It has been brought to my attention that I need to change. Change is not something that comes easy for me. Of course I am not really sure change truly comes easy for anyone. My first real mentor and pillar that I have leaned on for years, the one who started my career in Civil Service was sought out for help in my most recent depression and struggle. He suggested starting a blog to help relieve stress and get the word out there. So here I am.
I'm sure all of you know that I an in the Military and supporting service members is something that is important to me. In this blog I will mostly tell you way to much about my life and my struggle. Keep in mind throughout reading that my struggles are not isolated to me. Thousands of veterans feel the same pain I do, they feel the same need for help I do. You will read not only my stories but hopefully I'll be able to get my brothers-in-arms to contribute here and there.
You will notice a reoccurring theme I'm afraid, pain. I am not sure how to help alleviate the pain I hold inside besides writing about it knowing someone out there might take satisfaction and solace knowing they are not alone. The pain I'll talk about is not exclusive to Military, or even Civil Services for that matter. Everyone feels pain and while our circumstances may differ the weight we hold on our shoulders weights the same.
Most of you know me as Tom, Thomas, Tommy, Son, Grandson, or friend and while those are all correct I have long sense been identified as something, perhaps even someone else. Sergeant Kirkland is someone who I have become through service, training, experience and sacrifice. Most of you reading this have never seen me at work. You honestly know very little about what I do and the "daily grind" of being a Sergeant and leader in today's Military. This is OK, keep reading and you will soon understand. I will slowly help you understand the Military and our lifestyle. Keep in mind my experience are not the same as every other person in the Military.
If you have a loved one who serves, don't be frightened that their experience is the same or what they have been through is exactly the same. Rather take what I write and try to understand what they are going through and the help they need. Next time they snap, alienate themselves, yell, curse or say something we all know they don't mean think about what I have written. The pain that Soldier's feel and the weight on our shoulders is something that might best be described as incomprehensible. Don't feel sorry for us, this is the path we have chosen. This is the life we love and want to live. Many of us live off the pride. We live off knowing the weight is on our shoulders and not yours.
Sacrifice is something we are all accustomed to. We all sacrifice for what we believe in and love. I have sacrificed my family and loved ones to serve multiple tours overseas. I would not change it for anything. Some sacrifice a little and some sacrifice everything. A great man was killed 24 December 2012. Sergeant Enrique Mondragon was a brother to me. I have been relatively quiet about how his death effected me but trust me it has. With that being said I can look my family in the eyes, my wife and my son, my father and mother, my brother and sister and with complete sincerity tell them that if it was possible I would leave so Enrique could come back. I would sacrifice myself even if it meant that he could only spend even one day, one hour, one minute with his beautiful wife and daughter. I would have no problem leaving everything behind so Beverly and Katie had one last chance to say "hello, goodbye, I love you!". This is the love that I have for the men and women I serve with. This is the weight I'll gladly bare.
Stay tuned if you want. Feel free to comment with your thoughts, suggestions or your own stories.