Vince and Gill are veterans and share their experiences with supporting other vets.
Gil and I had the opportunity to meet several years ago. In fact we were both military. I was airborne ranger and Gil was a marine. We both were in conflict. I was in the Vietnam era and Gil was in Desert Storm.
You don't want to reveal some of the pain and the trauma that you go through, so the standard statement is, "I'd rather not talk about it”—which was my first reaction. And so I looked at these faces of these young men, who were going to do exactly what I had just done for the previous year and that wasn't good enough. They wanted to know. They needed to know. They deserved to know. And you sit there, and you come to the realization, “Okay it's not about me, let me answer the questions.” It was also great because it allowed me to say it out loud, to get it off my chest without thinking about it. This is 30 some odd years ago obviously, and by doing that I found that I wasn't traumatized and I wasn't beating myself up, but I was helping someone else. Gil
You're going to just have to go through it and hopefully you can express it with other people that can relate, and you'll be okay. But there was some trauma. But I feel that it’s very important for the younger veterans that are coming back now to get involved because there are different ways to say it out loud. The way that I'm going to say it out loud is through the legislative process and try to introduce legislation that is friendlier to the veterans that are coming back.