I just got back from vacation and trying to catch with my word press colleagues. What better way than to share a different side of me you have not seen. I occasionally reviews books on amazon. It is strictly voluntary on my part. Here is my most recent review. I am usually approached by authors to review their writings. It is a great honor when this does happen. I typically give good reviews, but may not always agree with the premise of the book. I try to keep an open mind as I do not like to say some body of work is terrible. I believe every writer has something of import to share. Feel free to check out my other reviews also:
I never thought about birds being mentally off before until I visited Callaway Gardens. The birds that Callaway have adopted are sick, but perhaps not in the way you think. These birds have been impacted by us humans by unnatural associations. One example of bird tampering ( my ideology) is when we interfere with a bird’s nest. The bird could become orphaned. Perhaps a bird naturally nests on the ground and this invites unwanted human contact. These two examples can bring much harm to a bird’s well-being. When this has happened, Callaway Gardens has had to come in and rescue these birds of prey.
I am not making excuses for this young man’s actions. As an Army Nurse Vet, I am wondering where the Army could have recognized the signs that led up to this horrific event. My initial thoughts is that a soldier who was asking repeatedly for different family related requests was put through a maze of military red tape. His psyche could not handle it any longer and he snapped. Those requests included living with his family, going to his mom’s funeral, and taking a leave of absence.
As a career nurse myself and a mother of a 21-year-old son with autism and mental illness, I believe the chances of becoming violent are exponentially higher in the soldier’s life. There obviously is more questions that need to be asked and many interventions that the military must do to stop this senseless loss of life.
My initial response is that all weapons must be checked in and left on base instead of a soldier taking his army issued firearms home. There should be a study done that would support soldiers not carrying weapons when they are not in a combat zone. Finally, all cars that enter a base should be searched fully up to and including having each car’s trunk opened up and the personnel in the car checked for weapons.
I realize there are those who will vehemently disagree with me. That is Ok. I am attempting to brainstorm the best way to stop this from happening again. There are innocent bystanders being killed. These are our active duty military folks and civilian government workers who just so happened to be in a field that has a tendency to have a higher rate of individuals with mental illness. It is my belief that a majority of the time this higher incident of mental illness is caused from active combat missions.
As a former Army Nurse Veteran of Desert Storm, I feel as if I have a unique perspective on this issue. I recall the soldiers who I cared for after scud missile injuries that were my patients in Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany. These munitions’ injuries were very common during this time frame. These physical injuries were only half the story. The underlying story was the invisible injuries that were missed. As an RN caring for one gentleman in particular who was in my ICU, he became very disoriented and combative toward me. He was actually trying to kill me and I just so happened to be protected by one of my 91 Charlies (acronym for LPN) who was standing next to me. Without giving too much information, the soldier was not himself. He mentally snapped. I will never forget that GI’s face and that incident. It is etched in my mind as if it was yesterday. It has caused me much mental anguish also and I hope that young man made it home safely to his family for the love he needed from them. It appears that is what this young man was seeking too who caused the killings on Ft. Hood. Again, this is a commentary on my part only. The facts do need to play out.
As I thought through all these episodes, I realized it was time to look at how I could start living a more intentional life. Have you ever thought about how important relationships are in our lives? God made us to be in fellowship with each other for the good and the bad. In fact, friendships have been an important and integral part of my life. I realized how my son who lost his best friend through death has no choice but to move on without him. As I thought of my son’s choices, it renewed in me my own life’s struggles. I thought of friends past and present and wondered about how I could renew friendships. I could hear a calling in my heart–Come Now, Let Us Settle The Matter. Stop holding people at arm’s length.
Reminding myself that no two friendships are the same is important. It is also vital to realize no two people are alike and we must accept people where they are at. If a friendship is not meant to go deeper than do not. Start adjusting your expectations and choose to love people right where they are at. Learning to love people unconditionally should be a pattern worth pursuing. It sure seems worth the effort.
One thing we can remember is that friendships do not happen over night. It takes time to cultivate just as a gardener plants her field, she must nurture it daily so how friendship must be also. I have a lot to learn from a gardener. Today though I wanted to share a few important thoughts on the human mind/soul/spirit that have begun growing in my heart and I hope it resonates with you today:
1. Be You.
2. Don’t Hide.
3. Be Honest.
4. Don’t Procrastinate.
5. Be Intentional.
6. Don’t lie.
7. Be Appreciative.
8. Don’t Do Nothing.
9. Be Alive.
As you think upon these ideas and especially the last one–No One gets out of this world alive so while you have a chance live your life on this earth to the fullest. Come Now, Let’s Settle The Matter and saturate those around you now with your friendship and love.
(Reposted from last year with updated material. This was a popular post I thought worth sharing again. )