I’ve Got More Meaning Now Than I Did When I Was In The Army. Here’s How

The Long March
Army paratroopers assigned to A Troop, 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, wait for rolling fog to lift before resuming mounted marksmanship live-fire training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Nov. 14, 2018.
U.S. Air Force/Alejandro Peña

This is no. 17 in the contest about how one might find meaning after leaving military service.


Duance France writes: “As I was returning from Iraq, a chance encounter with another mental health professional told a group of us, ‘If you’re interested in psychology, become a therapist; there aren’t enough combat veterans in the career field.’

I retired in August of 2014; in June of 2015, I completed my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Since January of 2014, as part of my degree program and now as a licensed clinician, I have been helping other veterans heal from the invisible wounds of war.

In addition to my clinical work, I also write and speak about veteran mental health through books, blogs, a podcast, and voice-first technology. Arguably, this new mission provides me with as much, if not more, purpose and meaning than I had during my 22 years in the Army.” 

Purple Heart Medals are displayed during a Purple Heart ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Nov. 21, 2019. (Marine Corps photo/Cpl. Ana S. Madrigal)

Ronald Botch didn't want to talk about the war when he returned five decades ago from Vietnam, where he suffered a broken pelvis and nerve damage to his leg.

With the conflict dragging on and no end in sight in 1968, the war had become deeply unpopular and inspired protests across the country. Many soldiers, like Botch, didn't feel welcome when they returned home.

"They were protesting and calling us baby killers and stuff like that," the Salisbury Township resident said Monday.

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Navy veteran Paul Burbridge is interviewed next to the box of the cremated remains of James H. Mitchell Jr., which he found under the stairwell of an apartment complex he was cleaning. Mitchell was a Marine who served in Korea in the 1950s and died in 2000. Burbridge took it upon himself to give Mitchell a proper burial. (Screengrab via MLive.com)

KALAMAZOO, MI — A veteran himself, Paul Burbridge believes those who served our country deserve an honorable burial.

While cleaning at Deer Run Apartments in Kalamazoo, Burbridge found a box of cremated remains with the name James H. Mitchell Jr. on the box.

Through some investigation of his own, Burbridge discovered the remains he found under a stairwell in the complex were those of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served during the Korean War from 1952 to 1954.

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In a Galaxy — err, I mean, on a military base far, far away, soldiers are standing in solidarity with galactic freedom fighters.

Sitting at the top of an Army press release from March 2019, regarding the East Africa Response Force's deployment to Gabon, the photo seems, at first glance, just like any other: Soldiers on the move.

But if you look closer at the top right, you'll find something spectacular: A Rebel Alliance flag.

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The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey took place in Amarillo, Texas (Courtesy photo)

The first of the CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the Navy plans on adopting as its carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft of choice has successfully completed its first flight operations, manufacturer Boeing announced on Tuesday.

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Three sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower have been charged in connection with the Dec. 17 brawl at a holiday party in Norfolk, Virginia, that was caught on video.

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