The War Within                      

A Holistic Approach to Preventing Veteran Suicide


Humans are resilient. We beings have evolved through horrendous crises of warring times throughout history. What makes some endure, then thrive, is a personal story, but stories can be changed by how we think of them. How did my experiences creating my story affect me? Did it make me stronger, weaker, confused, or mad? What must I personally do to override the negative aspects and make them into a positive story for the rest of my life?

A “can do attitude” is essential as all human beings can do whatever they put their minds to. They can overcome negatively perceived experiences by taking one step at a time, seeking support through family, friends, community, and agencies in place to be present for each individual reassigning positive meaning to one’s life experiences.

While anyone who has not served in theaters of war cannot fully understand the depth of fear, heartache, and mental, emotional, and physical trauma that occurs for each soldier, compassion, patience, and love abounds in the human heart to be there for each other, even to recognize the needs of strangers.

Many stories abound of people who have endured accidents, lost limbs, suffered breeches in their philosophies and life expectations who rally that resilience to regain their true selves and work hard to reinvent purpose, meaning, and capability in new ways.

All of us standing in the wings with open hearts and our own purposes to support, encourage, and lead effectively can have a profound influence turning negative perspectives into positive ones. Such belief and encouragement helps to redesign a person’s perspective to be all they can be, to find again their original selves, capitalize on their inner strengths and determination to make a difference for themselves and all others who care for them. Often it becomes possible to become role models for others suffering debilitating mishaps in their lives.

It often comes down to the choices we make. A positive and so often a better, happier outcome is the result of just taking one more step forward.


I love my country.

I chose to serve my country, to uphold the philosophy of freedom for all people.

I recognized the need to serve overseas.

I did all that was expected of me and more.

I did a great job.

I served with honor with others who also felt the same as me.

I gained friends and respect.

I became an important part of a strong unit of soldiers.

We all took care of each other. I learned of a greater purpose.

I am proud of all we achieved together.

I may have come home broken in my body but not in my spirit.

I am still me.

Maybe I am a better me because of my service to my country and countrymen and women.

I can overcome the obstacles I now face because I am still me.

I am strong, resilient, and creative.

I love what I have stood for: love, justice, honor, pride, service.

Nothing can tear me apart from who I am and who I can now become.

With your love and encouragement, I will grow myself anew, stronger, better, and happier.

I am proud to be an American soldier.

I am proud I am always me.

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