I've never been one to make public resolutions each year. Instead, I just always say to myself, family, & close friends that I just resolve to be a better person that I was the year prior. This year, however, I want to challenge myself with actually making a resolution and somewhat public by blogging about it (hard to get any more public than that I guess).
In 2014, I resolve to do more. I want to do more to help our service men & women in any way possible. My heart is truly heavy with those that suffer with PTSD and really just the effects of what they have experienced in their young lives that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, but hopefully with help from all of us (especially myself), they can live a very full life of happiness, love, hope, peace, and healing. That is probably the one thing that consumes my heart and soul more these days is to help these young men and women. I know I'm not educated with the requirements it would take to truly counsel them (although I wish I were), but unfortunately, I have experience with not only the loss, but watching not only Chad's military brothers, but his school friends and other military service men & women struggle with loss and the changes that the ones that have returned have in their lives whether it be emotional or physical.
I know I can't offer much, but what I can offer is my shoulder, an ear, a kind heart, and to continue the work we have started with Wings for Our Troops. I want to do more, I truly do, but I will do whatever I possibly can for as long as the Lord chooses to keep me on this earth.
I can't replace the hole in my heart from losing my son and I cannot chase the pain and heartache away with anything or any actions, but what I hope I can do is replace some of that sadness and focus on others rather than myself by helping these young men and women in any capacity I possibly can. I don't know what that will look like at this point and time, I just know it is on my heart and in me now and I have no choice, but to see it through and do all I can.
I also resolve to build even closer relationships with my family. If you know us you are probably thinking, I don't know how the Croft family could get any closer, well, I think we can. I think by including our spouses and bonus family members more into the fold and doing a little more each time there is a need in our family and making sure I do my part by keeping in touch with them on a more regular basis will bring us even closer. We could all do a better job of this I believe.
It's one thing to claim a resolution and spend the first few weeks of the new year actually attempting to do it, but it is a far bigger thing to actually do it and keep it going the full year and hopefully beyond. I for one don't want to just talk about it or claim it and never follow through. I want to see myself truly make a difference and I believe by doing this I am still fulfilling the "normal" resolution I make to myself by being a better person in the new year.
I don't plan to preach or get on a soap box (unless of course I'm asked to), but rather, I plan to fulfill this personal resolution in private and quietly and without any glory or attention to myself. That is not what this is about for me. This might even prove to be a great source of therapy for me and my grief and allow me to focus on other people rather than myself. I would ask for prayer to help me achieve this resolution(s) and truly make a difference even if the person benefiting never really knows where that difference came from (I would actually prefer that to be the case).
So to all who may be reading this I would ask you this... If you meet or know anyone in the military that is either currently serving or served in the past (and never forget their families), that you take an extra minute not to just thank them for their service and sacrifices, but to listen just in case that might be the moment in time that they need to talk to someone. Listen without judgement and certainly listen with an open and empathetic spirit and when you part ways I guarantee you would have made a huge difference in that person's life. This would apply to anyone, not just our military, but I know personally and first hand that our military need this more than most Americans would ever truly know.
May 2014 bring our Troops home and let the healing both physical and emotionally begin and hopefully we will see it completed for all.
God bless you all and God bless our Military and their families. You always have someone willing to listen right here and I promise to do just that.
For more information on PTSD go to http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
Let us never forget those we have lost, those still serving, and those who are still serving and suffering as civilians and most times in silence.
Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=FNVmjDwK4XOuIM&tbnid=nFDMOVVJi0ePZM:&ved=0CAMQjhw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2010%2FHEALTH%2F11%2F17%2Fptsd.hardened.arteries%2F&ei=-ULEUqKbAsn2oAS3-4LIDg&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGz4k6ymJN0RXhLjDfqa_IrndZEqQ&ust=1388680310639394