The military might be about fitting in and building solidarity, so veterans often have shared experiences. While each one has their own memories, it’s commonplace for most veterans to recall similar situations. Some of these memories can be traumatic and triggering, including military drug and alcohol abuse. Let’s explore some memories that only veterans will understand.
1. Diverse Experiences
Veterans who experienced trauma in places like the Green Zone in Baghdad are aware of the differences at places like Camp Victory. Those luxurious locations are significantly different from places like Ramadi in 2006. Veterans understand that they all have diverse experiences which connects them. They often feel conflicted about the differences they’ve experienced together.
2. Unwanted Expertise
After returning home from deployments, veterans are often asked about their thoughts in military operations. Unfortunately, the average veteran has no say in any operations. They are just following directions, so they often chuckle when people ask about their thoughts about intricate military plans.
3. All the Acronyms
People in the military have so many acronyms to remember, but a few that stick with them are AFN, DFAC, and PTSD. The Armed Forces Network commercials played repeatedly in the Dining Facility. The ads frequently disrupted peaceful meals and became quite an annoyance.
The other acronym that veterans must face repeatedly is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many turn to the drugs and alcohol to find peace, but the addiction only makes the trauma worse.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help veterans before the problems arise. Knowing that PTSD exists and that veterans can experience it is the first line of defense against the psychological problem.
4. Near Beer
Veterans know all too well the issue of near beer in the DFAC. The beer might taste good, offering a quick reminder of home. But, the lack of alcohol reminds them they aren’t at home, and that they could be put in life-or-death situations at any time.
5. Reflections of Service
Veterans are reminded of their experience every Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. While it’s nice that the country pauses to thank those in the military, the commercialization of the holidays weakens its purpose. Rather than spending time celebrating with shopping and barbecues, it’s more important to pause and reflect on the sacrifices military members make for the country.
Veterans can take pride in serving the country, and they take time to share their experiences with their family members. Being in the military is a point of pride, especially for veterans who chose to join.
Members of the military appreciate when citizens stand for the National Anthem, but they also realize that they fought so people could voice their opinions of the country and its actions. The National Anthem is a significant song for veterans, and they often feel emotional when the song plays.
6. Delays of Duty
Veterans often wished they had fewer duty assignments, so they could enjoy weekends and holidays.
7. Watching Friends Succeed
Veterans support each other, especially when they perform heroic deeds. These “get some” moments live on in the memories of veterans and their friends.