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Life With Jack: What Does It Mean To Be a Warrior?
For me, a warrior is someone who has found a way, reached within themselves and found a power most of us don’t even know exists, to walk through horror and come out the other side alive. I, personally, never use the word warrior for anyone but a combat veteran. But I do not call them warriors because of what they did during war. I call them warriors because of what they do every single day since returning from war. Many have done things, seen things, experienced things that changed them. Forever.
No one goes to war and comes back the same person. No one.
The rules of war are not the rules of polite society. Battle is about keeping yourself and your buddies alive. Period. War traumatizes because what is required in combat is directly and dramatically opposed to everything we are taught, and everything we know innately within ourselves about the sanctity of life. Why else demonize the enemy? Why else work so hard to convince ourselves that for those we kill in war life and death hold different meanings than they do for us.
All of this denial of long-held beliefs in order to survive is burned into those who go to war. If it were not, none would return to us.
The courage, the incredible power of the warrior, is that once he returns to us, day-by-day, night-by-night he lives through the adjustment necessary to live among a society that does its best to transform his experience into flag waving honor when the warrior knows damn good and well there is nothing glorious about war. Nothing whatsoever.
About the Author
Wounded Warrior Wife blogger, Pamela Foster, married her hero twenty-one years ago. Pamela's husband is a disabled Marine, Vietnam vet, and a man who would walk through fire for her without ever acknowledging that he ignited the flames. "Never a Dull Moment" would be an appropriate title for a memoir of her life of loving this man living with raging Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Amidst many adventures, Foster has found time to pen My Life With A Wounded Warrior, a heartfelt and brutally honest collection of essays chronicling her struggles as the spouse of a disabled vet. She has also written three additional books about life with a combat veteran: Clueless Gringoes in Paradise, Boogie with Chesty, and Ridgeline.
When she’s not writing—or talking about writing, for that matter—Foster volunteers her time raising public awareness of PTSD and its effects, speaking at VA Centers across the country and facilitating the Northwest Arkansas chapter of INTERACT, a support group for families of veterans. She and her husband are also in the process of building a new program in their community to provide trained service dogs for Veterans with PTSD.