July Veteran's Corner
You’re Back!! Welcome back I am glad to have you reading along with me as we quarantine and deal with the Covid-19 Virus. Many have had to make huge changes, for others not many changes had to be made regardless of governmental recommendations or orders. In this issue, we are going to talk a little about the Virus and how you can stay safe and help your community if you are so inclined, and a lot about coping with the stress of having everyone home at once and the uncertainty you or your family may be feeling. Let’s get the briefing started!
For starters, I bet many of my Veteran Brethren are thinking to themselves now the other 99.7% of Americans know how it feels to be in one of the Military Services. This is probably true in all reality, but we should all be willing to assist them as this is so far out of their norms. People are unsure, frightened, and even scared; let us be the ones they look to in our communities for reassurance, assistance, and service.
So many times, when we get out of the Service, we struggle with how to reconnect to our communities, neighbors, and families; this is a profound time to reconnect! You were uniquely trained for stress, uncertainty, and ever-changing events. Show that to your community through calmness, helping the elderly, infirmed, and those you know with certain elevated risks; checking on neighbors, family, and friends consistently.
Be open to talking with all of the above about their coping mechanisms and if there are any things that you can do to help them through this tough situation. Even if it seems silly and like the world has lost its mind, remember we once had that same feeling when we arrived at reception and started basic training. The circumstances are assuredly different, but the feeling you had, nervous, anxious, unsure, is the same the general population has, be the leader the Service taught you to be and show that cool, collected, calmness, people look to you for, it is in you, and now is your time to shine!
Some coping mechanisms for being stuck in the house with the whole family for weeks. You all love one another, but then again after the same routine for a few weeks now with the same people constantly, friction happens typically.
I would start and say that if every person has their own room, even though you may not necessarily want them in there all day, 15-20 minutes of door shut quiet time for them may not be bad, so many times we just need to get away from the noise and chaos that we perceive in front of us. Take your spouse for a walk around the neighborhood, or property if your state has a stay at home order. Take each of your kids on their own walk, let them go outside and play, explore, build something, or just get out of the house.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective for a moment. Your team is waiting in a safe house for extraction back to base. You are the Senior NCO, your spouse is the Team Leader, and the kiddos are your fireteam, the plan goes wrong and you are told to dig in and they will get to you soon. What do you do? You gather the team, get hard counts on consumables, divvy out the consumables, and formulate a plan. This is not really any different, except there are not any bullets with “to whom it may concern” on them, just your fireteam safe in your safehouse, with what you need.
This event is especially hard on children and their parents lol, because they are bored and bothering you, and that bowl of good-good can’t come quick enough. You are about to lose it! I would say now is the time to start instituting some boundaries within your family if your children are old enough to understand what boundaries are.
Boundaries can be concrete or creative, it is really up to your parenting style and how you view boundaries personally. But put the boundary in place that the kids need to go on the porch (Weather Permitting) and read for 30 minutes. Put the boundary in place that the garage is off-limits from xx: xx to xx: xx if that is where you go to relax. Put the boundary in place that the kids go in the back yard and play for an hour or work on some sort of project.
Stick to the bedtimes and wake up times, as well as the normalish routine that you can, and your quarantine will become a time of learning about your family, and fond memories for many years to come. Maybe you will learn about new interests or talents you did not know there was. Be supportive of their weird, it may become a talent or blessing. Regardless remember that you are all in this together and you can be better prepared for the return to normalcy if you try to maintain boundaries and as normalish a routine as you can get to. Use this time wisely, I can not think of another time in our history where the government paid you to stay home. You will get from this experience much deeper love and respect for those “stuck” with you than you would have ever had without this pandemic.
Finally, I want to leave you with this thought, by the time you read this all of this could be over, and we will all move back to our new normal, but if this gets to you before it is over and you read this, I hope you realize the opportunity you have been given to be with those you love. Everything material is replaceable, memories are not!
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