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Challenges and Finding Purpose after the Military with Special Guest Jeremy Ruspantine

In this episode of “The Unseen Journey,” hosts Guy and Ashley welcome special guest Jeremy Ruspantine to share his experiences and insights as a Veteran. The conversation explores the challenges faced by individuals in the military, focusing on Jeremy’s journey during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They discuss the importance of individual identity, finding camaraderie, and the unique aspects of deployments. As they explore the intricate layers of trauma and the journey towards healing, we find the often-overlooked aspects of trauma, addressing the hidden triggers and emotions that can emerge unexpectedly. Personal experiences, including a powerful Veterans Day revelation, highlight the complexity of navigating post-military life. The episode concludes with a focus on finding purpose and the vital role it plays in the healing journey.

Key Points:

Discussion on Retreats (00:02:1300:03:38):

   – Trauma is trauma, and retreats are open to all Veterans.

   – Emphasis on relieving stress and questioning the adequacy of service.

   – Encouragement for Veterans to attend and benefit from the retreats.

Jeremy’s Military Journey (00:03:5900:07:50):

   – Jeremy’s deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

   – Individual identity during deployment and the unique challenges faced.

   – The emotional rollercoaster of getting on an airplane for combat.

Finding Friends and Camaraderie (00:07:5000:11:13):

   – The significance of forming connections during deployment.

   – Personal stories shared, emphasizing the diversity of experiences.

   – The camaraderie in military units and the challenges of being an individual.

Unexpected Situations (00:11:1300:13:54):

   – Humorous anecdote about a suitcase filled with cash.

   – Discussion on the close-knit network within military occupational specialties.

   – Mention of MPs and their unique experiences in the military.

Layers of Trauma (00:31:0200:31:38):

   – The discussion revolves around the layers of trauma beyond the commonly emphasized combat experiences.

   – Acknowledges the need to navigate through various layers to address unseen episodes and emotions.

Veterans Day Experience (00:31:3800:32:41):

   – Host Guy shares a personal experience of unexpectedly intense emotions on Veterans Day.

   – The importance of reaching out for support and the role of therapy during challenging moments is highlighted.

Transition to Social Work (00:34:0900:34:35):

   – Jeremy’s journey from military deployment and trauma to the social work side.

   – The hosts discuss the significance of purpose in the healing process and its role as an anchor.

Impact on the Macro Level (00:42:5600:44:56):

   – Jeremy expresses a desire to work on policy and effect change on a macro level.

   – The hosts explore the inspiration behind this goal and the types of policies Jeremy envisions..

Hypothetical Time Machine (00:47:5000:49:24):

   – Jeremy addresses a tough question about what advice he would give his younger self.

   – The importance of finding purpose and a sense of direction is highlighted.

Unseen Elements (00:49:2400:50:37):

   – Each host and guest shares their key takeaway from the episode.

   – Emphasizes the significance of purpose, hitting rock bottom as a foundation, and the importance of supporting each other.

Quotable Moments:

– “Trauma equals trauma. And if you live with or are friends with someone who has trauma in their life, which is all of us, then you’ve experienced trauma and you have something that you can benefit from these retreats.” – Guy @ 2:58

– “Finding friends is such a key piece. We never hear that part of the story. It’s like, oh, we trained, and then we deployed. But the finding friends part is such a significant aspect of the journey.” – Ashley @ 

– “Rock bottom can be a great place to build a foundation from.” – Guy @ 50:31