I wanted to go into the reason behind my story #RecklessSecrets circulating on Facebook. Behind Reckless Secrets: The Death of Veterans focuses on the lack of funds and support from Veteran Affairs and families once the diagnosis of mental health specifically PTSD has been diagnosed in our veterans.
I want you to imagine being deployed into the world of the unknown having to fight for freedoms most take for granted. You get overseas and am ambushed by the enemy on front lines. You look through your peripheral and see your comrades, your friends dying at the hands of the enemy and some taking their own life. You see yourself trying to escape the replay that stays on repeat in your head but yet you stay silent. You stay focused on the mission because your orders was to take out anyone behind enemy lines. While completing your orders, you see a child soldier with grenades in hand and strapped with a homemade bomb. your instinct is to protect the child but you realize the child is the enemy. What next? You take out the enemy by any means. Nightmares add up and this is just another reel to your archives stuck on replay. You cannot unsee that. You can’t talk about it either. The only ones that understand is the same men and women on that battlefield.
Now I want you to imagine completing that mission and receiving orders that you can now be deployed back home. Now you have to readjust to the timezone. You have to now reconnect with your spouse and kids. You have already missed so much of their lives as it is. You don’t know where you fit in but you’re glad to be home on one side but on the other side you’d rather be back in the war fighting. Now it’s been weeks that turned into months and you’re getting in the swing of things. Those nightmares creep in slowly causing insomnia and night terrors. What now? Your spouse asks what’s wrong? You cannot tell them what really is going on. The communication deadens. Now sometimes you have episodes like you are back on enemy soil. The sounds of fireworks or the bass of music coming from a car driving by trigger your episodes. They tell you to seek help. Now what?
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Now imagine filling out the paperwork and getting the run around about coverage for psychological help. This doesn’t happen to everyone. Imagine being too far gone that not even the state wants to help you. Imagine being too far captured in your thoughts that not even your family can bring you through it. Your outbursts scare them. You wake up in the middle of the night harming yourself and your spouse. You can’t talk so you take to alcohol, drugs, or depression. Now you are totally isolated from the one you love. They have moved on and you are now at this alone. What’s next? Who’s going to be there through this with you?
Now that I’ve set the tone, this is my reasoning of writing #RecklessSecrets. There tends to be a silent killer of our veterans that have fought for us. It’s called mental health diagnoses. They fight and fight to keep us safe and in return are isolated from the very people they need to get through this. You say, “They’re too violent so I just need to be to myself.” You say, “I have my own life to get right. I cannot help them.” In fact you can! You can start vetting for the main people that have fought for you. Be their voice because they were your guards. Reckless Secrets hit a place close to home with a friend of mine. I have felt the split between wanting to converse and flipping off because what creeps up between his ears are screaming out loudly and he cannot speak on it nor does he want to. All they want is to forget. Some just want your support. If you love them from a distance because they’re too violent just remember to keep in touch. A phone call will not kill you. A card on their birthday or Christmas won’t either.
Reckless Secrets follows the tale of a veteran Navy seal and the growing help of a neighbor and friend Dana who vowed to never give up on the vet. His will to live will kill her. On the eve of her wedding day things take a turn for the worst between Gata (Jake) and Dana as his episodes increase. She wonders if her promise was too much for her to bear. Can she help Gata (gator the country way) reclaim his freedom within the walls of his own mind or be killed in the promise? Will she make it to her wedding? Find out in our story #RecklessSecrets in our Facebook group Into the C. S. Café.
If you are a veteran in a crisis please call the hotline 1-800-273-8255.
What is your take on the silent killer of veterans? Let us know below.