If you remember back to the writing on October 27th, we introduced you to PV2 Pete who was one of the 2,800 Iowa National Guardsmen that had returned to the states from a year long deployment to Afghanistan. His company returned in late July and he was at the 3 month mark in his reintegration to some sort of civilian life.
It had taken Pete all of those three months to muster the courage to ask for help. He'd resisted urges to run, to hide and yes, to kill himself....that is, until he came face to face with the demons. And according to Pete, a good share of that is himself. He came to realize if he was ever going to change, he'd have to ask for help and guidance. So, he turned to his church and pastor.
When we talked this week, PV2 Pete sounded disappointed. And that might be putting it mildly. After the initial conversation with his pastor, the pastor connected with the care core director at the church. Pete met with the care core director who in turn passed him on to a counselor of sorts at the church. Pete was beginning to feel passed around like a hot potato. When the counselor phoned Pete to set up a meeting it was becoming obvious a real match had not been made. The counselor had never been in the service.....did not understand deployment, reintegration, the guilt of killing......a whole gamut of pieces that would have made Pete's experiences understandable and valid. At least from Pete's perspective. The two of them talked on the phone and set up a meeting time....another week down the road. Today, Pete's not so sure he'll keep the appointment. "I put myself out there", he said. "I felt so good after I first talked with my pastor, but then as the days advanced on the calendar and little was done, I felt the negative thoughts overtake me again. I'm not so sure I want to go through with this. Frankly, I'm pissed. I need help now....not weeks from now".
As we talked further, I thought of the times I needed help. I thought of those who truly caught on to you and wouldn't let you go. They were a friend.....and if they weren't a friend, they were loyal in their work. They wanted you to improve your situation whatever it was......relationship, work, financial or mental outlook. And when I thought of those times, it was easy for me to be compassionate of what Pete was going through. So, we prayed. We prayed for help from the right people at the right time to help him right his situation.
Work-wise hasn't been much better for our soldier. He has had numerous people direct him here and there and each time he's come up without a job. "I'm beginning to wonder if I fit in here anymore", he related. "I want to get busy and go to work and feel good about life.....but it's been hard. Nothing has really gone smoothly, that's for sure". But at least he hasn't given up, yet. Pete makes calls, send out resumes and connects with old classmates hoping something will stick. "Patience", he said, is not a virtue, it's a necessity. I'm hopeful I don't run out of it".
Next week will be a crucial week for PV2 Pete. At least, that's how he looks at it. He'll have to decide if he should keep his appointment with the counselor.....and he'll have to decide if he needs to go somewhere else to find a job. "I can't wait forever", he said. "It's going to be a big week for me......I can use all the prayers anyone wants to throw my way".
|Finding One's Wings Can Mean Rising to the Challenge|
I came acrosss a prayer we can all use, no matter what our situation. But perhaps you can visualize a wounded warrior of sorts that needs some special acknowledgement today. Here's a prayer from St. Theresa.
"May today be all that I need it to be.
May the peace of God and the freshness
of the Holy Spirit rest in my thoughts,
rule in my dreams and conquer all my fears.
May God manifest himself today in ways that
I have never experienced
May my joys be fulfilled, my dreams
become closer and my prayers be answered.
I pray that my faith enters a new height,
that my territory is enlarged and that
I make one step closer to my destiny
I pray for peace, health, happiness and
true and undying love for God".
Up Next: A closer check on a crucial upcoming week for PV2 Pete.