Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Can we agree that life brings the unexpected? If we agree on this point, then we should agree that being prepared for the unexpected, would be beneficial. In the Army, before we deployed, we trained for every situation that we thought could possibly happen on a mission. We practiced these situations over and over until the brass felt good about how we as a unit responded. To name a few, we practiced live fire drills, shoot houses, open field patrols, airborne qualifications, close combat fighting, driving and shooting qualifications, and airfield seizures. We also were packed for cold weather operations and were ready to go anywhere in the world if the call came in. We had mustering plans and phone call lists that were in place to make sure everyone was up and, on their way to base. Everything was professional and the best. It felt elite because it was. Our leadership was amazing. Everything was planned out for us. Our report time, exercise and chow time, uniform of the day and daily tasks. Our responsibility was listening to those appointed over us, to live by our standards, and do the absolute best that we could each day. Each day was very stressful because of the pressure to be the best. This is a difficult stress to handle if you are always not mentally ready.
When you get out of the military, the pressure to be the best never disappears. This standard that is drilled into you, is now a lifelong friend. You welcome this friend, if life is going according to your plan. Like every mission we plan for in the military, we hope every part of our life goes according to our plan but, it does not. This misdirection brings upon different emotions. From happiness to sadness, from excitement to anger, from joy to stress, from being proud to feeling worthless. These wide range of emotions are hard to cope with because of the pressure we put on ourselves. To live up to the standards we held for ourselves in the military is hard when those around us cannot relate. Civilian life knows failure. It goes hand in hand. Civilian life has accepted failure as a learning opportunity. Try, try and try again we are told. Failing a mission in the military is never an option. At least in the United States of America it is not. In the civilian world, failure happens more than we veterans are accustomed to. Failure is something we are not mentally prepared for. It is extremely hard to cope with this communal failure when you do not have that brother or sister in uniform encouraging you back into the battle. Telling you that the war is not over. Knowing that each person in uniform is willing to lay down their own life for the man or woman fighting next to them. This is not the actions or beliefs of most people we interact with, in our everyday civilian life. How do we prepare for a life out of the military that expects failure? You must prepare like we did in the military. You must be ready for all things.
Can you be prepared for everything that happens in life? The simple answer is no. Can you be ready for the unexpected? Absolutely. Regardless of our job or branch of service, we trained to be ready every single day in the military. To be ready for life as a veteran, the first thing we need to understand and accept is, that our plan, is not our plan at all. It is God’s plan. He is the creator of life. The life we live is blessing and a gift from Him. We are now veterans for a reason. Be proud of your active duty time. Be even more proud that you are home and can still serve your country as a veteran. To be ready means to stay focused on our daily tasks. Stay focused on Christ. Follow Him and His teachings. For some of us this is easy. For others it may be extremely difficult.
Regardless of your physical conditions, or life situation, start small. Start with getting up before the sun rises. Make your bed, nicely. Pray to Christ Jesus and receive your daily bread. Then do any sort of physical workout of your choice. Do something that you know you can complete. Hygiene properly and clothe yourself with respect. Take pride in your appearance like we were taught in the military. Represent the military with pride in the civilian world. Remember, not everyone can be a veteran, you earned that right. Then eat breakfast. Feed yourselves for the day. Do not worry about the next meal. Focus on the first one. If you are without a home, ask someone to help you find a shelter. If you are in a hospital, ask a nurse or anyone that comes to your room to help. Never let pride get in the way of your successes. Do all the things that you know you can accomplish. Do them the best way you know that you can. Stay positive, clear minded, and focused on being the best you. God has a plan for you. Ask Him daily, to show you what it is. I promise you that He will not disappoint you. God can do more than we could imagine. Thank Him for everything and endure patiently my brothers and sisters. We all have been trained to hurry up and wait. As a veteran, there is no more hurry my friends. God is on your side. Just love Him and those around you the best way a veteran knows how.
God Bless you all. With love in Christ’s name,