• Two people who thought military couples needed more...

Persevere: A Soldier's Blog

 

matt-helicopter

After a recent pre-deployment trip to Australia, I remarked how our team was moving along, laughing at ourselves and the cultural differences while getting just the appetizer of being away from home. It is bittersweet, unlike the Kangaroo, which was delicious, by the way.

My desire for this page is to embrace that fact of military life. There are many things to enjoy and be excited about, opportunities that expand our appreciation of life and, yet, cause us to long for home, so we can share those moments with those we love most.

It is in those moments that leaders bring context and encouragement to the difficulties. We can reframe what it is we are all going through, and unite the team with the feeling of shared sacrifice. For me, I see it in the eyes of those who haven’t deployed and are anxious about being away, living in a foreign and hostile land, and wondering if they will be able to remain connected with home.

The short of it all is that we keep busy, keep on task and find something worthwhile to pour our energies towards, so that when we collapse on the bed at night, you don’t lay there trying to go to sleep, beginning to miss home. Sometimes the best phone conversations are at the verge of exhaustion where one collapses in the bed with the sound of their loved ones’ voice still ringing in their ear.

We are the main support for one another, because truly only we know how it feels and how to encourage one another. I find that “doing life” together solidifies the partnership that maintains us through difficulties and makes the good moments, great. We give more grace during stress, smile through adversity and ask “how can I help?” when we barely have anything left.

So yes, it is Team. Corie, Aidan, Jackson and I are a Team, here to cheer for you. To encourage you in difficulty and celebrate your triumphs.

Matthew

Mirror, Mirror

I need the mirror of my sons, to whom I owe my life. I am molding and shaping their future with every look, gesture, word, deed and inaction. They unknowingly give me constant and consistent feedback about my fathering. If I do not pay attention, then I miss out on the wonderful dance of parenting. It's a bit of a trained skill to take a step back and look, and ask, "how am I being perceived?" One that I am (hopefully) enroute to mastering.

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A Hard Rain

What do you get when you cross a hippie and a cop? Me.

Yeah, I wish there was a better punch-line, but as I am living this life and trying to understand "me" more, I seem caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of mercy and justice, but not as polarized as one might think.

Maybe I'm thinking this way because I have been listening to my new "protest playlist." A touch of Buffalo Springfield, and sprinkling of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, simmered with James Corbin and Bob Marley. Yeah, feeling that hippie side today.

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Te-na-cious

Are you pushing forward in something you don’t truly desire, wasting your energy on something that will not pay back in return? Are you neglecting something you tenaciously desire, treating it as a want or worse yet, a “druther.” What, at the end of this week, this month, will you have wished you poured more of yourself into? Seize each and every moment, enjoy it and savor it. You have the chance to experience victory hundreds of times each day. Why wait?

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Christmas 2009

Written at FOB Bostick, Afghanistan

Because none of us is as strong as all of us. Because when we care more about one another’s needs being filled and the happiness of one another, we get out of our own skin, and perhaps we love our brother as we love ourselves, and maybe, just maybe, we finally get it.

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Invisible Man

"Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and feature" - Viktor Frankl

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