Photo by Thomas Loizeau on Unsplash

The Power of Our Story

Silence only spreads the violence that is the byproduct of mental illness

3 min readNov 10, 2023

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As we celebrate Veterans Day and are thankful for the freedoms we get to enjoy because a Veteran fought for them, most of us are not willing to acknowledge the life-long struggles with PTSD our veterans continue to endure.

As the granddaughter, daughter and the widow of disabled veterans, I had a front-row seat in their debilitating struggles that are all too common for our veterans.

The resources are there, but the stigma of mental illness is far more powerful. After being trained to be tough and strong, seeking help is viewed as a weakness when it can actually be the most courageous thing a soldier can do for themselves, their family, and their community.

Fighting that stigma of mental health and supporting and encouraging our soldiers to get the help they need is essential. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Silence only spreads the violence that is the byproduct of mental illness. Finding the courage to share our stories of survival and spreading awareness is the ammunition that is essential to fight the war on PTSD.

If you or someone you know is suffering in silence, dial 988 to get help.

Just like the Rifleman’s Creed, there is power in our stories:

This is my story.
There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My story is my best friend.
It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
My story, without me, is useless.
Without my story, I am useless.
I must tell my story true.
I must tell my story straight when my enemy is trying to silence me.
I must tell my story before the stress from the silence kills me. I will…
My story and myself know what counts in this war is not how many times we tell it, not how loud we yell it, not the symbols we use.
We know that it is the awareness that counts.
We will expose it…
My story is human, even as I, because it is my life.
Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its lessons, and its power.
I will ever guard it against the ravages of stigma and shame as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes, and my heart against weather and damage.
I will keep my story true and ready.
We will become part of each other. We will.

If you are a Veteran Struggling, dial: 988 for help

To read my story, check out my Book, Entangled In Blue:

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