Category: Challenges

You’re…welcome? –Leon Valliere

Thank you for your service. It’s the superficial, knee-jerk response when a civilian hears that you’ve served in the military. All veterans have gone through this same awkward conversation with complete strangers early on in our service. For the most part, the conversation ends there, unless you’re really lucky like I was. My most embarrassing instance pf this happened when…

“When the Soldiers Went Home” –Brian Mathew Jordan

On June 11, 1865, an Iowa adjutant named Taylor Peirce wrote a letter to his wife, Catharine, and their three children in Des Moines. At the age of 42, Peirce was ancient by Army standards. Nearly three years of campaigning and picket duty, from the rifle pits of Mississippi to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, had exacted great physical costs. Peirce had…

Living Isn’t for the Weak

I’m on edge. My anxiety is spiking. I’m trying to ward off a panic attack — I don’t know how to describe how i feel. I’m completely internal — my heart, thoughts, and head are racing. I want to attack. I don’t feel safe. I want to attack and lash out at friends for no reason that makes sense to…

Talking Made Things Worse –David

One of the most uncomfortable experiences in my soldier to civilian transition occurred only days after arriving back home. It was Christmas Eve 2012, and it was my first Christmas home in 5 years. The holiday tradition brought the majority of my family together, allowing me the chance to see familiar faces, along with several new additions to the family.…

Not Everyone Who Comes Home Is Home –Tyler Pozolinski

Alone. Alienated. Abandoned. Your eyes scan the battlefield. The sun ricochets off the sand, blinding you, forcing you to look away. The air hangs heavy, pulling your shoulders down. The smell burns itself into your memory. You’ll never forget. Then there are the sounds – men screaming out in pain and fear. But what you hear doesn’t register. It’s like…