Veterans' Voices: Camaraderie
Veterans’ Voices is a new column directed toward veterans and their families who have given so much to ensure our freedom in this country. This is an area where you may share your experiences, or read of other veterans’ experiences. We thank you for your service, and hope that you know how much you are loved and appreciated.
Several years ago, one of my buddies asked me if he should expect the same level of camaraderie in a civilian job as he did in the military. My answer was no, and yes.
First, I looked up the definition in the dictionary. It states “A mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. A spirit of good friendship and loyalty among members of your group.” There is nothing in the civilian workforce that can approximate the bonding that occurs in the ready room or foxhole.
When in the military, we managed those environments and put up with much hardship — long hours, stressful working conditions, danger to personal safety, separation from loved ones, and more. However, because we were “all in it together,” we got through it. This mutual self-sacrifice, teamwork, and covering each other contribute to individual bonding, unit cohesion, and ultimately, the camaraderie in question.
To me, I think that those that have a high degree of social connectedness where people talk to each other and get to know each other builds that camaraderie. We, as Veterans that have done or seen the same things can relate in conversation because we have been there. Many civilians you will encounter can only imagine what the bonds of military brotherhood and sisterhood look like. But you can bring the value of military kinship to the civilian world.
Look out for a friend/co-worker, offer help when they need it and be loyal. Don’t expect anything back, except the chance to change how the people interact around you. In fact, you may be surprised that the attitude is catching and spreads. Further, it can help identify those who may share fundamental values and you are able to recreate a new form of that kinship you miss.
So, these are my thoughts. What are your thoughts on this subject? I am interested to know and share stories with you. Email me at email@example.com for your thoughts.
— Royal Goodman,
Vietnam / 1st Cav, 9th Infantry