Veterans have defended our borders and were deployed overseas to cross enemy lines. They are required to cross boundaries that would never be permitted or socially acceptable in civilian life. How does breaking civilian boundaries in the military make it difficult to return to normal at home?
Crossing And Defending Boundaries Hurts Our Health
When civilians are constantly defending their personal boundaries, we get physically sick. Drs. Cloud and Townsend explain in their book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life:
Many clinical psychological symptoms, such as: depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, addictions, impulsive disorders, guilt problems, sharing issues, panic disorders, marital and relational struggles find their root in conflicts with boundaries.
Members of our armed forces use tactics of war to take on terrorists and drug czars. What does the day-to-day stress of service in war look like? Here’s Col. Jessup’s famous description from A Few Good Men, which was based on a Git-mo (Guantanamo Bay) code red:
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom… And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
Defending America’s Boundaries Hurts Vets’ Health
Veterans pay a high price for protecting these boundaries. From RAND, of the 2.7 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans:
- 20% suffer from PTSD and/or depression
- 50% of the veterans who suffer from PTSD seek treatment, and then only half of them get “minimally adequate” treatment
- 14% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder; 39% from alcohol abuse; 3% from drug abuse
- 5,000 to 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year, equaling 22 veteran suicides every day
- Almost 50,000 veterans are homeless per the National Alliance to End Homelessness
Let’s take just a few minutes not just on Veteran’s Day, but every day to thank the brave men and women in our military, who happen also to be our family, members. Thank you for your love of country and family and service to the great United States of America, God Bless you all.