I am not a wounded warrior nor have I served in the military. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. Through 30 years together I have witnessed the impact of war on a human heart and psyche. It still rears its ugly head and roars all these years later.

It’s what prompted my desire to work at CWVC. Now that I am closing in on my first year here, I’m compelled to share some thoughts.

I can’t describe being in the presence of the CWVC warriors. They are part of my family. Working closely with them, all seems relatively normal, at least on the surface. Then the realization hits you square between the eyes – and heart.

My warrior friends ARE different.

Sometimes I get lost in the jargon and the jokes that go straight over my head. More than once I have had to Google an acronym that I was clueless about. But I have learned so much from them.

Selflessness. Respect. Honor and passion. Never giving up. Such heart that tears are inevitable.

True caring for one another. Battle buddies forever. “I’ve got your six!”

Wait…it isn’t all rosy though.

Mission first. Team first. Yourself last.
When there are 22 veterans and 1 active duty soldier a day committing suicide, that thinking becomes an enemy. It breeds a silent culture that fears admission signifies weakness. These warriors are floating in darkness, alone. The PTS and TBI Injuries mess with their minds.

From this specter rises a resiliency of determination. The warriors’ will to help others through research, while pushing the limits to carve a new path to self-sufficiency, clarity and peace of mind. They fight to understand the new normal.

A warrior’s soul is torn by the profession they love and don’t want to part with as well as the family they fight hard to protect and want to reunite with in the worst way.

Warriors, you are worth your weight in family, friends and battle buddies.

Don’t succumb to darkness. Walk through the door towards the light. If there isn’t a door, find a window! The path is there.

And…thank you for bringing back the joy and raison d’etre to my profession.