Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Joy Of Being In Service


Working with Veterans with PTSD has been the most emotionally rewarding work of my life. All my years of experience as a practicing therapist has prepared me for helping these fellow veterans break out of their self imposed prisons of fear and guilt and begin to see through eyes of love and joy: Allen L Roland

Working with veterans with PTSD has brought back memories of my original band of brothers when I was flying supersonic all-weather interceptors, as a US Navy carrier pilot, on the USS Ranger in the Far East in the early 60's.

Flying off the carrier, particularly at night and in all-weather conditions, demanded focus, concentration and absolute belief in myself and my instruments ~ particularly when experiencing vertigo and optical illusions at night.

Night landings on a pitching deck with a low fuel state is a memorable experience and I had many of them during my year long cruise.

But I had a band of brothers who were doing the same thing every night and we were bonded through our common mission ~ Roger Belnap, Bob Murphy and Jerry Nystrom are names that leap into my consciousness when I recall those exciting months on the USS Ranger.

I loved the daily regimen, I loved the sense of daily excitement, I loved sitting in my single place fighter, saluting the launch deck chief, pressing my head against the headrest and within seconds being propelled in a 3G catapult shot into the air at 135 knots ~ under thousands of pounds of steam pressure.

I loved my mission which was protecting the fleet and I would have fired my lethal sidewinders or sparrow missiles if directed at any enemy bogey that strayed into our territory and threatened the mother carrier.

I particularly loved catching that second or third wire, particularly when landing in a low fuel state and at night, knowing I was safely home and back with my band of brothers again.

I was also a Landing Signal Officcer (LSO) and when I wasn't flying I was on the rear LSO platform of the flight deck directing them home on their final approach to the carrier.

I knew I was part of something far greater than myself and I grew up and became a man in the process. Every person on the carrier was responsible, in some way or another, for our planes to launch and safely return from our individual missions.

Now I'm back with a Band of Brothers again but this time I'm using my gift of being able to see through the heart to help them break out of their self imposed PTSD prisons of fear and guilt and begin to see through eyes of love and joy.

A Band Of Brothers

Once again, I know I'm part of something far greater than myself and I'm in service from a place of joy, delight, intention and purpose. Once again, I'm directing my brothers home to the mother ship, themselves ~ after a long and dangerous journey through their fears, and the flight path is always the path of the heart. For each of them, in being taught to kill, has temporarily lost sight of their innate need to love and be loved and our work has been a needed reminder that beneath their deepest fears and pain is a
Unified Field of love, joy and soul consciousness.

There is no greater joy than being in service from a place of inner celebration, doing something I love and believe in ~ and making a difference in the process by just being myself.

Allen L Roland

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Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( )

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his
weblog and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on


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