This past week-end I read two posts, from a Facebook friend and veteran, that told me he was in a dark place. I reached out, and here is what transpired.
My friend, Jack, posts truthful stories on FB, that upset them, so he gets put in ” FB Jail”, a lot. In the past when he was not able to open FB I would send links to his phone. I temporarily forgot that I had his number. Thankfully I remembered, while trying to figure out how to reach him.
Here are the two posts that I read:
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly……………numb.”
“When the very medicines that were supposed to help you with depression eat away all of your emotions, but sadness, life becomes very dark. Can’t do this to the people I love the most anymore.”
When I read the first one I just thought he was referring to the current state America is in at the moment. He is a patriot through and through. When I read the second I became very alarmed.
I sent him a message on FB asking if he was ok. No response. Then I reached out to a group I knew he belonged to and to three mutual friends we shared. No response there either.
I live in WA state and he lives in ID. I thought, “I need to do something, but what”. I ended up calling the police in his hometown and requested a wellness check. I finally found his phone number and read the posts that concerned me. The policeman agreed that the messages sounded troubling, and that I had done the right thing by calling them. They were kind enough to call me back later to tell me that he was in good hands and that things were under control.
I want to share three comments that followed that puts some light on what our vets face:
From a friend Daryl: “There is some luck in this good outcome. As my friend M. T. would tell you. We have some local dept’s like, Mesa AZ, that just might come out and kill him for his own protection. Police are poor social workers, and getting worse all the time, so calling them brings risks that are never to be overlooked.”
A response to the above comment by Jack: ” Daryl, I am the one she called on. What you say is 100% truth. I am blessed to live in Idaho, where the cops truly care and are Patriots. Other places are not good for veterans. Remember what we were labeled by our government, “As dangerous as a domestic terrorist”? That statement is a green light to take whatever action “necessary”. Liberal city’s don’t want us there (like Broward), because when the shit hits the fan they know we are the biggest threat to them”.
Here was my response to the above posts on FB: “I had no other resource but to call. Even if I got in my car and drove to ID I had no address or resource to find him. I could not ignore the fear and panic I felt, and am happy the police in ID took me seriously, and found this precious man who is a patriot through and through. He served out country, may have some detrimental effect from what he saw and went through while serving, and needs America to help him pick up the pieces. That is not too much to ask, in my opinion. My only purpose was to make sure Jack was not carrying his burden alone, and that his family was in the loop in real-time. Sometimes we try to shield our loved ones from knowing the depth of pain we are experiencing during a dark time. We really do not want them to feel it too. So we try to carry the burden alone, which makes the depression, or whatever, heavier. I am bipolar and am familiar with the possible cycles that can occur. A glimmer of light can always appear when others are made aware of a person in need of some extra love and understanding, and are allowed to temporally help carry the burden, in an unconditional and loving way. Deep depression can feel like you are trapped in a box, with no way out. Friends and loved ones, when allowed, can help create an exit door, where there is light and hope.
Jack shared with me that one day, while in the military, his unit was lined up and given immunizations. The next day seven, including him, ended up in the hospital, extremely sick. He has suffered anxiety, insomnia and depression as a result of that, in his opinion.
He is surrounded by a loving and supportive family, who is in “The Loop”. They have a strong spiritual belief system in place. He is not alone and hopefully will find relief and peace.