Steel City Vets: “I really should…”

As a working “30-something professional” and just as a human being, I find myself thinking, “I really should…” quite often. But at what point does someone go from “I really should…” to “I really will”? What triggers the switch that goes off in someone’s mind to take thoughts and move them to actions? Is it always smart to take some thoughts from pen and paper to reality?

About 4 years ago, I found myself sitting in Pittsburgh feeling alone only a few years removed from the Army where I had spent the last 8.5 years. I was having a hard time connecting with people around me because they couldn’t fully understand what I been through. The sights, the sounds, and the smells — all were foreign to them, and the “normal things” for them were foreign to me. I was struggling to find my footing in the new world I suddenly found myself in.

With life going down a dark slope, I started looking for answers. After not being able to find any that felt right, I started thinking, “I really should create an organization to fill this need.” A few months later, still unhappy with the lack of support I was getting, the light went off and I turned thought into action by creating an organization with the purpose to help provide the support/peer mentorship/physical connection I was lacking. Not only has the organization been able to help others, but it has also helped me. It gave me the things I was looking for. I have a place to go and talk with people. I am able to connect with other Veterans who understand what it is like to be where I was and do what I did. The sights, the sounds, the smells are not foreign to them. We are able to connect on a level that my friends that never served cannot. It is still important to maintain these civilian friendships, but I’m able to now call upon around 200 other Veterans right here in the area and get help, advice or vent when things get hard.

There are plenty of other examples of taking “I really should…” and making it “I really will”. Look at all the inventors who had an idea, worked for months/years to perfect the idea, and now we live in a world with their solutions. Making the shift from “I really should…” to “I really will…” isn’t easy. The time, the energy, and the money it takes isn’t always easy, but in the long run, when a good idea moves from paper to action, the payout can be more than you have ever thought of.

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