Military service is hard! Too often, though, we are encouraged to feel sorry for our vets. We sometimes forget how immensely strong they can be with just a little support. This “victory video” from DAV (Disabled American Veterans) shows the strength of one veteran and has inspired me to share my own victory story!
For me, one of the greatest things about being in the military was the sense of camaraderie and community that I established with the men and women who serve alongside me. One of the hardest parts of separating from the military was the loss of that. As a combat infantryman, I still find it difficult to relate to people who have never served and, at times, even to those who have served, but not in a combat arms capacity. It’s just too hard for others to relate.
It can leave one feeling isolated and alone.
Fortunately, I have found incredible support from my wife and, several years ago, she encouraged me to pick up a camera and start taking photos of the recipes that I created for this site. Years later, that simple act has turned into a therapeutic and creative outlet with me photographing not only food, but also local sports teams, our county’s annual fair, and so much more. It has translated a skill that I developed as an infantryman (seriously, shooting a camera and a gun are remarkably similar) and helped me to connect with the local community.
I may still not feel comfortable talking with everyone about my time in Iraq, but I can always talk about photography and I can always get someone’s attention to snap a few shots for the local paper. Through my photography, I have found a way to redevelop that sense of camaraderie and community that just doesn’t seem to follow you into the civilian world.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a non-profit organization that is on a mission to help America’s veterans achieve more victories. To learn more about DAV, visit dav.org.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DAV. The opinions and text are all mine. While I am proud to support DAV and their mission, I have not been a beneficiary of DAV services.