Monday, July 31, 2017

Life With a Veteran

When they are active duty, you are afraid he will give his life to save a stranger.  You are afraid he won't come home.  After he retires you have another worry.


21 U.S. veterans die every day by their own hands.  The scars of war and service are too much.

So you can understand why I cried when I watched this video.  I watched the Facebook version without the commentary from the reporter.

Yes, it is old. But this is the first time I have seen it.

A little personal background to understand my conversation with Dragon after I watched the video.  He was a military firefighter and an EMT. He saw things so bad that he refuses to tell me about them.

No, the story wasn't about a suicide but that is the worry now.

My threat, crying.  Sloppy crying too!  Red nose, snot.  All of it.  "If you suicide I'm going to donate you eyes, cremate your body and use the urn as a stand for my cactus."

Dragon:  I'll definitely take that under advisement.

Why is this an effective threat?  Some of the body hauls he did as a medic were done after organ harvesting.  Not a pretty sight.  The eyes were the worst.  He treated several people who were so badly burned that they no longer even resembled people.  And he just hates prickly pear cactus.

What does this have to do with the video?  Losing my Dragon is my greatest fear.  I have lived with it our entire marriage.  Before he retired I was afraid he would die in the line of duty.  Now PTSD and suicide top the list.  The VA is useless. I pray that the care of our veterans is privatized.  Then maybe the suicides will decrease.

Sorry.  Fragmented I know.  I could make this sound better and read like a professional article but that would take several rewrites. I can't do that. Not with this topic.  The tears.  The escort.  The grief.  Yep.  It got to me.  They give so much.  The military is more than a job.  It is a way of life.  A world view that the rest of us just can't understand.


  1. No editing or proof reading. It is what it is. Please excuse the misspelled words, creative grammar and auto correct mistakes.

  2. Thank you for your service - yes you and your Dragon. I often think about those that live in fear for their loved ones. I saw a picture on FB yesterday or a policemen, dressed for work, and he was holding the hand of his little boy on the first day of kindergarten and it got to me, so I can understand.
    Hope things are better for your Dragon.

    1. Thank you Leigh. Sim it is just too much. Now I have a daughter that wants to be a police officer. I have her in self defense classes and enrolling to take a few classes. I have a little time

  3. You speak from the heart. Your words were perfect to describe the depth of emotion you feel about your Dragon.

    Suicide is very high in the veteran population and it is for the most part a silent voice. Homelessness is also extremely pervelant. Prayers for strength and courage. It is way more than a job. We appreciate Dragon's service, but also your sacrifice as well.

    1. Thank you Baker. I pray for privatized care so that our veterans have choices. Another veteran killed himself in the parking lot of the VA hospital. Unbelievable that anyone would find it an acceptable outcome. I know I don't.