In remembrance of September 11, 2001
In Remembrance of 9/11, 2001
September 11, 2001 is the day I became a much better therapist. The resources available to me grew exponentially due to an insurgence of funded research on post-trauma. My lessons from clients were enriched by the chance to serve alongside phenomenal combat veterans, military chaplains, “like-hearted” clinicians, and military families who showed me a new version of “Army Strong”. Most service members and 1st responders with whom I’ve talked would ask that we not call them heroes, though in our simple-mindedness we continue. They are gracious in tolerating our need to herald them as such. My heroes are not heroes because they were willing to enter war zones and kill bad guys, although I remain stunned at the courage of anyone willing to negotiate with combat.
The heroes I reflect on today, those I have spent countless hours with, are heroes because they came home and were willing to persevere on days too dark to see the next step. Everyday.
An unfortunate discovery of trauma is how deeply embedded it becomes in us, on a cellular level. These effects can remain, binding us for years, even decades. With a global response, new traumas were created and continue to date. Our efforts to dismantle stigmas of seeking mental health treatment can hardly keep up with the continual folds of new traumatic events happening in the world.
Honor and respect are noble enough reasons to give remembrance, though more importantly, it needs to fuel efforts toward helping the affected find and attain their recovery.
To this day, I am grateful for those who serve and honored that some have trusted me to serve beside them. They entrust to me stories that continue to stir my soul and shape my life. Countless soldiers, marines, airmen, firefighters, paramedics, spouses and Gold Star families have left me speechless with their courage. I can only dream to mirror their walk in this life. But my flowery words must be coupled with my diligence in being excellent in this vocation. Learning, advocating, persevering with the everyday heroes revealed on September 11, 2001 must be a mindful effort, lest I join the complacent.
To all whose lives were changed 15 years ago today and especially to those who’ve shared their journey with me since that day, I remain humbled.
Veteran’s Crisis Line – 1.800.273.8255 or http://www.veteranscrisisline.net
Vets4Warriors – 1.855.838.8255 or http://www.vets4warriors.com
Give an Hour™ is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. By utilizing volunteer mental health professionals, GAH is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the post-9/11 conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. GAH works to provide counseling to individuals, couples and families, and children and adolescents. http://www.givenanhour.org