compelling stories of courage and accomplishment.Public media tells those stories so community members can better understand the veteran experience.
"We lost 34 Marines were killed in action and over 255 were wounded. Out of those 34 Marines a lot of those guys were my best friends, literally my closest friends. I think that was what really effected me was wondering why did they have to die, why did they get killed and not me? Why did I come home with not one scratch on me?"
Being on edge 24 hours a day, that’s the thing that gets to most soldiers, gets to you when you come back home and you’re trying to recover from that. You’re constantly on edge, you want to go fast, you don’t sleep a lot. I still don’t sleep a lot now, I sleep very light. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help.
“I never want to pretend that I haven’t gone through it; I’ve done way more self-destructive behaviors than I ever thought I was capable. One of the biggest blessings in my life has been the strength to be able to realize when I’ve needed help and when I’ve been able to ask for help.”
“I think part of the reason why I wanted to be a therapist was because I wanted answers. I wanted to fix myself and I wanted to fix everybody else but I needed the answers. And I wanted the quick-fix way of how to do it and I just thought maybe if I read enough books I could find the answers. And that’s not true at all.”
“The things I did make complete sense in a combat zone. The way you interact with people who are your enemy makes complete sense in a combat zone. And you do it for a year and you get good at it. You become proud of it. But when you come back it’s hard to deconflict who you are in a combat zone and what everybody else not in a combat zone thinks the world works like.”
“I was a Fellow with The Mission Continues. They gave me something to do. They didn't just say, 'Take it easy. Decompress.' No, they said, 'You still have work to do. You don't have to wear stripes on your arms to go out and motivate people, to lead people, to make a change, to do something different.”