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Persevere: A Soldier's Blog

 

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After a recent pre-deployment trip to Australia, I remarked how our team was moving along, laughing at ourselves and the cultural differences while getting just the appetizer of being away from home. It is bittersweet, unlike the Kangaroo, which was delicious, by the way.

My desire for this page is to embrace that fact of military life. There are many things to enjoy and be excited about, opportunities that expand our appreciation of life and, yet, cause us to long for home, so we can share those moments with those we love most.

It is in those moments that leaders bring context and encouragement to the difficulties. We can reframe what it is we are all going through, and unite the team with the feeling of shared sacrifice. For me, I see it in the eyes of those who haven’t deployed and are anxious about being away, living in a foreign and hostile land, and wondering if they will be able to remain connected with home.

The short of it all is that we keep busy, keep on task and find something worthwhile to pour our energies towards, so that when we collapse on the bed at night, you don’t lay there trying to go to sleep, beginning to miss home. Sometimes the best phone conversations are at the verge of exhaustion where one collapses in the bed with the sound of their loved ones’ voice still ringing in their ear.

We are the main support for one another, because truly only we know how it feels and how to encourage one another. I find that “doing life” together solidifies the partnership that maintains us through difficulties and makes the good moments, great. We give more grace during stress, smile through adversity and ask “how can I help?” when we barely have anything left.

So yes, it is Team. Corie, Aidan, Jackson and I are a Team, here to cheer for you. To encourage you in difficulty and celebrate your triumphs.

Matthew

A New Season

Hello blinking cursor, it’s been quite a while since my last blog and many events have given me cause to pause and reflect. Ruminate, if you will.

I redeployed from Afghanistan to attend the Medal of Honor Ceremony for Ro. Two days ago I returned home from the second one for Ty. I was blessed to have the opportunity to get to know a couple of Gold Star Families much better, because in all honesty I was scared. I didn’t know what to say or how to act, and I felt ashamed that I had not gotten to know them better prior to all of these events. But I feel close to them now and look forward to our Destroyer family healing together.

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Healing the Angry Warrior

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to hate, Hate leads to Suffering.” – Yoda

Ever notice how many movies take a hard look at “unplanned for” consequences, which end up causing more pain and suffering when they were intended to be great solutions for mankind? Minority Report. I, Robot. Wall-E. Terminator. The Last Samurai. So many others.

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Team.

I believe that J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy should be required reading for Sergeants and Lieutenants. Before reading an FM or TM, before learning how to do land navigation or assault an objective, these young leaders must internalize the burden of responsibility and devotion required in an effective non-commissioned officer and commissioned officer relationship. All success in the military hinges on it.

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"I Ain't Got the Words."

My Old Testament professor in Seminary built his curriculum around quotes from the movieTombstone. I believe that some movie scripts were written specifically around memorable quotes that the screenwriters knew could stand on their own and would become lasting reminders of the movie. Most of Anchorman is written that way, in such a manner that men can communicate through quotes, without ever saying much or being too vulnerable.

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