The Reveille Project
Maybe I have the luxury of a little different perspective on Duty, entitlement, mettle, ‘special handling’ & weakness. Maybe it isn’t a luxury, but I know it works.
For so many it takes on a certain ominous sense, whether you served 4 or 20 years and to whatever degree of accomplishment. It’s presented as this prodigious challenge; an incredible obstacle - “A Man Test”. One that you must overcome in order to reintegrate into a different, almost abstract, community to reach “normalcy”. Even during the deliberate preparation of a service member before they enter ‘The Transition’ it receives a certain attention and energy that makes the task daunting. Then, when you find yourself in it, there is an unintentional unspoken pressure to get through it; quickly.
What if it was painted less an obstacle or task and more a process. What if we stopped focusing on how to lesson differences and bridge a divide to instead orient on the shared in common and mutual alignments between civilians returning from service and our established civilian community.
There’s an obligation on both sides to stop thinking and treating the other as special and to stop personally thinking there is a requirement to be over thankful on one end and that the other should expect some sort of special appreciation/treatment.
This all of course gets mired when combined with the effects of combat related stress and injury; which are also very similar to traumatic experiences and injury across the walk of life.
The most perfect thing I was ever told was: “Thank you. Thank you for doing your Duty.”