I am a veteran. That is one of the most emotion-filled statements to ever leave my lips. While I don’t often speak about my time in the US Navy, it is a part of my life that I hold very dear to my heart. And while it was short-lived and tumultuous, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. As I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and getting to know other veterans, I now see what a class-act community that I belong to. It is an honor and privilege to be able to stand amongst these incredible human beings that we know as our veterans.
The strength, courage, and sacrifices of our veterans is currently weighing quite heavy on my heart. I was recently able to visit the Utah and Omaha beaches of Normandy, France as well as the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. What an emotional experience it was to be able to stand on the ground where so many gave their lives in such a short span of time for the greater good of the world. Additionally, I am on the eve of being able to participate for a second time as a volunteer guardian on the Central Valley Honor Flight. This is an event organized to give our WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans “one last tour with honor” as they are escorted to Washington D.C. to experience the war memorials.
However, neither of these experiences are necessary to bear witness to the potential sacrifices that all of our veterans are willing to pay when they sign up to serve in the military.
It breaks my heart to witness and hear stories about our veterans and their deteriorating health. The traumatic brain injury, the PTSD, the sucide rates, the mystery illnesses, and the lack of optimal care that many are met with at the VA facilities… it is all quite sickening. When I think about what these men and women have given of themselves I’m left wondering how can we do a better job as a society to take better care of them.
The illness, pain, and suffering that our veterans experience is real and often invisible. I reflect on my own experience (you can read more about that here) and consider that my “battle scars” are nothing compared to what many are silently enduring.
When I think about my journey transitioning out of the service, esepcially the time after I was discharged, I can see that this is where, as a community, we can really make a difference. I’ve spoken with other veterans about this and it is obvious that this transition is challenging in so many ways. For whatever the reasons may be, reassimilating into civilian life is not easy. As their brothers and sisters, I sincerely believe we can do more to help ease this burden.
Dear Beloved Veteran,
Words will never be enough to express the gratitude that we feel for your service to our country. It is our actions that must make up for this deficit.
No matter how big or small you feel your contributions were, know that they matter and they are deeply appreciated.
And if you are uneasy, if you are suffering in any way, we beg of you not to discount your feelings. They are real and they are valid. Even if they seem invisible, they are not insignificant. And they deserve our attention.
Not every wound can be cured, not every scar can be erased, but with time we can heal the heart and the soul. There is hope for peace within.
It isn’t easy to ask for help, to reach out and let someone know that you are suffering, especially when you are used to being “the strong one”. Know this though, it takes real strength to ask for help, and we know you possess that strength.
We promise to be gentle with you and to always offer a compassionate ear to listen with. We promise to hold space for you to share your story and your feelings and your pain. We promise to do whatever we are capable of to help ease your suffering. We promise that we will not let you suffer alone.
We may not be able to fight this battle for you, but we will certainly fight it with you, if you’ll allow us to. Let us be your new comrades in arms.
With deep love & immense gratitude,
Your Brothers & Sisters of the United States of America
Please share this with any veterans that you know. Not to promote my work, share it to promote their health. The health of all of our veterans. Even if you don’t think that they are struggling, share it anyway. Our veterans are full of pride and often that pride gets in the way of asking for help or sharing that something isn’t working well.
We can all benefit from knowing that there is hope and that we have a community willing to help us. We gain so much strength from believing that the power to change our lives is within our reach, even when we can’t see the next step, and from knowing that we are not alone.
“No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets or no matter how far you fall, you are never out of the fight.”
– Marcus Luttrell, US Navy SEAL, retired
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from you! Spread the Love and share this post with someone!
If you are a veteran or know a veteran who is struggling with their health, it’s possible that Transformational Nutrition Coaching could help!
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.