What exactly happens when you get out of the military and end up with a service-connected disability? Post 9/11 combat veterans receive red carpet treatment who go to the front of the line at the VA. The rest of us, those who served in combat in diplomatic wars during the Somalia era, are left in the OutCountry. The VA throws us into appeal and makes us starve financially to tap out. I am currently on my sixth year in remand for a left knee condition I sustained in 1995. Why do you do in the meantime? You fight.
Picture everything you aspired to be turned inside out and you will have what I call a “9/10” disabled veteran. We are disenfranchised for our service who gets ran off the job for seeking help for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We listen to you when you tell us to call the Veterans Crisis Line. When we end up at the VA, we get interrogated to the third degree who are marginalized beyond compare. We develop Complex PTSD and are filled with a mail-order painkiller death sentence.
There is no yellow brick road. There is no happy ending. Your sacrifice means nothing to the Comp and Pen evaluators at the VA.
- You are collateral damage. A liability.
- Your only hope is to try to salvage the grace of an employer who will grant mercy on you and your situation.
- They tell you to “grow some thick skin.”
- You are now an outcast, a problem child, who is sent to the OutCountry.
They loved you when you were “over there” in-country. You made your family proud because you served loud. You suspect there may be something wrong, but you know if you use the Employee Assistance Program they will run you off the job. You let the pain manifest beyond any threshold you can bare.
The bottle becomes your nightly embrace. The VA painkillers tell you to take more and the pain will go away. The pain manifests into incarceration. You swear you won’t do it again and pledge to get well. The warrior credo runs through your blood, but you continue to believe the lie there is nothing wrong and you roll the dice at happy hour one more time. The police show up. The soldier and his legacy are flushed down the gutter. One last time to make it up to your mother. She weaps silently praying beside her bed, knowing if her son keeps this up, he will end up dead. PTSD devours all hope. The VA dishes out mail order dope. Another one bites the dust.
The OutCountry is not the end. Outpost 422 is a crisis central website for you to connect with many portals to reach out to any of us who have lived through the crisis to tell the story. The world will change and you will find your niche. There is an extraction helicopter waiting for you until then. We live in a world of conflict and contemplation. Knowing there is a solution changes the game for everyone.
Please take a moment to review all the videos in times of despair and know Outpost 422 harvests support to help you see this through. We are your back up battle buddy. We are here to help you overcome impossibility. You are worth every ounce of courage you can muster. Download the PTSD Coach App and see this through. Even though we live in a cold and dark society. We have each other. We are your sisters and brothers. Stay as long as you like. You are welcome here.