Monday, May 31, 2010

What it means to be a Veteran's Nurse

The other day I watched The Hurt Locker. I rarely voluntarily watch war movies because I'm just not a huge fan of action. Action movies always seem a little pointless to me, but this time I wanted to see it because of the recognition it received at the oscars. Watching any type of war movie always brings up so many mixed emotions. I am not one for war at all. I do understand the need for times, but I just hate what it does to the people involved. Yet, I'm always reminded of what my grandfather, a Korean war veteran, always told me, "Hate the war, love the soldier." And you know what? I do.

I love and respect our soldiers and I feel completely honored to serve them in my career. The more experience I get working at a veteran's hospital, the more compassion and reverance I have for the soldiers in our military. The more I understand that they have gone through some incredibly awful things to protect our country, to fight for our country and to serve America.

It is not a glorious job. It is not one that is always filled with honor, respect and duty. Most of the time I think it leaves you with nothing but drug addictions, alcoholism and severe PTSD. Obviously that's not 100% true, but it is disheartening to see 90% of the patients on your unit have some type of drug or alcohol (or both) abuse. I know I'll never fully understand what our nation's veterans have experienced, having been a civilian my entire life, but I do hear the stories and I am in awe of the men and women who have served.

What has always amazed me about those who are in the military is their steadfast devotion to their fellow soldier. Yes, many who serve are firm patriots; men and women who fight to defend the freedom we have as Americans. But if you asked, many would say they have served on not one, not two, but multiple tours because that is where they belong. "They need me over there," is a response you will hear. The purpose and pride they feel alongside their fellow soldiers is not one that is easily replaced. Their loyalty to their country and their fellow brethren is what spurs them on and for that I am eternally grateful. I am humbled to know that I live in a country with such determined and brave, men and women.

Today, I would like to honor those who have served in our military, especially those who have fallen in combat or while serving. When I go to work today and I inevitably come across a difficult or stressful situation I will stop and remember those who have died. I will let the humility and reverence of that moment take precedent and I will say, "thank you" to the patient I will serve today.

If you know or come across a soldier or veteran today, please thank them. Even if you hate war, like me, love the soldier.

"A Soldier"

A soldier is a nobody, we hear lots of people say.He is the outcast of the world and always in the way.
We admit there are bad ones from the Army to the Marines,but the majority you will find, the most worthy ever seen.
Most people condemn the soldier when he stops to take a drink or two,but does a soldier condemn you, when you stop to take a few.
Now don't scorn the soldier but clasp him by the hand,for the uniform he wears means protection to our land.
The goverment picks its soldier from the million far and wide,so please place him as your equal good buddies side by side.
When a soldier goes to battle you cheer him on the way,you say he is a hero when in the ground he lay.
But the hardest battle of the soldier is in the time of peace,when all mock and scorn him and treat him like a beast.
With these few lines we close sir, we hope we don't offendbut when you meet a soldier just treat him like a friend.
-Author Unkown

1 comment :

  1. My better half is an Army veteran. . .Ranger qualified, jumpmaster, and all-around bad-ass. He's constantly telling me of how underappreciated our military are. . . .

    I'm ashamed to say I let him run out the door this morning without saying thank you. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe me and the kids will bake him a cake to show our gratitude. :)