To Family and Friends
For those of you who love your Warrior, your Son, Daughter, Husband, Wife and Friend, I’m offering you a chance to understand Why they’ve come home from war forever changed, forged in battle and now home with you once again. Imagine going to work each morning and never knowing if you were going to die that day, or perhaps at best, be severely wounded. This is in fact what your loved one feels; it’s how they live every single day of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Because they can’t talk to you about their experiences, because they feel nervous in crowds, sit with their back to the wall in restaurants, don’t like parties, check for snipers on the roof of Wal-Mart, or can’t drive their cars for fear of an ambush, doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It only means they are struggling to survive in a world that’s now become as alien as the surface of the moon.
Warriors truly want to feel normal, they want to be like they were and what you would like them to be again, but that is impossible; they have changed forever. Help them to help themselves by understanding what they have been through, what horrors they have experienced and how they long only to be loved and accepted for who they’ve now become.
For a Warrior walking off the battlefield, the journey of life becomes very lonely, very painful. All of us ask only for someone to care, to understand our pain and to love us as Warriors who gave all we had to protect what we hold sacred, our country, our home and our loved ones.
The “Warrior’s Guide to Insanity” may help you to know just a little of how we feel, how we pray for a life in a world so precious to us and yet lies just beyond our grasp. A little part of all of us dies when we experience war. But what is left is all we have and with that small hope, we cling to life; the hope of being accepted, the hope of perhaps one day being loved, to feel a little joy in our lives and at long last to feel some small measure of peace.
Continue on if you will, and as you read this work, ask yourself, “How can I help the one I love? How can I unconditionally love them and help them to feel purpose in their life once again?”
Warriors love those they leave behind, more than they will ever know. I ask you now, to open your hearts to us, to allow us to be a part of your world that we would willingly die to protect. We will never be like we were before war. Accept us for who we have now become, for what we have sacrificed for you and this great Nation.
Sgt. Brandi, United States Marine Corps