Kanani’s post See The Person First, really hit home for me. Along with “what is Trauma-Sensitive yoga?” the second most common question I get is usually: “Why are you doing this work, since you weren’t in the military and you “don’t know what it’s like?”
There are a ton of things I will never see the way that a Veteran or a service member sees them.
But I have seen individuals I care about deeply return home from deployments, unable to re-adjust back to civilian life. I have seen them have flashbacks during movies, struggle to get sleep at night, and have listened to countless stories about what they have been through overseas.
That is why I do what I do. Because while I will never have the first hand experience that they had, I have seen what it is like to manage the aftermath. I feel like they have given up so much for me that it is important to advocate for and support them.
Choosing to work with those who have experienced trauma is not an easy task. It is not for the yoga teachers that are looking for a glamorous, highly paying, and recognition-filled job. It is for those who love and want to help military members. That is the one piece of advice I always give to people who think they want to work with Veterans; this isn’t about you. You need to be in it for them.
The love you have to have for them needs to be the same love they have for each other.
“I’d actually throw myself on the hand grenade for them. Because I actually love my brothers, I mean, it’s a brotherhood. Being able to save their life so they can live, I think is rewarding. Any of them would do it for me.” – Miguel Cortez from the book “WAR” by Sebastian Junger