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Persevere: A Soldier's Blog

 

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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

The Demise of Guys

In a recent TedTalk, Psychologist Philip Zimbardoasks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons -- and he asks for your help! He was the leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment -- and an expert witness at Abu Ghraib. His book The Lucifer Effect explores the nature of evil; now, in his new work, he studies the nature of heroism.

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