SUPPORT SYSTEMS: PART TWO – FRIENDSHIP
As we discussed in “Support Systems: Part One – Family”, a veteran’s service and transition process affects both the veteran and his or her loved ones. It is important for every individual to have a support system, which can take many forms. Friends can serve as each other’s support systems, and in some cases, a friend may also be a fellow veteran. Today we would like to share the stories of friendships between Paul & Nathanael and Duery & Rick. These compelling stories come from the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative.
Paul and Nathanael served together in Iraq, and once they returned home they suffered from PTSD and had a tough time adjusting back to civilian life. Their transition back to civilian life was difficult, but they relied on each other to recover. Nathanael says to Paul, “Here we are a year later dude, and I’m running a successful business now. I’m about to be running another business with you. And um, without getting too, you know, mushy, I’ve seen you grow, man. And uh, you know, it’s a good thing to see.”
Another set of friend’s supporting one another in their transition and life after service is Duery and Rick. After Duery returned from Vietnam, he became a curator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection to cope with his experiences. His friend and fellow veteran, Rick, has supported him in his job and expresses how proud he is of Duery: “I don’t understand how you do it Duery. Your strength is always what has knocked me over. You’re the man.”
By Deirdre Heneghan
CVN Summer Associate, Communications & Marketing