Trained to kill and then left to cope is exactly what happens to men and women who are inducted into the U.S. armed forces under the category of infantry solders, or MOS, the term used in the Armed Forces. From basic training to specialized training these soldiers are taught to kill. They are placed on the tracks of death and destruction and expected to do well. An indication of doing well, is staying alive and returning back to a society which they have little understanding of how to cope after becoming a killing machine.
The transition from war-time to peace-time is more than difficult for many soldiers, but there is a loophole. The cold reality that many U.S. citizens walk pass them without a smile or a helping hand has to be hard for a solider. But surely a large number of the soldiers understand civilians are frighten of them. People intuitively feel and understand the mission of death, and although no words are spoken, they feel uncomfortable, hang their head and walk right past the man or woman who has fought for their rights. This isn’t an excuse, this is a reality.
To the soldiers who are returning from war, as my own father once did, I can only suggest that you take advantage of the built-in escape route which the U.S. military and government has included in your exit benefits. Go to school. Rebuild your life in classes while you’re rebuilding your knowledge and striving to fit into society once again. Regardless of what you did for a living in the armed forces or before you became a solider, go to school.
Remember that living in the footsteps of trained killers is not who you are. That’s what you did while following orders. If you’re frighten of your own thoughts, no need to act out. Seek out professional help. Learn to meditate, start jogging until you can control your thoughts again. No, I’m not a trained psychologist, nor have I fought in a war. I’m the daughter of a man who has.
Love you America and thank you to the solders and their families for giving Americans another year of “choices”. Happy Birthday America.