I was going to write a Thanksgiving post naming 100 things I was thankful for. And I was going to challenge my followers to name ten, as well.
It would have been heartwarming. It would have been appropriate for the holiday. Every thing would have fit nice and neat.
I can’t tell you how much I relate to the feeling of being lost and lonely that Mike shares in his post. Mike is a former soldier who was forced into medical retirement. He is a veteran with 11 years of service, who served as an enlisted infantryman in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was medically retired for traumatic brain injury and other related conditions.
I have been following Mark’s blog for nearly two years now and he’s the real deal. And like most vets who get a heavy dose of the green machine, he’s been struggling to adjust to civilian life. With nearly two years under his belt, it seems as if he’s having as hard a time, if not harder, now.
Speaking for myself, I’ve been out nearly 20 years and there are still days where I’m struggling to adjust. And I’m 100 percent confident I saw a lot less combat than him, and that my own struggles with adjusting to civilian life are far less for two reasons.
First, I chose to get out. Whether that was the right decision or not, I’ll never know, but I chose to get out. Mike didn’t have that option. He was forced out due to injuries.
Secondly, he served three times as long as I did, and saw far more combat deployments.
At any rate, let me get to the point: Mike has just gone through a divorce and a custody battle, and he seems to really be struggling right now. (You can see that for yourself in his post I linked above.)
I know what it’s like to go through a divorce, and live in the basement of a couple generous benefactors, with barely a dime to your name. I know that cold, dead feeling that arises when you find yourself back on square one, with nothing but packed boxes, incomplete furniture sets, and pictures that you wonder what to do with.
Mike is a warrior, and he will fight his way through this. I firmly believe Mike will eventually find love and happiness again, and that he will slowly but surely adjust and fit in better in this thing we veterans call the civilian world.
But he’s not there yet, and he’s not going to be there in three months or even a year from now.
And so I have this request. I’d love for you to take a couple of moments, click on the link, and leave a comment for Mike. Thank the man for his service, and tell him you’ll say a small prayer for him and the hundreds and hundreds of others just like him.
We can’t help everyone, but this is one small way we can help at least one veteran. Let’s spread a little love before we gather with our own families for Thanksgiving.
I’d love nothing more than to see ten or twenty comments on his post a day or two from now. (He currently only has five.) Even better, I’d love it still more if you share this post and encourage your friends to leave a comment, as well.
You don’t even have to put your full name. Just your first name (or a fake name) and a comment sending the man some love. Let’s help Mike build himself up, so Mike can help his fellow soldiers build themselves up. And just like that, we can start a small ripple that has the potential to grow and grow.
So there you have it. Yes, I’m guilt tripping you. Yes, I’m asking you to click a link and leave a comment. And no, I don’t think I’m asking too much.
Here’s the link again: America today. Read it if you have a second, but most importantly, scroll down and leave a comment if that’s all the time you have. And please consider sharing this post. Let’s blow Mike away with the response! Can you imagine how awesome it would be if he got a thousand comments? I think we can do that. I think you can do that.
Now, please do your part. : )
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Stan R. Mitchell, author and prior Marine, is best known for his Nick Woods Marine Sniper series, which has remained in the Top 100 on Amazon for more than three years. The series has also been picked up by Audible.com for a multi-book audio deal. Additional works include a Western thriller, detective series, and World War II story.