A Soldier’s Fearful Battle to Survive

++++I am very excited to announce we have a new guest blogger. Michael Thorin is joining us each month on the third Sunday of each month. He has some inspiring thoughts and ideas to share. His first post is about PTSD, and how he found his way out of the fog of this world. 

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I am so honored to be with you each day sharing hope. The outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. There are over 50 new subscribers a day. The site just past 106,000 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

+ WE HAVE A WINNER IN OUR PROMOTION.  THE PERSON WHO HAS THE 105,00O REGISTRATION WILL WIN SOME NICE PRIZES. 

We are starting a new promotion tonight. The person who is our 110,000 followers will win some great prizes. As you can see it goes fast. Don‘t miss out. 

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

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“Where Were You? Where Are You? Where Are You Going?”

This will be written from my perspective on how I chose to cope with PTSD, and how my decisions brought me from a wrecked marriage, anger and depression to a life full of love, joy, and comfort.

Where Was I?

First off, I served 3 months in Afghanistan as a medic for OEF, and then a year and a half in Iraq as a scout. I was assigned to a gun truck platoon performing convoy security and route recon operations on the most dangerous roads in Iraq.

This time was spent dodging bullets, getting hit by IED’s, and essentially being targeted over 90% of the time. I saw things and did things that had no effect on me at the time. I was simply numb to what was going on around me. I had become callous as my family was back home growing more and more emotional, while I lost my emotions to a darkness to the fog of war, and its’ effect on my body, mind and soul.

Where Am I?

Yesterday I was preparing a devotional, and I was hit with a wave of emotions. The devotional is simply related to the effects of PTSD, and how the VA approaches its treatment of PTSD. My wife had forced me to receive treatment in 2014, or she was taking the kids and leaving me.

Something snapped. Since I had gotten home at the end of 2006, I was miserable. Worse, I made my wife and daughters lives painful and miserable as well. I received treatment and still could not get rid of the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, lack of trust, and my inability to feel any semblance of emotion. I was essentially a zombie with an attitude and a short fuse.

I was broken.

During my time of PTSD counselling, I found one thing very interesting; the counselors could provide self-help techniques for me, but they could not offer me what I needed: redemption and forgiveness.

What I found interesting was that all of the techniques could bring you back from the bad, but could never help you resolve the bad. While I was receiving tips, I was not receiving forgiveness, and this is what I believe to be the root of the problem.

One of my biggest problems was my inability to feel emotions for what I had been through. I thought I should feel guilty, but I didn’t. I thought I should be upset, but I wasn’t.

What kind of a person was I? Where are my emotions and why does nothing in my family concern me?

I was no longer worthy of my family’s love, and I was determined to drive everything I loved away from me, because no one could understand what I was going through. I began having fits of rage and anger.

I needed forgiveness, pure and simple. I needed to know I was still worth something, and that I wasn’t too far gone to become human again. The only way I could feel forgiven was to seek forgiveness from a higher power. The second person I needed forgiveness from was myself, and then my family. I needed to right my wrongs there and then, or I would not be able to go on with my future in peace.

My choice was relying on my Christian faith and realizing that I was worth so much that Christ had hung on the cross, beaten and torn, for me. I was worth forgiveness, and I believe I cried for an hour when that finally hit me.

Where Am I Going?

While I was fumbling through some pictures to prepare the devotional on PTSD I spoke about earlier, I found one that made me stop and thank God for the miracles he worked, and how blessed I was to have not taken the “easy” way out and gave myself a chance at life, a chance to be as close to normal as possible, and that was the answer.

I was no longer beyond saving. I was no longer worthless. I was no longer the guy that could not rectify what he had seen and done with what he was “supposed” to be. I was finally human again, and not an emotionless robot.

This picture made me realize the importance of forgiveness and redemption; they are invaluable tools in the fight against PTSD and veteran suicides.

I hung in and persevered through my faith, and continue to grow and see miracles and blessings in my life, and the lives of those I care about and love. Had I given up, I would have never experienced the miracles of seeing my daughters grow, and then give us two beautiful grandchildren.

My miracle is that I am still here to enjoy my family, and had I given up in the dark days, I would have never been around to see the brilliance of these good days. As I sit here writing this blog I can’t help but shudder at the thought of my never getting a chance to see these two miracles.

Asking for forgiveness is not that hard, accepting that we have received forgiveness is another matter. I found that my comfort in Christ was the only reason I can write this blog. It is simply a miracle. Reach out and find forgiveness, and you should also forgive yourself. It makes life work, or at least it has not failed me yet.

Where do you want to go with your future, and who will you rely on to get there?

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt

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Michael Thorin

Fultonale, Alabama

 

 

 

 

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What Image do You Feel You have?

I am so honored to be with you each day sharing hope. The outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. There are over 50 new subscribers a day. The site just past 104,985 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

I have a new promotion. The person who is the 105,000 will win some nice prizes. We are only 15 away from the next goal . Some one, this week will be the winner. It goes very fast so don’t miss out.

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

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I mentioned in my last post that I would be sharing some endorsements for my new book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. I am not doing this to flaunt my own self image. I am doing it to show you what might be in the book.

I am so honored to have these following endorsement for a book that will be reaching out to our veterans who may be suffering from PTSD, TBI, depression, being homeless, wounded, etc. I hope it gives them a better self image.

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Many of my fellow veterans are suffering from wounds, mental anguish, and loneliness. This book is an ideal book to reach out and help veterans. It shares thoughts and ideas on how to cope in this not so friendly world. I personally know Doug Bolton the author, and I highly recommend this book.

George Woodruff
WWII and Korea veteran

Carollton, Georgia


Although ‘Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life’ wasn’t written for men only, it brings honesty and openness to veterans, and military personnel about feeling ok to express fears and emotional challenges in a difficult world.  US Army Retired Veteran, Mr. Douglas Bolton brings his personal stories to life in a way we all can relate to and gives a big “you’re ok” for revealing our shortcomings and encourages us to open up and talk.  A must read for those seeking healing and forgiveness from ourselves and those wanting a fresh look on life.

Steve Durgin, Founder & CEO with Victory For Veterans Foundation.

Huntington, Beach California

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In the current conditions of our military, there is a need to find realistic affordable sources to reach out and help our veterans and current military. Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life, is that source. Doug Bolton spends many chapters on showing the veterans and military ways to cope in this not so friendly world.  Sadly, he feels and knows of the pain from his volunteer service and sacrifices for our great country first hand. Being a seasoned registered nurse and a battlefield Air Force flight nurse, I have seen many young men and women coming home sick, injured wounded and highly depressed. This book is a must for many. I highly recommend this book without hesitation to all those who have served and currently serving.  I am also advocating for the loved ones and families to read this read, as well.

Colonel Dona Iversen

NYC, New York

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Learn from the best, Douglas Bolton, U.S. Army Veteran who has written a great book for all veterans, active duty service members of all branches, military families, friends and non-veterans. It provides a thorough understanding, knowledge, and the real stories among those who have served and their families that complement today’s American Veterans.  Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life can make a big difference in today’s understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its effects.  As the daughter of Vietnam Marine Veteran that suffered all of his life with PTSD and then finally ended his own life, it will make a big difference in your life as you read the personal stories.  This author does a great job of creating a sense of urgency by calling it a “must-read,” and ends with a powerful “call to action” for the reader.

Bella L. Burroughs

Daughter of WWII Veteran

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There are several more, which I will share in further posts. Again, I am so honored to have all these incredible people take time to say something about the book. It gives out a good image of what the reader might see.

If you are floundering and seeking hope. If you don’t feel your self worth is enough. If you feel you would rather stay in bed than face life. Has your image as you see it not been good? Know that God is with you. Know that He loves you. Know that He will hold your hand and see you through the day.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Time to Help Our Veterans

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 93,800 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers raises fast. We are averaging close to 30 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe to be eligible for the prizes. 

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing  a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others. Look for updates here.

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Something exciting happening soon.

 

This whole post is being dedicated to our men and women who have served, or are serving their country through the military.

I am a veteran myself. I know some of the pain they go through. Why am I dedicating this post to them?

22 veterans end their own lives every day! Yes, I said every day. Why? Because they are losing the battle to PTSD, depression, anxiety fear, and the many other usual suspects. Some are just tired of the pain from injuries they have had from combat.

I was deployed to Korea. I know what loneliness is. I know what depression can do to a person.

I fought depression long after I got out of the service. It got so bad that on March 21st, 2001, I was considering if I wanted to check out of this hotel called earth.

I was at the end of my rope. I had nowhere to go.

It was at the lowest point of my life that God stepped in and saved my life. He stopped me from taking my last breath, and put me to work writing and blogging.

I want to tell you a new direction I am going, and want you to be a part of it.

For months and  months I have been searching for ways to reach out to veterans to help them in some way. I have found two ways to do that:

  • I am writing a book called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. It is nearly finished. It reaches out to those who are suffering from all the demons I mentioned above. I share my own experiences in the Military, especially in Korea, and give suggestions on how the veterans can survive in this not so friendly world. There has been lots of enthusiasm for the book. The word is spreading, and people are waiting patiently for the book.
  • I also wanted to help in other ways. I found what I was looking for through Victory for Veterans. It is a foundation that is just forming. I have been asked to be on the board for it, and I am very honored to do that. Victory for Veterans will be sending out monies to many other charities that are helping veterans. We plan to give out up to one million dollars to each charity, when we have reached our goal.

I am very excited for what this new nonprofit will be able to do. It will help those military who can’t find help anywhere else. It will help them get the much needed aide they so deserve. The slogan for our cause is: They fought for our freedom, now let’s fight for theirs. 

Some gave their all. Others will have lifelong pain from the wounds they have had to live with for us.

I am going to ask you to do one simple thing right now. I am not going to ask for money. I am not going to try to convince you of anything, but I am requesting that all 94,000 of my subscribers, right now, go to Twitter and follow @victoryvets. It is our page to get people introduced to our dream. No push for money. No trying to make you feel bad, and rush to the aide of our veterans. (Right now.) Just follow the page and stand by. We will be letting out more information out as we grow, and start to reach our veterans in any way we can.

If you are a veteran. Hope is on the way. Thank you for serving your country. Thank you for the sacrifice you have made to protect us and….

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Thank Those Who Serve in the Military

We have a winner! We past 86,000. The winner was notified, and we have started a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 90,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We will get there pretty fast. We just passed 87,150.

If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides ever day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book.

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I am one happy camper today. My wife has been on a business trip since Monday, and will be home tonight. I have really missed her.

I was thinking about that, and how others may be missing their loved ones as well. This last week we had Armed Forces Day. That is one day we thank all of the military in one day.

Think about it. There are literally thousands of military who are away from their loved ones as I write this post. They can’t hug them. They can’t see their children playing in the yard. They have to  do their duty and only wish to be home.

The sacrifice that these heroes do is beyond many peoples thinking. There aren’t many that are willing to leave their families and go to places where they are put in harms way.

I come from a military family. I am a veteran. I served in Korea during my deployment.  I had three Uncles that served in WWII. I have a son that just retired from the Army as a Colonial after serving two tours in Iraq.

We have all been there and done that. If I could I would do it again. My love for this country goes far beyond signing up to look like a hero. I never had that in my thought process when I enlisted.

The people in the military, have done more sacrificing than any other people on this planet. We should thank them everyday, not just on special holidays.

If you are in the military and reading this, THANK YOU! God bless you and your family.

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I just got home from putting flowers on my mother’s grave. As I was doing that about fifty kids were going from site to site looking for veterans so they could put a flag on them to recognize their service. As I looked across the huge cemetery I saw hundreds of flags that had been put up. I think that says it all.

We can not forget our military. Not while they serve, or not when they have passed on. Millions have died for us so that we can have the freedoms we have.

If you are a wounded warrior, or suffer from PTSD, may God comfort you and give you peace. You went beyond your service to your country. You paid the extra price.

To those who lost a loved one in the service. Know that there are many who thank you and hope you are finding some comfort in knowing that we all grieve along with you.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up! 

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