Leadership, arcs and Wait Out
A brief blog this week – but heartfelt.
It’s one of those things attributed to Day 1, Week 1 of Sandhurst – that probably came several sleep-deprived days, or maybe even weeks in – that “you can’t look after your men of you’re not looking after yourself.”
The illustration given is not to go strutting around a platoon harbour checking on people, like a latter-day Henry V about to burst into a stirring speech, if you haven’t even got some food down your neck. It’s bravado and it’s ultimately self-defeating.
Veterans are subject to more complex physical and mental health issues than almost any other group of the population, with the exception of the elderly. This has long been known, to the extent that with some illnesses, such as Gulf War Syndrome, successive governments have sought deliberately not to engage with those suffering.
While the community is more than averagely likely to experience health issues, conversely it seems one of the groups that is most reserved in asking for help.
As many ex-forces have come to believe, Veterans Network believes there is no shame in asking for help within (or outside) the community, regardless of what the issue is. It’s one of the joys of being part of the wider network of ex-forces people that pretty much whatever problem you have, we will know someone who can help. Furthermore, it’s a group that is almost uniquely happy to help a fellow veteran.
So, take time to look after yourself as you did for those that you were in command of. Call for help and then wait out – help will be forthcoming. Likewise, watch your arcs – there will likely be someone at the periphery that you can make the difference to.