Our first post comes from a soldier at Fort Carson, Colorado. We will keep the identity secret to protect confidentiality.
1. How are you connected to the military?
I served in the military from 2006 to 2010; I got out as a SGT E-5. I also met my husband in the military as well. We attended Basic Training and got stationed together. My husband is currently still in the military and has deployed twice.
2. How long have you been involved with the military?
I have been connected with the Army for 7 years.
3. Where have you lived during your service?
For all of our training my husband and I were in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for 19 weeks. The first 5 and a half years my husband and I were stationed at Fort Hood, Texas in 3dACR. Now we are currently stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado.
4. What would you tell other military families for encouragement?
Currently my husband is dealing with a chain of Command that really does not seem to care about their soldiers, something he has never experienced before. I myself have never seen anything like it. I would encourage enlisted soldiers to speak up and be heard, and if that does not work use resources until they are exhausted! For officers, I would encourage them to start treating soldiers like they are human beings and not machines that can easily be replaced. The cold hard truth is, treat people how you want to be treated because those men fight alongside you and in a time of need they just might not give a damn because you didn’t give a damn about them and fight for them when they needed you.
There is no shame in getting help and getting your mind right when times are tough. Drinking does not solve anything. It is a depressant! Talk to someone!
5. What would you tell civilians that they might not know?
To all the civilians out there that think they know what military service members and their families deal with, you have no idea. PTSD is no joke. It not only affects the soldier personally but their family as well. My husband has PTSD, he only wants to talk to me about work and his problems. He is also a drinker. He drinks every night, a bottle of rum and beer. A few weeks ago he fell down the stairs and busted his chin open and had blood everywhere. Lucky for me our daughter was asleep and once he passed I had to clean all the blood off of him and around the house and bandage his chin. The next morning he didn’t even know how it happened. A lot of military wives know this experience. I feel that I married this man for better and for worse and he needs me now more than ever. After my husband’s accident I finally looked at him and said he needed to see a counselor because no matter how many deep conversations we had it was not enough; especially when he was not in the right state of mind when we had our talks. He is now getting some help and making some progress after 6 years. Sometimes I can’t believe that some people protest the military, soldiers are willing to sacrifice not only their lives but their sanity. It is a job and someone has to do it.