Welcome to this week’s edition of "Just a few things," a weekly blog dedicated to sharing a few things I've been doing, thinking, reading or learning throughout the previous week. Many of these things will be inspired by my interactions with you via email or social media... so feel free to drop a comment and share a few things yourself! Let’s get to it:
A quote I've been thinking about: “The psychological effect of the statistical world picture: it displaces the individual in favor of anonymous units that pile up into mass formations.” ― C.G. Jung,The Undiscovered Self
A friend and I have had a handful of meaningful conversations about expanded thinking in the veteran community as we explored a number of issues and opportunities we've both recognized. Following one of these conversations he sent me a few books that he's found helpful in expanding his thinking on the veteran/military predicament in post-service life.
This quote comes from one of the books he sent and it's simultaneously brought on a great amount of peace and angst. Peace in that, relative to Combat Flags, I'm on the right path in my work to share individual stories of service and sacrifice to the nation in a way that brings service down to the individual level. Angst in that, relative to today's society, the individual voice isn't received. Today's political environment being a prime example in that we're lumped together by identity or category, ultimately negating the individualistic needs of society by aggregating us into a mean score/identity/category that doesn't actually exist.
Anyhow, I recommend the book. You can see it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2TLsoJu
Something I'm committing to improve upon: I'm committing to being a strong, positive voice for the veteran community. In all honesty, I've been "hiding" behind Combat Flags for the better part of the last year due to things going on with my corporate gig, but I'm recently coming out of a big project and realized that I miss being out in front for Combat Flags and for the issues I care about.
One area I think I can bring value is highlighting the difficulty in transitioning out of the military. I've got a number of topics based on my own experience I'd love to cover and am in the early stages of outlining future blog posts to get to these issues.
I'm also an avid reader (as you can tell from my first thing) and am diving into other books (thanks to Stop Soldier Suicide for sending one of them) specific to suicide and suicide theory. I'd like to use these, and many, many more as a catalyst to help share some of the theories on suicide from all sides.
Stay tuned here for more and hold me accountable if there's something you think I can improve upon or you'd like to see addressed.
Something I’m frustrated with: I'll give you a clue... it begins with Face and ends with book. Combat Flags is largely operated via social media, meaning i have to play the game called Facebook advertising. I thought I had a pretty good grip on it until recently. For some unknown reason things just aren't working anymore... and Facebook's response is to "continue to test," really meaning spend more money. Any tips? Let me know!
Alright, that wraps up this week's edition of Just a Few Things. I encourage you to leave a comment on this post or on social media to let me know a few things of your own!
And be sure to checkout the store for some of the most unique Americana out there.
The bad news is that a few of my established partners have had to close down their production, which means I can’t place new orders for products like the 3x5 foot camo flags. I’m nearly out of the Army/Air Force and Marine Corps flags, and once they’re gone I’m not sure how long it will take to get things back up and running. Another example is that of the Combat Patch. I’ve been working on a slight redesign of the patch and was so EXCITED to have found a local veteran-owned embroidery shop and we had JUST finalized the new patch when NC put in place a mandatory stay at home order.
It's funny... last week I was burning through books and this week I have slowed WAY down. I plan to startOn Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman today and have two more in queue. I'm increasingly interested in this topic and how it connects to the difficulty in transitioning from the military to civilian life.
Just a friendly reminder to remember to keep in contact with your buddies during these uncertain times. Whether it be isolation or anxiety due to the news, make sure they know they aren’t alone. Be a beacon of hope and courage and set the example for those around you. I feel the need to caveat this with the fact that I am not a medical or mental health professional, but isolation can often times exacerbate underlying anxiety or feelings of depression and separation. Give them a call, a text, FaceTime, or Facebook video chat. I don’t really care, just check in and be a good friend and human.