PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Purpose Taken Somewhere Distant?

By Jim Whitt

In response to my December 14 issue entitled Lessons on PURPOSE from our armed forces, I received this email from my friend Fred Vocasek:


My step-son served two tours in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne.  After hearing about the troop withdrawals earlier this month, he expressed concern about all of the young, returning troops.  He said they were coming back “all amped up” and had to adapt immediately to civilian life.

It would be a dangerous time for them.  He was 29 and 30 when he returned from his two tours.  He watched the 19 and 20 year-olds get drunk, stupid, and crazy.  Makes sense … they had lost their purpose.  Walking down an insurgent-infested city street with loaded weapon and body armor, they were highly focused on their purpose.  One of which was to stay alive and unwounded.  Each soldier had a place and purpose that would be painfully obvious to their brothers if they were missing.

Now they return to a society that will go on just the same – with or without them.  “PTSD” is an abbreviation for “post-traumatic stress disorder”.  Maybe it also stands for “Purpose Taken Somewhere Distant”.  Yes they do deserve our prayers.

Fred Vocasek, CCA
Senior Lab Agronomist
Servi-Tech Laboratories, Dodge City KS
“Making the planet more productive.”

The thing that stands out to me in Fred’s analysis is that those who serve in our military are committed to a purpose that is POSITIVE, POWERFUL, SIMPLE and SERVING. But they return to a “purposeless” society. This is an indictment of our society.

Fred works for Servi-Tech, a client of mine that is in business for the purpose of MAKING THE PLANET MORE PRODUCTIVE. Notice that’s the tagline under Fred’s email signature. That’s not just a slogan. It really is their purpose and they are fulfilling it every day.

Imagine if there were more purpose-driven organizations for veterans to come home to. It would help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Imagine if there were more purpose-driven organizations for all people to work in.

Imagine purpose-driven organizations where people come to work not just to be employees but to be partners in a cause that is adventurous, idealistic and heroic.

Imagine organizations where people come to work not just for paychecks, perks and pensions but to fulfill their purpose in life.

Imagine a society where this is the norm and not the exception.

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