Saturday, October 4, 2014

Combat PTSD was caused by your deep devotion to those you served with

Your love was shown more by what you did
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 4, 2014

Everyone joins the military with some level of commitment but not everyone joins with the same level of devotion. Just like people get married because they are committed to one another all too often the marriages fail unless there is a deep devotion able to withstand all the hardships. Being devoted to those you serve with is much like a marriage because it is ingrained within your soul.

It may be hard to think of love and combat, but that is exactly what is required. It is what enables you to weep. To reach out a hand to comfort. To mourn for someone you lost or for someone wounded as they are taken away for care. To grieve for the innocent people killed in the process of trying to save more.

There is a slogan about the Vietnam War, "All gave some, but some gave more" appropriately because while everyone did their duty, some paid with their lives. Much like some pay emotionally more than others.

There is great confusion about Combat PTSD. It is different from all other types caused by one event. For you, there were many upon many more. It is about the nature of the trauma but it is more about what you were willing to do for the sake of others.

Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Sometimes you knew the right words to say but more often, what you shared, was not shared with simple words. Your love was shown more by what you did.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If you could have predicted one minute to the next, knew what was going to happen, moved at superhuman speed, then maybe it would have turned out differently, but you are not superhuman. You are just a super human without those kinds of powers. You could not have known what was going to happen yet because you loved so much, you wish you had.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

You did give up all without expecting anything in return. You endured many hardships over and over again. You were willing to give your own life so that others could live.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

When someone calls you "hero" you don't like it. You see nothing heroic within you. Consider you are among 1% of the population if you serve today and 7% of the population if you left the military with the title of veteran. If you are disabled, you are among less than 4 million in this entire country. Yet so humble, you see nothing special about you.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

It forgives. Forgives "enemies" as well as friends. A buddy said the wrong thing at the wrong moment. Something they could not take back but you forgave them even though you were deeply hurt. You knew they would have said they were sorry for saying it if they had the chance. Love helps you forgive yourself for whatever wrong you believe you are guilty of because your intent was based in doing good. Doing for others was the reason you joined the military. You risked your life for the sake of others.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Combat PTSD was caused by your deep devotion to those you served with. What else would you call being willing to die for their sake? The stronger your emotions are, the more you will feel pain as well as joys.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

No matter how much pain you were in while deployed, you refused to allow that pain to stop you from protecting those you were with. You did not allow that pain to be felt until all of you were out of danger.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

John 15:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
This you were willing to do. You grieve because you loved enough to put your life on the line, pay any price, carry any burden and go to the ends of the earth for their sake.

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