I can never go back. What will I be now?


Been doing a lot of thinking about who I am and what I believe lately.  Last month I finally admitted to myself that there just isn’t any possibility of me going back in any armed service, my brain injuries are just too great to overcome to be effective.  Growing up all I wanted to do was be in the military for the rest of my life, and so when I got in to the military I never saw it ending.  So now that I don’t have that “vision” of myself, I don’t know what to be, I have no goals in life because I always wanted to be in the military.  I can’t be a Marine anymore, a least not an active or reserve one, I’ll just have to suffer being a veteran.  That isn’t a “bad” thing, I just wanted to stay in until retirement.

bRaving Bipolar is doing well, medication changes occasionally, although she is pretty stressed after taking classes back to back.  We are working with the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Program to gather evidence and submit it to the Purple Heart Reclama board.  The marines I was with when this happened:

blast

meet the revised criteria for the Purple Heart because we were both knocked out and sick in quarters for longer than 48 hours.  It was a 152mm artillery round hidden under tires that burnt down a trailer the day before, laid on the ground.  Based on the distance from the tires (5 meters) and studies done on ordnance, there is no way that we would’ve remained conscious from the pressure produced from the blast wave.  One of us was medically retired and the other 3 of us have had severe problems from the traumatic brain injury.  After that I will attempt to negotiate some healthcare from the VA.

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The Mental Health Stigma is alive and well in the military


mh issue
This post graced my Facebook timeline today. It was made by a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the Marine Corps. I know the guy, he’s the douchebag that got 2 people hurt so bad that one lost his arm and one with an extremely bad TBI. I digress.

The first comment is mine. The second comment is someone I’ve never met. If you think the military is doing a good job of erasing the stigma against mental health issues, you’re mistaken. It will take another 8 years before the NCOs and SNCOs (E-4 through E-7) have cycled out and are no longer in a position to treat Marines like this. Back in 2006 they still punished you if you had a mental health issue and couldn’t “fit in” like everyone else. Got demons and drink? NJP.

Clearly you aren’t responsible enough to take care of yourself, so fuck you, I’m going to take half of your pay, put you on restriction and extra duty. That will teach you to not have demons. I’m so sick of the zero-defect mentality; it is a delusion that kicking people out for these issues will make the Corps better in the short term or the long term. If you send the message that someone with a mental health issue, like PTSD, or TBI (TBIs do have an effect on the function of the brain, and can lead to depression, anger management problems, and cognitive errors) will be kicked out, those with the issues will no longer tell you because of the fear of being kicked out. This causes Marines to suffer for years, hiding their injury and living in shame that they are hurting and cannot confide in anyone. Their performance will degrade, and they may or may not spiral out of control. Ultimately their loyalty is not to the organization, it is to themselves-and why should it be to the organization when the organization would kick them to the curb because they were mentally injured doing what the organization asked them to do?

Have faith, however, because the 2nd commenter that I don’t know serves with the aforementioned douchebag, so there are people out there who will defend you if the shit goes down. Some people seek out the military because they get authority and they get paid to act like douchebags to people who cannot quit their job. The original poster is that guy.