Finding Purpose in Civilian Life

“It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.” ― Abraham H. Maslow Ask any Armed Forces member about their purpose. You will likely get a clear and certain response: operational readiness, mission completion, and keeping one another alive. This clarity is pervasive in the military, yet it […]

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Social Media Addiction

We now carry our social worlds in our pocket. Our friend-lists are paper-trails of past acquaintances, giving us a little window to voyeuristically peer into their lives, casually connect, or rekindle a friendship. Paradoxically, we can be alone, yet profoundly connected. Like Riesman’s (2001) “lonely crowd,” we are perpetually other-directed, scanning and finger-scrolling screens, searching […]

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Grinding the Blade

The following is a piece written by a Veteran who prefers to remain anonymous. If this resonates with you, please share your experience below. I need to compete. I need the eyes of judgement and assessment on me holding me accountable. I need the struggle and hardship of pushing myself to be better, mentally and […]

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Remembering ‘Service’

In the wake of the U.S. election, many of us on the other side of the boarder are both proud to be Canadian, and happy to finally see an end to the political mud-slinging. It is time to end the constant focus on power-games and turn our attention to the real purpose of politics: public […]

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Who are the 22 veterans?

In 2012, a VA report stated that an average of 22 veterans died by suicide in both 2009 and 2010. Recently, this number has become popularized in the 22 push-up challenge, bringing awareness to the issue of suicide among veterans. In the wake of this popular campaign, I want to bring attention to a question that has […]

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Why Veterans Die by Suicide

To answer the question of why veterans die by suicide, we must first consider the reasons why anyone might be driven to consider this option. Than, we must consider how this knowledge applies to the unique experiences of veterans. Suicide is a reaction to extreme psychological pain. Suicide is not a “cowards way out,” nor […]

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Military Betrayal, Civilian Isolation

Many people think PTSD is the root of all mental health problems among veterans. This oversimplification is often reinforced by behaviors considered abnormal. One veteran I spoke with claimed to have stopped a dangerous driver, thrown him out of the car, and “gave him a life lesson.” Most people would accuse the veteran of needing anger management […]

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