The concept of “suck it up and drive on” is instilled in most servicemen and women very on in their training. My drill sergeant often told us that “pain is just weakness leaving the body.” While this ideology is often attached to physical strength and weakness, I would argue that most warriors also apply this mindset to their emotions as well. Thus, the biggest barrier for combat veterans who are seeking help in the aftermath of service related “junk” is the military mindset that ostracizes the hurt, demonizes the weak, and applauds false motivation. Of the countless veterans that I have given pastoral counsel to, almost all have expressed apprehension or fear about going to their chain of command with their mental/emotional issues. When I try to assure them that their leaders are there to help them, they almost always push back with a contrarian point of view.
We must do better.
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