The rain in southern Appalachia could make Seattle seem like the Sunshine State at times. This can be welcome and warm for some, but depressing and lonely for others.
One way we can help Veterans combat depression is through silent service. Movies like Thank you for your Service provide insight to elders what Millennial Veterans endure. What things are important to them are important to us as Carers, even if we do not understand them as well as their own generation will. We can still work quietly in their homes to provide them the compassionate care they need to integrate back into civilian life.
What are the signs of depression? They can be many and complex, yet simple and few. The best thing you can do is listen, act, and empathize. Never patronize. Always empathize. Always offer to help, but only offer what you can under promise and over deliver on. Never tell a Vet you can do something that you cannot perform on, for this destroys trust.
They have given their life for us, so we all have a duty to make sure we are never glad handing or making false promises to them. In other words, if you tell them you will take them grocery shopping, then you don’t, it destroys trust. If you tell them you will take them grocery shopping, then you also help them clean out their pantry, fridge, and cook a meal, then you build trust.
Put on a happy face. One of the most impolite things you can be is in a sour mood at work. If all you think about is your hourly wage and how much work you do for how little money, then you have the same spiritual disease most civilians have. Caregiving is not for you.
Military people rarely think of duties in those terms. The greatest disparity that exists in America today is not in wages, not between group identities, but between Military and civilian life.
Even if you are in a dour mood, keep it hid and let your light shine for your Hero. Vent to other Carers away from your Veteran. These are ways to make your Vet’s conversation with their Carer about their needs, not yours.