Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by clarkness
Yep, I served. 31 years. As I read your post, I realized that I could have wrote it in a darker time in my life. But I also realized that while those times in my life sucked, they also made me smarter. And devious.
Often I found other ways of dealing with a problem that had been previously overlooked. Heck, it took two and a half years to get my retirement approved. And in the process, ruined a few careers, due to their negligence in processing my request. But I finally was able to retire. But that’s another long story.
I’ve always been there for my Soldiers, and sometimes I would tell them to suck it up. But those were usually in the “Don’t sweat the small stuff” category.
Financial and Marital problems though can ruin a person if not addressed quickly. I’ve seen it. I’m not a big fan of the WTU system either having been a part of it. They over-medicate way too much and then bust the Troop for not waking up on time for formation. What the hell?
But in the long run, whether a person seeks help or not, it is up to them on how life’s dramas affect them.
Unfortunately these days, there is no communication in the military, at least not in the Navy, although my friends in other branches don't paint a better picture. There are very few real leaders and too many managers. I have always done what I can to help people out, not because I like them or because their performance affects me, but because its the right thing to do. One of the worst stories that I know happened when I was instructor. A student was in a bad place due to many reasons of family, finances, and just general stress. One of the instructors handed him a box cutter. The kid blew his brains out two days later. Then the SEL of that division got up in front of the division and lambasted the crew not on the handling of the situation, but how he thought it was a "pussy" way out of things. I fully admit, I was one of those work through it, never show emotion, mentally tough people, but I soon realized when I had problems with my wife, their answer was to just the get the divorce over quickly.
Fortunately, I chose the path that kept my family intact, though it ruined my career in the Navy. In fact, my situation got me to take a step back and realize who I really want to be, what's important to me, and regain much of the wisdom that I somehow forgot while I was in the military. Do I regret my service? No, if it wasn't for the Navy, I wouldn't have met my wife and had a beautiful daughter. I wouldn't have necessarily come to the place I am now mentally and intellectually if it were not for my experiences. Am I angry? Yes, partly because I fell for the BS for awhile and partly for the fact that every day the military likes to rub in our faces about Honor, Courage and Commitment and how we should have integrity, yet they enable and almost push the opposite to happen. Its one big joke. Honestly, I wish I could bury my head in the sand again, but unfortunately I can't unlearn what I know now and I can't exactly sit back and say nothing.