Quick question: Are we doing enough? Nowadays, the answer is likely a resounding ‘Yes!’. We run, we jog, we text, we work, we call, we sing, we laugh, we blog, we talk, we meet, we teach, we wait. One thing is for certain: these are some trying times. Global pandemic, job loss, job shortages, economic crises; there is no shortage of things to worry about or things to do. Keeping things straight in our heads, managing calendars and appointments, remembering birthdays, and the like are just a few of the items on the list of things to do as we fly through our days in a blur. Pair that with family obligations, friendship maintenance, teleworking, and general responsibilities it’s a wonder how we make it through these days, right? Plus, we’re veterans? Whoa.

So, how do we manage?

It seems that no one truly understands us but us. Sure, we smile like everyone else, we laugh like everyone else, and we hurt like everyone else, but we are not made like everyone else. There is another layer to us—an invisible layer of something else. For instance, on a moment’s notice, we are ready. Ready for something. Ready for anything. Hell, we stay ready. And it is that layer of hyper vigilance that makes us different but serves us well. It helps us feel better about being in a crowded room. Driving in the thick of traffic. Hearing the noise around us. Hugging our kids. Working on the fourteenth floor. That awareness is what makes us different–that readiness.

Sure, we meander throughout our days and check off the things we’ve accomplished on our to-do, today, or honey-do lists. There’s only slight satisfaction having crossed something off that will invariably make it back onto the list, like laundry. Yet, somewhere in between our to-do list and our we-got-it-done lists, we stand. It is how we manage. The feeling that anything can happen at any time, makes us feel like we’re still protecting, still defending—and we are.

We are a special breed of people that are ready and willing to put our lives on the line again in a split second because we never know when they’ll need us.

When they do, we are ready.

And I, for one, am thankful.

M.E.

USN Veteran

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Quick question: Are we doing enough? Nowadays, the answer is likely a resounding ‘Yes!’. We run, we jog, we text, we work, we call, we sing, we laugh, we blog,

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