With only a few weeks left in this year, We should focus on what we've learned and the positives we can carry into 2021. The veteran and active duty community has experienced so much tragedy within the isolation of Covid. As Josh said in his last video, there has been a 30% increase in veteran suicide since Covid began. As military families know, veteran mental health issues are not new, but 2020 has helped the civilian world understand these issues.
The effects of war are lifelong and cannot be compared to anything else. However, a veteran's struggle does not end with what he/she is left to deal with, each veteran must also navigate a complicated and selective healthcare system that is not focused on reintegration of veterans into the civilian world. The New York Times posted an interesting article about the consequences of a discharge status and how it can mean no healthcare for a veteran. This could mean 3500+ veterans could receive access to mental health benefits after being denied in the past (the future positive). That article can be found here:
As believers, please be in prayer for the reformation of how we bring our men and women back from combat. We spend months getting ready to send them to war, but almost zero time getting them ready to come back. This will be a long road, but until we reach a conclusion, here are some thoughts on what we can do today...
If you've read our book, you know that one of the worst things we can do to victims of trauma is create this unspoken pressure to "get back to normal." Trauma has its way of changing people forever, but it's a burden that can manifest just like Genesis 50:20 when Joseph confronts his brothers who sold him into slavery. Years later, as Joseph sits at the right hand of Pharaoh, he says "what you meant for harm, God meant for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." To look ahead is to carry trauma in a way that helps other people who have experienced trauma too. To depict healing as "reset to factory settings" is to hope for amnesia. If these men and women are brave enough to risk life and limb for this nation and our way of life, we must be brave enough to love them through the struggle of moving forward.
As many before us have seen the struggle of the reintegrated veteran, one of the best programs on earth has emerged for post-traumatic stress. Please join us in praying and supporting Reboot Recovery as it begins to take root in the southeast. Reboot is not only a healing place for victims of combat trauma, but it recalibrates veterans back to their purpose in Christ. Josh and I firmly believe it is the devil's plan to use the sacrifice of a veteran as a weapon of shame. A person who was once so full of purpose can slowly become lost, disoriented, afraid, and ashamed for protecting the freedoms of other people. Reboot is an attempt to awaken the warrior that is both submissive for the sake of others and ready to fight evil. As Josh and I embark on a journey through Reboot, please pray for others who might need it too.
Pray for our troops as they are around their families for the first time this Christmas. Pray that they feel loved and not judged. Pray for their children to show compassion and understanding beyond their years. Pray for spouses who are just trying to keep it together. Pray for the ignorant people they might come across that don't realize they are triggers. Pray for their sleeping and eating habits. Pray that everyone expects a process and that their hearts are ready to walk it out.
The last chapter of our book offers some real time emotions on how it feels to be rushed through a healing process. We learned a lot and we hope people can learn through the mistakes found in Beautifully Broken.
The Burial of CSM Bennie Adkins
As some of you know, Auburn has it's own Medal of Honor Recipient: CSM Bennie Adkins. Bennie died of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020.
Adkins will be laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington Wednesday, December 16, at 9 am ET. He will join his wife Mary, who passed away in February 2019.
Wednesday’s service will be streamed live at the following link: https://my.anc.media/3n6k0Ao