Accurately stated within the Real Combat Life website, writing things out is a time proven method of helping people heal. Patrick Nelson has taken the process of writing to express and cope with stress a step further for the veterans of America’s wars. Returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan Nelson’s friends and family asked questions, so many that he got to a point where he just didn’t want to talk about it. Writing was a way to get things out, if anyone read it or not.
These initial writings inspired Nelson to create an online blog, which developed even further when he decided to encourage other veterans to contribute, writing their stories down. Many responded without hesitation, emailing in their stories and accounts of combat and other events. The collection was enriched further because the stories weren’t coming just from young veterans of the current wars. Instead, stories were coming from every generation, every war. A recognition is created between the generational gaps in our veterans. Everyone has a story.
Real Combat Life remains a non-profit organization, and the stories continue. Nelson says the community is always looking for more. To read more stories, to know that someone else can relate to you, can understand the stress and residual effects of your experience.
Veterans’ benefits are more than just the VA or monetary compensation. Benefits are people that create help, people that understand, and people that just simply care.
Submitting a story is very easy.
- You fill out an easy form.
- RCL contacts you via email.
- You email back your story. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t even have to be politically correct.
- They edit your story for grammar. You don’t even have to worry if your grammar isn’t the best.
- Your story, post editing, has to be approved by you.
- Done. Your story gets posted. Oh, and you get a free t-shirt.
Photo thanks to Robert Couse-Baker under creative commons license on Flickr.