Thought for the Day – The Iliad

In one way or another I’ve said this quote to myself thousands of times throughout the years. I think every soldier has a similar quote they repeat to themselves.

The military is tough, there’s no question about it. From basic training, to war, and then coming home. But the best thing it is that when struggles do arrive, as soldiers, we know deep down that we’ve been there before, and have survived. We’ve struggled, we’ve gone days without sleep, days without food, left our families behind, endured physical and mental trials, and we survived it all.

For me, one time I always repeat the Iliad quote is when I’m sick.

If I get a bad head cold, I’m one of the biggest babies ever. All I want to do is curl up in bed, watch reruns of The Price is Right, drink honey tea, and just wait out the cold with a blanket over my head. This though, as an adult, is not an option. After allowing myself to wallow in pity for a few minutes, I repeat some form of the above quote, and then remind myself of a story.

Way back in 2005 I was a young soldier; I was living in barracks at the time–during my AIT training–and a few of us came down with the flu. It was awful, we were puking, dehydrated, and had that disgusting lethargic feeling. And the worst  part: there was nothing we could do about it. We still had PT every morning at 4:00am, and then had 8-12 hours of schooling, etc. Sick call didn’t open until 6:00am and we couldn’t miss any classes because our training was incredibly difficult (we had two tests a week and if you scored anything under a 79 you were on academic probation (under 75 was failing)). One morning after a hard run during PT, two of us blacked out from dehydration. Once we came to, we didn’t go to sick call, we just drank a bottle of water and went back to our training. By the time the weekend rolled around, and we were finally able to go to sick call, two of us had 103 temps and one had a 104 temp.

It was the sickest I had ever been in my life (a week later strept throat was going through the barracks and a bunch of us got that too!). But I toughed it out. And now, whenever I get sick and just want to curl up in bed, I remind myself how sick I was then, and how much I still was able to accomplish when at my worst.

We’ve all had tough times and life and have survived them. If you’re going through a tough time, just remind yourself “I’ve been here before, I’ve survived, and I will again.”


Best Of, Self Improvement / Healthy Living, Self Improvement / Healthy Living

PTSD: How to Prevent PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a dangerous and debilitating mental condition caused by one’s exposure to traumatizing near-death experiences or seeing someone else’s. Aside from living a monastic or hermit lifestyle to avoid traumatizing experiences, there are other ways to prevent PTSD.

  • Resilience – One way to prevent PTSD is to develop one’s resilience preferably early from childhood. Some people do not get PTSD because of resilience factors. This can be a difficult task for parents to build strong character in their children but people with strong character have are resilient against PTSD.
  • Speaking – After experiencing something tragic or traumatizing, its best to contact friends and loved ones to discuss the event. This alleviates fears as well as strengthens one’s sense of security. This can sometimes lessen the impact of the traumatizing experience.
  • Be one step ahead – If the person experiences a traumatic experience yet has not exhibited PTSD symptoms, its best to consult a psychologist immediately. PTSD symptoms often manifest after thirty days. Military personnel exposed to combat often undergo counseling after missions.
  • Chemical treatment – there is a study that doses of morphine during combat missions for troops can prevent PTSD. This works on the theory that natural or chemically-induced levity reduces an event or a situation’s traumatizing effects.

PTSD Treatment Options: mentalhealthtreatment.net/ptsd

Check out some of our other posts on PTSD.

What To Do When Your Child Has PTSD.

What To Do When Your Spouse Has PTSD.

What To Do To Prevent PTSD.