Inside the Patriots Mind

As the fourth of July nears and the grills fire up. I reflect back on what
we are celebrating and the sacrifice made for freedom.
It is no secret that on this blog we have discussed America, Christianity, and War.
Today I am featuring a guest post from Gary Reed Licensed Profession Counselor.
Read and comment, and enjoy your fourth of July and Freedom.

Have you ever been at the front of a battle, a military front?  I haven’t and can’t say I ever will.  In fact, I am glad to say I won’t be there because of those young American patriots who chose to be there for me.  Maybe you are one of these brave patriots which I would like to say “Thankx”!

Some patriots come back, few or minimal physical scars and others never come back at all.  I am not worthy of your scars, nor your family’s pain.  Your scars keep my freedom in tact!  Your scars, your pain and your memories I do not say I truly know; I just seen what I’ve read or heard what I’ve been told by soldiers.  Today, as I recollect my freedom, I want to express my thankful heart and let others know, what I’ve heard goes on inside the patriot’s mind.

At the beginning of boot camp, a soldier is trained to have a “battle mind”, meaning “combat readiness”.  Initial workouts and drills focus a soldier to be mentally tough, alert at all times and team focused 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Mental preparations for battle help the soldier be ready for the emotional and mental stress of combat, anywhere from the anticipation of a bomb exploding outside their Humvee to shock of being fired at by the combatant.

In “theater” (battle), the soldier take his/her weapon everywhere they go, including the latrine in case of attack.  A soldier can never let his/her guard down while in theater, for some causing a soldier to feel stressed out, irritable or edgy.  When driving the streets or patrolling on foot, soldiers see the tragedies of war such as destruction of cars, buildings, cities, civilian’s lives and their buddies’ life or well-being.  After days, months and towards the end of their duty, the soldier’s resilience drains causing mental fatigue, day dreaming and decreased motivation.

Upon return home, whether in active duty or back to work as a civilian (reservist) the battle in the soldier’s mind continues.  Feelings of survivor grief, agitation, the need for speed (while driving) and an inability to control one’s surroundings (family, civilians and co-workers) piles up.  Some find help in the Vet Center, VA, doctor and/or counselor and others just survive life through divorce, career change and/or thoughts of suicide.  No matter the outcome, I am grateful for those who stand in the gap for my freedom.