On Memorial Day we remember the fallen. Memorial Day is to honor the sacrifices made by those who serve our country. Today I honor the greatest man I know who served alongside courageous veterans with fortitude and bravery.
I am married to a veteran. I have never felt more pride and honor to call myself a military wife.
My veteran, my husband, Randy–we met 10 years ago when he was ⅔ into his career. As of today, he is a retired NCIS criminal investigator with 31 years in the Navy and 27 years as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer with Homeland Security. Randy completed 1600 Domestic Missions, 896 International Missions, with a total of 2496 missions and 5,406,322 total miles in his travels to over 148 countries around the world.
His plan was to retire at the age of 50, one year from now. As we know, we plan and God laughs. Randy had an accident on a mission in October 2019 that abruptly ended his career. My veteran is strong, courageous, and has selflessly sacrificed his physical and emotional self to protect our country. Randy always kept pushing ahead and did whatever it took to protect, serve and honor our freedom. Our land is free because of his BRAVERY.
Along his journey of wars, combat, and terrorism, he experienced unfathomable traumas no man should ever endure. To follow suit with his oath and pride, he always suffered silently.
Several years ago I began training in Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) with Dr. Jon Connelly. I was compelled by what I was taught and determined to apply RRT to abolish trauma, shame, and sadness. In graduate school we were taught never to apply what we learned to family or friends. Well, I did the opposite! I want those closest to me to be as joyful and free from pain as possible. So, I practiced what I learned immediately. As a rookie Randy confided in me and allowed me the privilege to use RRT so he would no longer feel anxiety every time he thought of 9/11 and bring to a halt the repetitive nightmares he endured of combat scenes and trauma. Randy was blown away by how the magic of RRT worked (I was too!), and told me he felt much relief.
Fast forward to now, To say the past year and a half since Randy’s accident has been hard on Randy is an understatement. My truth is as a psychologist and a wife, I feel like I have been sucking. Because you see, you never know what’s going on under someone else’s roof. And, I didn't realize the magnitude of what was going on under mine. The years of Randy’s career of being overworked and burnt out was like oil on fire when he was hurt. Nine of the past 10 years, Randy was on the road 4-5 nights a week. Randy’s accident and forced retirement stripped him of his duty and honor. I did not know how to help heal my own family. I didn't even realize the healing that needed to be done. How do you help a hero?
In the spirit of my nature of optimism and hope, I thought things would get better. Time would heal the wounds. And, I really didn't know what to do. I was also fearful. When it comes to therapy, and especially therapy for veterans, I did not want to expose my husband to some of the conventional therapies that literally re-traumatize vets causing them to be worse. His biggest concern was feeling shame about asking for help. Maybe it was mine too? And if he did go to a “therapist” at any point in his career or career ending–he risked losing security clearance, career, and his livelihood.
On average 20 veterans commit suicide a day. And that statistic is only the deaths reported as suicide. Veterans are dying!
This year was Randy’s last Memorial Day as an active veteran. This year more than ever I want to honor my veteran as the truest warrior and give gratitude to organizations like Operation Warrior Resolution that offer healing and hope to veterans and their families. Randy recently attended an Operation Warrior Resolution retreat and found more healing in 5 days than most veterans can find in 5 years of traditional healing.
Randy closed one chapter, but today he begins anew with Faith, Courage, Service true, with Honor, Over Honor, Over All.
In love and gratitude to Randy and all the other selfless, brave and courageous warriors that continue to protect our country. Randy’s wife, Daratices your audience to continue reading.