What the Military Uniform Means to a Veteran
A man who lost himself
Joining the U.S Army when he was 19-years-old, Brian Anderson spent his whole adult life surrounded by others who knew what it meant to wear a military uniform. The sense of knowing what it meant to wear it every day and make those sacrifices to serve our country. What Brian didn’t know was how all of that would go away once the uniform came off.
After being injured during his last deployment, suffering severe spinal cord damage, and learning to walk again, life was not easy. Hanging up that uniform also meant that he was putting away the life he knew. Brian wasn’t prepared for the loneliness that everyone had warned him about. He never thought that would happen to him. However, after suffering from anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, he knew that he needed help.
Veteran wears a new uniform
Warriors for Freedom was able to be that saving grace for him. They gave Brian the ability to get out of the darkness that he experienced after his combat deployments. “Just being reconnected with other people pulled me out of a state of depression,” Brian felt plugged back in. He was back in a spot where he was around those who understood.
Not only did Warriors for Freedom help Brian get back on his feet, but it let him share his newfound knowledge with new members. He was able to help the next veteran after him, who too felt the lost sensation after hanging up their military uniform.
Nonprofit organization reassuring veteran companionship
Warriors for Freedom hosts several different programs such as golf, hunting, and fishing. A popular program that they launched three years ago is scuba diving. This unconventional therapy program was initiated to meet the veteran where they are. To truly use scuba as a platform that ignites purpose and camaraderie.
“You always scuba dive with a buddy, I would look out for my dive partner, and my dive partner would look out for me,” Brian describes his own scuba experience. He felt brought back to the good times and connections that he had during the time he served.
Warriors for Freedom is an opportunity to give back. Brian suggests giving the nonprofit a chance and joining. He knows putting that uniform on gives veterans the advantage of doing what people won’t do, and making those connections with people that know what it’s like can be life-changing.
Video made by Frank.