Being UsefulOctober 19, 2015 by Bennett Tanton | 2 Comments
I was driving home from central NY to Delaware on Labor day. My kids were asleep and I was able to listen to my choice on the radio without hearing any protest. Scanning through the radio stations I came upon some talk radio. I landed on an interview with Louis CK and something he said hit me hard with its pertinence to the veteran community as a whole. “It’s very hard to be sad and useful at the same time.” I looked over at my wife and said YES!!!
This is what we as veterans need to focus on instead of dwelling in and getting possibly trapped by our depression, sadness or just our hard ass mentality. How can we be useful? What can we do for our communities? Our families? Instead of dwelling in the past, how do we move forward and become the useful, contributing members of society that we all were when we started this journey to serve something bigger than ourselves?
There are dozens of organizations out there that re-purpose veterans. Our challenge as veterans is realizing that other veterans are the answer. A lot of people get out of the service and run for the hills and do everything they can to avoid anything military including other vets. I know because I’ve been that guy, the guy trying to push my past away. Its not that I was ashamed of my service, but I was not going to let it define me, and I sure wasn’t going to be one of these guys with “issues”. I suppressed it for so long! The need for the camaraderie, the need to speak our language, it caught up to me and it truly almost overtook me.
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