Joining the Navy in 1957 was a defining moment in my life. Being a Naval aviator and flying off the carrier was a dream come true. The Navy forced me to grow up, become focused and realize that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish if I put my mind and heart into it: Allen L Roland
I’m proud of being a Navy veteran and serving five years on active duty as well as two additional years as a weekend warrior. I believed in what I was doing at that time and I served in the lull between the Korean conflict and Vietnam. Although I was trained to kill with my sidewinder and Sparrow missiles ~ I never had to fire them in anger although I would have indeed fired if directed.
The highlight of those five years was my 10 month tour on the USS Ranger which was patrolling the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan. I flew an all weather supersonic single place interceptor (F3H Demon) and most of my 165 carrier landings were at night or in severe weather conditions. There was no room for laxity under those conditions ~ it was all about intention and focus.
The carrier was my eternal mother who embraced me every night by not only catching me in her three deck wires (often at a low fuel state) but later lulling me to sleep with her gentle rolling and the musical hum of her giant engines.
Everyone on the carrier was part of a coordinated team and the common effort was to safely launch and land its large complement of fighter and attack planes. I felt blessed and totally supported in my mission from deck hands to landing signal officers. There was a tremendous feeling of being an integral part of something far greater than myself.
I’ll never forget one early dawn launch on the South China Sea. I was sitting on the number one catapult waiting for the carrier to turn into the wind, my aircraft canopy was open and I began to cry tears of joy. I was living my dream and suddenly I realized it and I also realized that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish if I set my mind and heart to it ~ as I had in becoming a Navy Carrier pilot.
I have never forgotten that moment but that insight was just a prelude to fully opening my heart, going through my fears and proving and owing my Unified Field many years later.
The journey of the heart is much like flying in all weather conditions in that you must believe in yourself, you must conquer fear and your self respect is your needle ball instrument ( the one instrument that tells you if you are straight and level or in a turn or a perilous dive ).
Now I’m living my ultimate dream which is sharing my gift of seeing through the heart with other veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan (with PTSD) and helping them to a place of another choice by jump starting their hearts and reawakening their desire to love, be loved and heal themselves in the process. As I watch a light go on within these psychically wounded warriors who are living in the shadows of PTSD ~ I realize I’ve come full circle and once again I’m in service from a place of celebration and joy. My recent newsletter on band of brothers # 2 summarizes my work with five more Vietnam and Iraq veterans, all with PTSD, who faced their fears and not only opened their hearts but found and began to heal themselves in only eight weeks. http://allenlrolandsweblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/band-of-brothers-2.html
Every day 18 U.S. veterans attempt suicide, more than four times the national average. Of the 30,000 suicides each year in the U.S., 20 percent are committed by veterans, though veterans make up only 7.6 percent of the population. Obviously, there is a deep need for a heart centered approach to these wounded warriors and the success of my ongoing healing the wounded heart workshops prove that they are more than receptive to it.
In many ways, PTSD is really PTHD (Post Traumatic Heart Dysfunction) and there is no true healing until the heart issues have been addressed.
As a veteran I celebrate Veteran’s Day but it does not mean I condone our questionable wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead I salute the men and women who, for whatever reason, have chosen (past or present) to serve in the military ~ for we are all in some sense a band of brothers.
Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and psychotherapist Allen L Roland is also available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
ONLY THE TRUTH IS REVOLUTIONARY