Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Courage of Transparency - Rajiv Srinivasan Writes about "Taking off the Armor"

Over the past couple of years, I have shared on several occasions the writings of my good friend, LT Rajiv Srinivasan. He has helped me and readers of The White Rhino Report to see our nation's efforts in Afghanistan through his unique lens of an Indian-American serving as an Army officer in Southwest Asia. With the Blog posting that I link below, Rajiv once again offers a new lens - literally and figuratively - through which to see his world and the world of many other warriors.

Rajiv uses the occasion of his recent Lasik surgery to talk very transparently about the lingering and insidious effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He takes off his armor and takes the risk of being emotionally vulnerable. In the days since he first posted this article, I have shared it privately with a variety of warriors, and the response has been universally one of affirmation and gratitude. Here is one sample from one of Rajiv's fellow West Point grads who served in Iraq. I share his thoughts with you with his permission:

"I just read this and I'm sitting in my office, crying. This hit me hard. Rajiv said some things that I've tried to communicate to [my girlfriend], but I'm pretty sure I've failed in passing along the sentiment. [She] is always there for me to pick up the pieces when that 'tough-guy' armor comes down. It's usually laying in bed in the wee hours, in which I spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling, wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

Thanks for sharing this article. He is spot on - it makes me feel good, and not alone. I know a lot of my friends have these exact feelings, but never share them. I've never known Rajiv, but I feel that I do now and I like him a lot... "

I am pleased to share with you Rajiv's thoughts, reflections and feelings. Once you have read the article, please take an appropriate amount of time to process your own reactions and responses - and then pass it along to others who could benefit from this kind of cathartic healing. I encourage you to take a moment to add a comment - here or directly in Rajiv's Blog. This is a conversation that should continue.

"Taking off the Armor"


God bless you, LT Srinivisan. Thanks for helping us to see more clearly and offering "Lasik for the soul"!

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