Do Tell: Reflections on military service, personal growth

  • Published
  • By Christian I. Bridgman
  • 8th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron

What I cherish most from my 20 years of active duty service in the Army and now as I continue to serve in a civilian capacity as an 8th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotional specialist, is the culture and bond between service members that cannot be duplicated in any other profession. This career fills me with immense pride as it has provided me with profound insights into our shared human journey and underscored the importance of fostering connections in our lives.

I firmly believe in the inherent connection that unites us all, transcending our diverse backgrounds. Open communication and unwavering truth serve as steadfast pillars that forge these meaningful bonds.

As professionals, we are only as strong as those beside us, and we can never truly grasp the challenges they face. Based on my own experiences, I have come to realize that by genuinely listening to our wingmen, engaging with their stories, and offering support on their individual journeys, we make a profound impact beyond what we may realize. With this in mind, I would like to share a few ways in which we can reflect and grow as wingmen this Pride Month.

We all have repressed thoughts and feelings, but what is important to recognize is that not all aspects of our ego-personality are negative. Exploring what we believe about ourselves, mortality, and our driving forces can uncover blind spots and help explain our actions. Self-reflection can bring about greater internal peace and even improve interpersonal skills.

One of the most profound realizations we can have is understanding the nature of prejudice and the far-reaching impact discrimination has on individuals and families. This includes considerations of race, gender, disability, sexual identity, and ethnicity. Embracing respect for all individuals becomes a cornerstone in fostering unity and breaking down barriers. Take some time this month to get to know those who serve alongside you.

By advocating for equality and justice, we contribute to creating a more compassionate and inclusive society. Let’s unite the Wolf Pack to celebrate Pride Month and show our support to the warriors we serve with. Together, we can foster a more inclusive environment that upholds the rights and dignity of every individual. Join me in advocating for equality, justice and the freedom to serve with authenticity and pride.

Understanding the value of service, the importance of respect, and the necessity for self-reflection empowers us to embrace the complexities of our shared human experience. May these lessons guide us in fostering unity, empathy and a profound sense of compassion towards one another. Together, through open communication and unwavering truth, we can forge powerful bonds that transcend our differences and celebrate our connection as brothers and sisters in arms.