Image of Candle burning.How does one not think about what happened in Newtown, CT.? My heart, like most of yours, just bleeds for the victims of this senseless crime. We come to work today and try not to wonder if our own kids are safe at Anytown, USA. We may even ask ourselves, what is the point? Can we get back to living?

I have lived several days that I knew life would not be the same as it once was. One of those was September 11, 2001; the day the towers fell. I was in Cincinnati, OH serving as First Sergeant of the Recruiting Company. That day, we kept all our offices open while most of the country went home to be with family. At the end of the day, I drove home to my family on empty streets. As I took in the stillness rarely experienced in a major city, I realized this is the day that everything changes. I felt we were no longer…Free. Three days later, I arrived at the airport for a flight. I can still feel the sadness as I was patted down the first time on US soil. For years, I had witnessed armed guards doing this at airports in other countries, but not in America. 

Today, I have that same feeling. That life, or at least my perspective, is changing again. I think everyone experiences that feeling at least once. As Veterans, we may experience that several times. Of course, this is not new; every Veteran that comes to VA for care or services has had unique experiences that have changed them. However, that does not mean that we cannot keep living, that we cannot live a full rewarding life. We each have much to give to one another. Whether through a smile during check-in or a listening ear during group therapy, we all have something to give. In addition, health care providers have much to give by providing quality care.

At VA, our providers assist Veterans nationwide in living a fuller, richer life. While everyone’s experiences are different, we are similar in how we feel and heal. We can heal together. We can heal with time and with commitment to one another. If you are a Veteran and you need help, call VA. We want to help. If you are a provider that wants to help Veterans heal, then join with us at VA.

Whatever day perspective changed for you, mentally, emotionally or physically, VA is here to help us all get back to living.



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Published on Dec. 17, 2012

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