People are in pain. People are confused. People are angry. And, often, they do not know why they feel the way they do. I too experienced feelings and actions that I could not explain. At times my anger became out of control. I drank too much alcohol and I engaged in casual affairs while in an unhappy marriage. I became despondent and depressed without knowing why. I contemplated and attempted suicide. I did not like the man that I had become and regretted those that I hurt. I was trying to self destruct. Why was I alive when some with me died? What should I have done differently? Why did I fail them? I always wanted to do the right thing but sometimes fell short. And I had no idea why.
The experiences I endured while serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, as a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles County and moving from a healthy and vibrant man to a man with serious medical issues deeply affected me without me realizing it. I was an "alpha" male; a man who needed no help from anybody. I could handle anything. And this perfect storm of ego, attitude, poor choices, triumphs and failures broke me.
When I re-found my faith and started receiving care from the Veterans Administration remarkable changes occurred in me. After 40 years I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was suffering the ravages of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. This exposure will ultimately result in my death.
God has forgiven me for my many sins. He has given me a sense of peace and contentment that I had never experienced before. I no longer felt that I had to prove myself to everyone. I also have the love of a wonderful woman. She has stood by me for over 15 years and is my best friend. She is the center of my universe. I would be dead now without her.
The point of this is not to bare my soul to everyone. The point is that "I get it." By reaching out to other military Veterans, law enforcement officers and their families I am an experienced sounding board, listener and understanding friend who has experienced the pain and issues that they experience. I do not preach or pontificate. I provide educated and experienced support in a one-on-one confidential setting. I cannot cure. I can share experiences and provide direction for help. I cannot save souls but I can provide direction on how to do so. Both are very easily obtained.
There is never a charge for this Christian Outreach. Or for Pastoral support such as baptism, communion, etc. The modest fees obtained by conducting weddings supports this ministry.
Of course you do not need to be a Veteran or a cop to ask for my help. I will do my best for anyone who asks. Please do not hesitate to do so. I get it.
Reverend Jack Climer, D.D.