Coming home

BY LEONARD SMITH

BYLINE STAFF

War changes all those touched by it. The degree and how far the changes reach depend upon the individual, however one fact remains certain: one cannot return from war the same.
But how does this affect the RCC student? In a majority of classes there is a veteran of some sort, and out of those vets there is staggering number with combat experience. While it may be hard to college student, try to imagine being a college student with PTSD.

In certain aspects, being a soldier with war experiences can be detrimental to growth and development. There is definite responsibility in becoming a soldier and it is important to understand this responsibility in order for your loved ones to get help. As a defender of the constitution, one in essence surrenders his or her freedoms to do so. The right to speak freely, as well as the right to govern yourself, the right to do what one will, being restricted to a precise code of ethics and the tremendous pressure upon performance. Even your time belongs to someone else now, with the Soldier treated as an implement to do the tasks set before themselves.

Extended deployments, loss of friends and common infidelity of spouses within the military life help complicate adjustment to civilian life once the career is over. In a way sometimes it can be described as “going to hell and back.”  However the soldier will persevere, as long as they have to in order to protect friends and loved ones. Although what happens when it comes time to pass the torch to a younger generation?

The options are many and yet the most difficult decision lay ahead, “Where do I go from here?”

A long with a new transition to civilian life, or a new form of service comes frequently with regrets. Not regret from service, but regrets that like wishing that you could have taken a bullet for a friend. Then there is also pride, which at times may prevent a soldier in need from seeking help.

Everybody for the most part has friends and or family that have served in the military at one point or another, but sometimes it is difficult to approach those memories that may haunt their loved one or friend. The best encouragement and nurturing good habits can aid in recovery, and sometimes it doesn’t hurt to shoot the breeze with a buddy that came back scarred from war.  The worst mistake that one could make however, is making the assumption of understanding.

Unless a person was physically there and inside the persons head at the time they could not possibly understand what it was like.  It is far better to empathize with the individual afflicted and lend a friendly ear. Take them to quiet places such as the library and talk in private, because chances are what is going to be heard should not be taken lightly.

Overall it takes love, trust, patience and empathy to help a friend or family member recover. Keeping in mind that person will most likely never forgot the horror of war, but maybe, just maybe that scarred, hurt, and isolated person may find solace upon the bonds of compassion.

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