Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Question From a Reader "Do you Feel........"


This question came in my email last week and after thinking long and hard about it, decided to see if I could print this and to my surprise she said yes. 

"USM, I am taking your suggestion and teaching myself to blog. When I sat down yesterday to start, I had to delete, omit, then take out some more because of family and friends. How do you do it without feeling guilty? Do you ever worry about putting it all out there, or sometimes bad mouthing your husband to the world? How do you deal with the comments and emails? I LOVE your blog, but often wonder how do you not get into trouble by saying some of the things you do? How do you do it all without feeling guilt at all? Do you beat yourself up later for the things you said? I also get scared that it will backlash on me. From a HUGE fan in Snowmass, CO."

Ahhhh I wondered when someone would ask me about 'Guilt'. First off Snowmass, I am thrilled to see that you are taking on blogging. I once read a quote that was always my favorite from Will Rogers, "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there". Means, you need to always do something even when it all feels ok. I find that blogging, using a journal and such things, are therapeutic, accessible and feasible for those of us who need to find some type of outlet when we are facing challenges of the standard outlets such as group therapy, support groups etc. I had to really think about this because your email stumped me! I rarely get asked direct questions to me. I thought long and hard and the answer is.....sometimes. I am starting therapy via telephone, believe it or not, and during that I discovered that Guilt is my biggest downfall. 


When I started blogging, sometimes my husband would read and sometimes not. Most times, he gives me ideas on the topics I choose or something he says he wants me to mention. He without knowing it, creates the subjects I write about. Often times, my children say something or most of the time personal experience builds my decision on what to talk about. While some of you might think "shame on her" because of what I said about my husband, it is nothing we haven't discussed or anything behind his back. Although silence is an issue at times, we do have conversations and of course, arguments and often these things come up. Is it too personal and am I sharing too much? Possibly. However, when this blog began to pick up with readers and the amount of hits it was receiving, my husband said the most powerful thing he ever has to me and that was "If you are going to do this, don't do it half-ass. If you can help but just one person you did something important.". I had a comment the other day on my Facebook page for this blog, asking if my husband could sometimes comment or write his point of view. What you all don't realize is, he is here in my writing just the same as I am. I have my days, and that reflects in my writing of course...but I don't think I continuously "bad mouth" my husband and often put his point of view in there, such as thinking I am the enemy or how he feels. His words, not mine. This blog is a combination of both of us; its a part of my whole family. We have walked this road alone for so long that we don't want to see another one of you do it on your own. If that means telling it all, well then we must. We both decided that we would stand up, and say you know what? This IS what is real. These are our feelings, all that we are and all that we will be.


Now, guilt from it all? Of course. I am human. I feel anger, bitterness, frustration, love, happiness, sadness and emptiness but, all of those I can compartmentalize, shove back and try not to let it run rabid. Guilt though is harder to push back and often does eat at me. Is it because of my husband or my family? Not often but sometimes I wonder if we did the right thing by blogging about everything. For the rest such as the VA, the military, etc? Most definitely. I will admit that when I hit "Publish Post" I realize that there are dozens of VA's , dot.gov, and dot.mil addresses across the United States/world jumping on each and every post and staying for a while. I worry that when someone reads my posts, and knows who I am in real life they will be angry or pissed at me. However, the ones who eventually do find out they are rather surprised rather than upset with me. I have been nicely told to stop, casually mentioned not to bring up certain subjects, told I really didn't need to post this or that, and I often wonder if some just get scared of me because I am blogging. The biggest thing that bothers me is I don't want people to help me because they are afraid I will blog. I want them to help because that's their job, and that they do their job because it IS a wounded soldier. 

There is a reason why I write under a pen name. I really don't like people knowing who I am and there are only a trusted handful that do know who I am, other than our local VA etc. Anonymity is a wonderful thing, and after a long talk with a spouse the other day, she mentioned that I did a good job keeping my identity safe as she didn't even know who I was. I am a book lover and history buff, and I knew that many past historical authors like Dr. Seuss, Mark Twain were all created names. Many women of the 19th Century wrote under a man's name because that was the only way they could be published and since this is a long way from the 19th Century, J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series is also considered to have a pseudonym. I created my pen name to write under because it was easier, to be honest, to write behind that smoke screen. It gave me strength if that makes sense and the cajones to talk about tougher subjects. 

Often times, confrontation and I do not agree. I don't think of myself as a fighter, a leader, or any of that so its easier for "Uncle Sam's Mistress" to get the credit than me, myself and I. I don't give our location, our doctor's names, anything that says HERE I AM COME GET ME. I don't think I have talked about anything that is going to cause some men in black to show up at my front door. However, in all of this, I did get help and that meant telling some who I am in real life so we could get that help. Did it bite me in the ass in the long run? I am not sure. That is a debate that I am still trying to figure out and counting the steps I am taking. Have I been chastised for blogging? Of course, but you know what? I figure this is my right, my husband and many many others fought for that right and not one single time, have I never NOT spoken the truth. If you failed me, I am going to say something about it. I also say, if its the truth and people get mad? That means they are worried


I will admit, its easier to throw on the superwoman cape, write under the elusive Uncle Sam's Mistress, and way much easier for me to answer each and every email. I think looking back on it all, the most thing I feel guilty about....is not having all the answers for many. I am not a professional, never claimed to be, and only share our personal experiences, victories and failures. However, some find that I am an easy person to write to, especially  my Veterans and soldiers. I sometimes am the confessional priest, but I don't know how to answer or what to say. Some stories are harder to read than others, some make me cry at night when I am trying to wipe my own day of worries away and sometimes...some stories make it all worth while getting into trouble, or having people treat me differently because I wrote something online. I sometimes feel guilty because I wish I had someone to confess to, and I really don't accept to all you out "there". 


Back lashing from comments, I rarely get. On a daily basis, I get more good than bad. I get more emails than comments, and that's ok because I understand the need for people to email and feel that cover too. However, because it is an email sometimes the anti-war people can get more carried away, weirdos get loonier and sometimes the conversations can become quite graphic on their part. I thank the good Lord for patience, forgiveness and the will to hit delete when I really want to respond back. I can say ouch, yeah that hurt! Hit delete and try to move on from that without stooping to their level. Some comments are kind of hateful, but everyone has their own opinion. Some think I am a martyr because I stay with my husband, some think I am courageous....it doesn't really matter what people think. It's what I think about me is the most important thing.

As a blogger, my suggestion to you is if you feel fear, retribution, insecurity...create a pen name and just leave it at that. There is no reason to state your name, your residence etc. You can be whoever you want to be and maybe that will find you the strength you are seeking. If you feel worried that your family will see it, or you don't everyone knowing ALL your business...then do it that way. A good friend late last night asked me if I was willing to walk the line, and I said yes. So ask yourself Snowmass, are you willing to walk the line? If you choose put it out there, it is done. You can delete all you want, but you can't erase a person's memory or knowledge. However, in the same late night conversation, we bloggers are probably the safer majority because we DO put it out there. I kind of feel that if we don't though, we won't ever get the help and we damned sure didn't learn anything from our past wars. You have to decide what you are most comfortable with doing. You must in the end, choose of what you write and how much you put out there. In the words of my husband again, I tell you "If you are going to do this, don't do it half-ass. If you can help but just one person you did something important". 

I hope this answers all your questions Snowmass. I sincerely wish you well on your endeavor and your decisions to blog. I will be rooting all the way from down here in Moo-Cow Town USA if you choose to do it. It is a good outlet, but in the end...you ultimately have to decide the consequences, the guilt and how to write it all out. If you should choose to use your name, and feel you have to omit some things...well, I kind of think it's a waste of time if you feel so censored. I just wouldn't say anything to my family or like some, just leave that out all together. There are many many bloggers out there who feel like you and some who censor themselves while others let it all hang out. It can be a wonderful thing, and sometimes it can be a hard thing. It's all about your level of comfort-ability, because if you are comfortable writing....your words will flow and be comfortable to read and that my dear, is your ultimate goal. To get it all out, to take the burden off of you, to let it all out and then let it go. Just ask yourself as I did....How much do you want to let go of?

Thank you for the email and making ME stop to think for a while,


22 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for answering this question!! I have wrestled with it for far too long now, and I appreciate where you are coming from. Many thanks!!

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  2. I know I dont comment but its because mostly I am afraid someone will see it and know its me. I will because of this post. Somehow you just got a knak for it and I got plenty of professionals telling me what they think I am or who I am. They got no idea. You Ma'am are the most help. I dont want u to feel guilty and you dont ever got to answer my emails. I dont want an answer because i know wherever u are you just get me. I can say today I saw this or did this, and your response to me was "never hang your head. breathe in and out and know you did the right thing". My mother told me I should take a dishonorable and come home. WTF! Thank u for all you are doing. I got three more months before I get out of here and I know that you will help me get where I need to be. You are holding a lot of respect from us over here and some talk about you like you are Dear Abby. Its cool. We all know that you are struggling and we had this conversation in a route check the other day. How does she do it all? You have your husband, kidds and other stuff but you find time and ma'am thats more than the marines gave us. For the lady in CO, yeah sometimes she lays down the line and talks about her husband and her problems. She also gives us soldiers and vets a reason to stop and look at how we are treating our girlfriends and wives. She puts her husband on a pedastel and yet, some way she found a way to place us there with him in her writings. God bless you USM, you friggin rock! You know i got your back from Iraq to MN. Hanson

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  3. I tell you all the time you don't have to answer, but you do. You never let me fall and you helped my wife and I. We both know we can come to you and say where do we need to go next and no matter what? You are supportive. You spin nothing but the truth even if its nothing I dont want to hear at the moment. Maybe the VA needs to hire you and ask YOU how to fix stuff. I know my wife mentioned one time when she was reading out loud to me bout how you dont get overwhelmed. I sure you do. You never show it though and USM you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. I am one of the lucky ones who does know your first name and that remains a secret til the grave. We look forwrd to every post and my wife reads other blogs. We like yours because you just got balls to talk about it all. You say you aint a leader but you are. We were desperate and I was. You got me into treatment, followed and checked on me, then made sure I was still doing Vet center therapy. How much more has the VA done except give me meds and say see you in three months. We both adore you. We never want you to feel guilty, but this post makes you vulnerable and my wife says you are a great woman. We filled out the application for home and other bills, we got it. Thank you Mistress. No matter what your name is, who you think you are, who you think you not. You are my family's hero and thats that. I would readily go to fight for you and A says she would go too. You saved my family. I am in debt to you forever. God bless you USM. You are someone who needs to be the voice of all of us.

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  4. Beautiful post. Makes you more of a woman than you already were. Thank you for always giving us how it is, the truth and for speaking your mind. It will go a long way and you should be proud.

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  5. I got your email and wanted to say thank you for helping me on this question. I am just worried that if I say well he is doing this or that, my parents will be mad. I think the bad mouthing came out wrong. No matter what you write about the "bad" stuff it comes out like you are bad mouthing them. Does that make sense? I worry that the VA will take away his benefits, the government will come to my door. I want to walk the line and tell our story. Its not neary as bad as yours but its still important. I dont got any friends and thought about you for a long time and your suggestion of blogging or writing about it. No one will read it probably but I think it would help me just to get it all out. I love my husband but no one knows about him and his issues in either of our family and we make excuses for it. We stay away and was afraid that if we did do it then all hell would break loose. I wanted you to know I really appreciate this and your experiences. I could do it and just leave out pictures and names couldn't I? Didn't think about it. I admired you before for you strength and the hell you have been thru, but this makes you more of a person to admit your downfalls. I think you are a leader and you aren't taking enough credit. You helped me when I needed it, and got my husband to listen. I dont know if i could have done that without you. Therapy is great, but sometimes I dont say what i am thinking and i want to write that portion. I hope you know you are so much to so many and that you are loved. Thank you for prinitng my email and blogging about it. I think I read this seven times! I appreciate your honest opinions and for opening up on yourself. It makes you feel more friend than just a writer. If you dont mind, if I sent you my writng, can you help me clear out the stuff that might give me away? I hate to ask you but maybe you could help me get it to be a little general but not completely anonymous. Thank you Uncle Sam Mistress. You always make me laugh, cry when you cry, and just know how to make me feel not so alone. Thank you for all you do. From Snowmass ;)

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  6. Well its Chap and you know what I am going to say to you. Keep going. I was reading some of these comments from my brothers. If you guys ever need a chaplain, talk to them. We aren't all bad and we aren't going to preach at you. Sometimes we can give a different perspective than some of the medical people. I have PTSD myself and on my 3rd deployment. I came across you Mistress and have stayed ever since. You are honest, upfront, and sometimes a dose of reality is needed. I think you need to give yourself some credit because you took a blog and are leading many men and women. You are very popular among the men and women in service and I know in my heart that God gave us you to speak up. I love my job, I love my country but I can say that sometimes I get ashamed of how the military just throws us to the side. You once made a comment that we became expendable. I think that is a very strong sentiment but you are correct. I know though God has plans for us all and we will never be expendable in his eyes. Don't ever think you have to have the answers. Many times these soldiers just want someone to listen to them. You and I have talked about this. You give them more but you also can't give it all. I think all of us can agree on that because we are reading your life, your story and you have your family and that comes first. Trust in your faith, trust in your heart and foremost know that your words are paving the path and God is there with you. I know you ask about God's reasons. That no one can answer but I think you starting this is God's work and he is working through you. It takes a lot of strength and courage to stand up and be seen as a leper. You are closer to Jesus than you think because remember he was nailed to a cross to be looked upon by many. I think you, in your inability to pat yourself on the back, have no idea how many you help. The caped crusader Uncle Sam's Mistress is just a way to keep from having to say YOU did it. YOU stood up. We spoke about you yesterday in chow hall and one guy said you helped his wife understand his PTSD. To see the relief on his face was enough to make this old guy shake in his boots. You are something important, don't think you aren't a leader. God Bless you USM. I thank you for all you do and YOUR service. You sacrifice just as much as any military member does. Remember that. You know I am always here reading and looking forward to every post that hits my inbox. If I can be of service to anyone, please forward them my email. Blessings and Peace, Chap

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  7. This made me think and I did not realise I could post anonymosly. I found you a couple months ago and you really helped me see a lot of things i was doing to my wife. I love her but just couldnt talk to her. You helped me have a way to say that i loved her but have her know I cant tell her all. It has been so much better and I am wroking on my anger and in counseling. Its helping. I dont expect you to have answers or even an email back. It was easier to email u because i guess it because i felt like i was being looked at by who knows. I saw this post in my inbox tonight and felt sort of selfish because i write in, you answer honesty and put a boot in my butt. You have been a constant in my life since mid deployment and you know hell when i came home. I dont think my fellow brothers want answers we just want our voice to be heard and you are a trusting soul who listens. I cant think of a time you ever judged me for any I told you. You did smack me upside the head and made me see how my wife was there for me and how much she loved me. I think you are a leader and you can lead us anytime. You dont need the answers Mistress. You have honesty, words to speak and many just love you. You are my friend and battle. My wife is my battle too and somehow with you we are going in the right direction. Screw those who call you a martor. You know what you can deal with and they dont know crap. I think you need to stop and say I did this and take credit for it. Thank you for getting me home. Thank you for getting me help and walking us through the crowds. You werent there to hold my wifes hand or mine, but its sure as hell felt like it. We are proud of you and you do wonderful things. From William

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  8. I email cause the army dont get it and they tell us to suck it up. I tried to get help and they acted like i was holding up the joint. You say PTSD and they freak out. You say I am having nightmares. I can pull up my internet and see yourwords and comfort. I wish i had a girl to come home to like you. Your husband is luckey to have you ma'am. I hope your words reach as far as the President and they hear you. I know I dont want answers cause aint no one knows all of them. If i want a leader or professional, i will go to one. I did go to them and they turned me away. you make me smile, and god knows you always answer my email or questions. You may not know who i am but i told you once I had to fire my gun and the guilt i had. you walked me through all of it and with no advice. you were my shoulder to cry on because you cant cry over here. you helped me find family of a vet and i learned some stuff on my own. I know I can come home and try to get help and you know i didn't want to come home. I know I can now and there is hope. you leave a light on for many of us and we think you rock. do me a favor when you read this and your own advice. Look in the mirror and say this is me. I did this. I am proud of me. I dont care about your name or you dont want it out there. I get it believe me. Its your whole heart thats on this blog and sharing with all who needs it is a leader anytime in my book. I wish you were here with all of us. You just have a way to make us feel like we matter. I sometimes get asked questions and forward your email on to many of my platoon. I think you dont get how many of us wait til you answer and you always do. You give many a way to copy your blog and send it to their wives or girls back home. My battle says you talk to his wife all the time and that means a lot to him. So you dont know it all. We dont want you to. We want to be heard and you my girl did that. You heard me, you heard many others and you are leading. I like you show when you fuck up. when you fall. when you win. I wish you would show pride and know you did this. Its a great site and I think that you should not feel guilty. I think guilt is if you were turning us away and never once no matter what you never turned us away. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for helping my buddies and for all the others. I hope one day to see you on the White House Lawn telling the government how it should be for all of us and our families. Look foward to your next blog and i am sending you a high five back.

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  9. Hi USM! My name is Keirra and I usually am guilty of emailing you. I read this and my heart broke because I am the worst at not wanting to leave a comment. You know what? I dont care so am leaving this one. I just started about six months ago here and trying to back up and read. You have a gift and you never failed me at not having the answers. Please dont' feel guilt. When I needed to have a shoulder, you offered it. When I feel alone I come here and read and WOW I can say she gets it! Its like you are me and you just know. Please know you dont have to email me back or feel guilty. You always give me positivity and education. You tell me to stand up and fight it back. You saved my marriage and WE OWE YOU. You always will be a number one leader to me. I dont want answers all the time. I want someone to understand what I am going through. Your voice rings very far and your writing speaks like you are right with me. Dont back down for anyone and thank you for always being patient, caring and kind when no one else understood. My husband reads you all the time and somehow, you got both of us back together. I hope that something beautiful happens to you because my friend you deserve it. Thank you for always being here and for always taking time to care. Love, kisses and hugs to you! Keirra

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  10. Wow! You really nailed this one, Mistress! Keep up the great work. This blog really jogged my memory and got me working on a post I think is long over due. Thanks for the inspiration.

    All the best,

    Beau

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  11. Hi. I dont know if you remember me or not but I sat next to you on the plane from ATL to NY. I was the soldier you talked to? I thought long and hard about what you said and when I found your site, I wanted to tell you thank you. I read some of these comments and I only got two hours with you. You made me feel good. You listened and you didn't judge me or my battle. He was worried you would tell someone of the things we told you but I don't think you will. I told him I think you just get it. I wanted to say thank you for telling us to keep our heads low from the bad guys but keep them held up against the shame. Talking with you made me coming home a little easier and going back even better. Its people like you that I don't regret going back to war. You listened to me and battle and thats what we needed. I wanted to stop and say hello and it was an honor to meet you ma'am. You keep this going and dont think you dont know it all. You may not have the answers but there is something about you that makes people want to just talk and open up. You took a very heavy burden I had been holding in and I dont know why I told you but you made me realize that what I did was the right thing, it had to be done and no matter what, not feel ashamed. My CO didn't even tell me that. He said suck it up. Battle said to tell you hi and can you please come back with us? I have to say that was the best plane ride ever and talking with you was a real joy. Keep up the writing Mistress. Being in your company made us put a step in our stride and both of us agreed that the best thing we ever did was talk to you. We need a voice and you are doing it. Thank you for taking the time from you book and listening to our stories and ranting. I go back in a week and its worth it Mistress. I dont know your name either but I know your face and your heart. You are a leader. I will bookmark your site and keep up with you. God Bless you Mistress and thank you again for making us feel loved and appreciated. Your plane buddy, Freeman

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  12. PS I did talk to my dad about it all. He wasn't ashamed of me either just like you said. I got a hold of my girl and looks like things will be ok. I did everything you told me and she was bawlin. I sure do love her ma'am. Thank you again for everything and I hope to catch a ride with you again. Head is up high Ma'am. Freeman

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  13. I LOVE your blog. Its funny and it makes me think about a lot of things. You are a good person. I feel like I know you. I look forward to every single post. I wouldnt feel guilty about not having all the answers. Some dont need it, we just need to be heard. You do that. I have been reading for a while now and the things you say crack me up. I figure you are probably southern because of the way you write, but don't know. Ha! You have a way with words that makes me think you are with us. So keep doing what you are doing. You got a lot of guys over here thanking you. SSGT Moyer Iraq

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  14. I wanted to comment because I always write in. I hope you get this. I hope you dont feel guilt because you did a lot for me. You listened and you are sharing your story which is amazing. I wish I had half of your strength. You never told me any advice, or said you knew it all. You always say you dont. But, I think you have a beautiful heart and the way you write shows that. I have learned a lot from your writing this year and looking back, I didn't need answers. I just needed to know that I wasn't alone. You gave me that. I wish all of us had the courage to stand up but you do that for us. I hope this finds you smiling because you deserve it. Thank you for all you are doing and for being a light for me in the dark.

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  15. I get my wife cause of you. She gets me because of you. Enuf said. Thank you.

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  16. I think the comments speak for themselves my masked friend. I think not having the answers is what we all need. You are a great writer and speak from the heart. It truly does feel like we are there with you listening. You need to stop and take some time and know you are giving us much more than you think. Having the answers is not always the best. Sometimes compassion, understanding, and love is the best answer for all. You give us that. Thank you for leading me through this.

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  17. Ah hell, I better NOT see you second guessing yourself! You were there for me when I needed it. You kicked my ass and made me see my girl walking out the door. You didn't give me an answer-you made me see it. There's a difference woman. I head back over here in a few and guess what? I am taking you and my girl with me. I got enough people telling me what they think I need. You dont do that and thats what we need. If not for you, I would probably be alone and drinking myself to death. You saved me USM. Your answered one email of mine when I was at my low point man. You made me see things I forgot. I am in your debt. Dont feel guilty because you cant answer all of the questions because you are you are telling us your story and your experiences. I dont think there is an answer but you just get it. I am so grateful I just landed on this after someone passed it to me. I dont know what I would have done without you. You saved me. God works in mysterious ways and I think what you are doing is wonderful. Be our voice USM. Make them hear us. I will pass your site on to my platoon. I think many of us just need to see your voice and know that it could be our girls at home. I also like your music too. Dont stop writing USM. Seriously. You got a lot of us reading you and you cant even stop to take credit for what you are doing. I see my brothers writing you. Listen to us again. You gave us the one thing that we couldnt find woman. Let us give you our love and words and know you havent let us down. Chin up woman. Semper Fi, Kevin

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  18. CamelcoloredglassesNovember 8, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    You helped my wife see my ghosts of war. I can not say anything to show my appreciation. Thank you.

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  19. I do not comment because some read you that I know. I will say this. You are honest, you have a way to write that keeps this reader entertained and interested. You got a special something that speaks to many of us whether it be the vet or the spouse. Doesn't matter what answers you have. Thank you for sharing your voice for all of us who fear we can't. God be with you USM

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  20. I read because I can't get past the "what will she write next?" You are really something special. Give yourself a pat on the back USM. We hear you.

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  21. You once answered a email I sent you. I had every intention to kill myself that night. You spent the time to listen when no one else would. I don't remember you ever giving me advice or knew the answers. You listened. You lifted my spirits when everyone else gave up on me. I am back together with my wife and sober. Its been going really really good sister. I was so mad. Mad at the world and nothing made sense. You stopped me dead in my tracks. I don't know if you will print this on your comments but you know what? I owe you one. I don't give a fuck who you are cause you are here in words. You made me see a lot of things I was doing to my family and it was kinda like you just got what I was dealing with. No one understands the guilt of having to use weapons. You didnt judge me and you told me once to place one foot in front of me and that was a new beginning. Keep my chin up you said. You made me see that my wife was there all along. It took you to clear the fog and let me see her. We are both in debt to you. I think if you feel guilt, you should not. You are a kind, gentle person who my wife swears is an angel in disguise. Thank you for always being here and for supporting all of us.

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  22. Wow. I sat here the last few days reading and crying. All your comments absolutely astounded me and kicked ME in the ass. I don't think I did anything that any of you couldn't have done on your own. All of you, had the will, the drive and the guts to keep fighting. All I did was push you in the right direction. Thank you all so much for understanding my guilt and for making me feel better. Each of you is a hero in my eyes. From experience, sometimes a good smack of reality is needed from an outside source to really clear those clouds away so you can see better. Each of these comments just absolutely made my burdens lighter. Thank you so much and I hope that I can still continue to be there for all of you through my blog.

    SGT Freeman, I do remember you honey! How could I not? I was in a uniform sandwich! Let me say this so you are rest assured. I follow a simple unwritten code. That is what happens between military wives stays between military wives. This has a clause in my book that states any veteran, family member etc. Your stories are extremely safe with me and I am honored that you sat next to me. Its probably why people keep me so long as a friend, I know too much! Hahahah! Tell Battle, I wish I could come with you all. I really do. I am here though for each and everyone of you. I didn't do that much for you at all, but I am very happy that I was able to relieve you of your burdens before you have to go back. You knew the answers, you just needed to find it and say it out loud. I read your PS and am SO very happy that it worked. I told you she would be out of her mind for you to call her! I wish you well and please do keep in touch with me. Both you boys stay safe. I want you to come back and let me know how things are going. I meant what I said on the plane. Keep your head low, you do what you must do and know you are doing the right thing. Keep the chins up. Talk to each other Freeman. That was one thing I noticed. Your battle is the most important thing you will have in war. There were things you both said that the other didn't know about each other. Talk it out. Speak about it. Don't carry those burdens alone. God be with you both and for all of you here. I love each and every one of you. Thank you for saving me.....~USM

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