Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

Sgt Robert Barrett,  KIA 4/19/2010 wrote this before deploying to Afghanistan in January 2010

“I volunteered to put my life on the line for freedom and country. For my fellow soldiers, for my little girl, for my weeping mother and father.  “I am going to a land where American freedom is just a dream, a hope, a slow reality. I am an American soldier.”

Tomorrow marks America’s Veterans Day.  It is a sad day for many of us veterans, it is also a proud day.  I have often, and continue to have those days where I scream and yell at God for sending me over there.  I did the maths one day (gave myself a headache too) and figured out that in a 7 year period of 2006-2013 I had spend roughly 3.5 years over seas on combat zones.  I was drafted, no one forced me to go.  I went of my own free will and sought opportunities to go back again and again. Why?  God knew I was going, he actually came to me in 2012 and told me to go on my final deployment.  He knew I was going to go and he knows my heart.  After all, he created it and knows it better than I do.

Why do I think I have the right then, to yell and scream at him for all the baggage I now carry?  I know the BS we went through, and I know the good and the bad that happened. Much of it unavoidable, but some of it was decided by ourselves.  Remember the ‘free will’ he gave us as a gift!?

Having said that I do and, I am embarrassed that I treat him in such a way at times.  But I know he can take it and I know that he’s ok with it, he just wants to draw me closer to him.   So tomorrow, I am sure I will have a word with him about the whole thing.  I’ll be hunting in the morning since work is closed to observe this sacred day.  Plenty of time to gather my thoughts and speak to him while I chase the ghost like creature I hope to eat for my dinner.  Perhaps some afternoon beverages with a fellow veteran to toast our brothers and sisters, pausing for moment to pray extra hard for ones that didn’t make it home, like my brother in arms, Sgt Barrett.

So I ask you to take a moment to pray for all our veterans.  Past, present and those just beginning the proud life changing journey.  Whether a vet stayed CONUS or was sent with rifle to meet the enemy on a far flung battle field, they all deserve a hand shake, and even a hug.  Even better, a cold beer! 🙂

And for all my screaming and shouting, tears and tantrums; I thank our Lord every single day for allowing me the opportunity to serve and proudly call myself a United States soldier.  There are perhaps something’s I would change, go left and not right for example.  Its in the past and I know I did the best I could in combat, lead by example and with courage for the guys to feed off and use.  I cry and I smile, I scream and I hide in loneness.  I yell out for help and I retreat to the comfort of myself and my self hate.  Its all part of being a child of God.

When a person dies and meets God, they may ask themselves “what did I give back to my fellow man? A veteran doesn’t have to worry about that question.

I am proud to be my brother’s keeper!!

 

 

 

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Author: 22PTSD

I'm from England and moved to the US in my mid 20's. I served in the US Army for 8 years and deployed over seas 3 times between 2006 and 2013. I'm now 39 and am married to a wonderful, beautiful woman from Massachusetts. She has been my rock during some very dark personal struggles with my combat PTSD and continues to support me daily! We recently relocated to Texas with our pup! I work for the federal government and am a die hard Manchester United fan!

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