veterans dayWhen it comes to military service, Americans used to be joiners.

Not anymore.

The numbers from a national study conducted by The Pew Research Organization in 2011 tell an interesting story:

Compared with respondents who were ages 50-64, younger respondents (ages 18-29) were less likely to have at least one immediate family member (parent, sibling, child, or spouse) who served in the military.

In fact, younger people were almost 50% less likely to have a close family member who served, or is serving, in the Armed Forces.

Despite what the patriotic hoo-ha might suggest, the reality is that during post 9/11 conflicts (2001 to present) the percentage of Americans serving was the lowest in American history.

Relinquishing personal gain to the success of the whole, striving for excellence, an encompassing sense of belonging, and a strong moral code almost guarantee that service members, active or veteran, remain on the outside of the larger society.

Priorities have shifted; there isn’t a national consensus on what America’s role in the world.  More than ever before the military sways in the political winds.

World opinion may be more expensive than military technology.

The positive shift in Americans’ acknowledgement of the dangers and sacrifices of America’s military men and women, especially those of the Vietnam era, is long overdue (Korean War veterans remain largely unrecognized for their service).

The fact is that the danger of war hasn’t changed, all that military families forgo hasn’t changed, nor have the life-changing ramifications of military service changed.  That the military encompasses a culture of its own is poorly understood by most Americans, even those with supportive intentions.

The sacrifices made by generations of military men and women are deep, and remain for a lifetime, although few may realize that early on.  The transition from active to veteran is never fully accomplished.

Forever living the Code in a mostly code-free world may be the most outstanding job of all.

Kathe Skinner and her husband, David, are both “military brats” whose fathers were career Air Force non-coms.  Both of Kathe’s parents served in WWII.  Both Kathe and David agree their lives have been rewarded by the structure and community afforded them growing up military.  Kathe is a psychotherapist specializing in couple’s work. She lives in Colorado Springs, home of Ft. Carson, Shriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain, and the Air Force Academy.  

copyright, 2015 Being Head, LLC


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Wowee zowie!

There’s still a long way to go in making people aware of invisible disabilities.  And that so many of us experience them.

Of course, ILIKEBEINGSICKANDDISABLED is about much more than invisible disability.  That’s as it should be because our lives are so much more than how we feel or what chronicity label we carry.

If you read my blog because of my sly humor or because something has touched you , made you laugh or think or angry, I’m happy for that.  I challenge you to share with someone you know who might appreciate something I’ve said.  Oh…and please let me know what you think about something I think.

Thank you, readers, for putting on a smile on the face of the last day of 2013.

Click here to see the complete report.

Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Coach in private practice.  Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for over 35 years she’s like many who experience invisible illness — most of what happens in her life is not directly attributable to being disabled.  With her long-suffering husband (that doesn’t have anything to do with illness, either), they’ve been married almost 28 years, sharing their Colorado home with two resourceful hooligan cats, Petey and Lucy.   Read more about the Skinners at http://www.beingheardnow.com

© 2013 Being Heard, LLC