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Sorry for the rant. I am just tired of it. And to think that I lost part of my leg and my soul over there…..for what?

Ernst, first – absolutely no apology either necessary or warranted. Being tired of it means you still care. That’s hard – very hard at times. But it begins to get into the reason your next statement is 50% false. You may have lost part of your body over there, but there’s no possibility you’ve lost your soul. If you had, you would not be here, caring so much, giving of yourself. Soul-less people don’t care about other people. That’s why it DOES hurt so much – you gave so much of yourself, and others didn’t care, including the politicians and the top-level generals that cared too much about their careers and not enough about their Soldiers to put an end to it.

Thank you for caring, thank you for sharing, and thank you for what you did regardless of the outcome over which you had no control. You chose to do something that was advertised as good and decent, and others chose to sabotage it. Some of the people I am closest to are 3/75, and I’ve got other connections that are very close to my heart and not shared much in public. Don’t EVER believe you lost your soul – it’s still very much in evidence, even though it may often feel like it isn’t. You don’t know me, so I can’t legitimately say “trust me on that.” But you didn’t. You couldn’t have. You wouldn’t bother to give of yourself if you had, and you would not care. You would not have offered to do a meet-up in your area with suitable others, if you had lost it.

A wounded soul? Oh, absolutely. One’s very soul cannot come out unscathed from what only Soldiers (and related services) have to see, experience, and even do – and cannot, will not talk about. No one else would or ever could understand. They don’t have a clue, and they don’t have a clue that they don’t have a clue. Just please don’t ever make the mistake, even deep down privately inside, of thinking you lost your soul. It only aches, because it’s a good one, and was never designed to be part of what ended up happening. But a wounded soul is infinitely better than having none at all – it means the goodness in a person is still there, or it wouldn’t hurt.

Thank you. And a very, very happy new year in every possible respect.