How are we all doing?

How are we feeling and what are we all thinking as the state begins to retract its reopening?

At one point, wearing masks in public areas was optional, and now — in some places — it as mandatory with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The order from our state officials has begun to move in a structured direction. Our state has not completely shut down again; however, one thing is being asked and it is simple — wear a mask when in public.

We understand as military personnel, dependents and spouses that this was important for our soldiers and on our installation at Fort Hood. The Army continues to keep order by the most efficient and practical way, which is to keep our troops safe and well by taking all necessary measures. The force cannot afford to be weakened, and so it is vital they are following orders and staying informed.

It cannot simply be perception from the surface view. We do have the right to formulate our own ideas, theories and beliefs of our systems, leaders in place, and the calls they choose to make. However, it may benefit us most if we are all collectively in accord with a general concept that may minimize the threat. Our soldiers have adopted this basic mindset, which is what makes them the strongest force in our world today. That is, in addition to the plethora of systems they have developed and/or maintained.

What small changes can we make as individuals? What changes can we implement with our family members to serve our community’s health and welfare?

Perhaps you have had these thoughts: I find it interesting that this pandemic and the recent events has somewhat swayed us to avoid, divide and move away from one another. It is definitively strange that we are all sitting in a generally similar space, and it does not draw us together but rather pulls us away. Any time there is a shift in dynamics, and especially one that seeks to divide, it would do us some good to look a little deeper. Historically, we have seen that any time division among people has been attempted, or carried out, it has created the opportunity to reconcile and draw near.

It is when complete strangers lock arms and understand that life is far more valuable than stuff, position, power and wealth. The use of force may work initially, and for some time, but eventually it cannot be what sustains.

As military spouses’ and dependents, we have had to learn much about patience. The Army is a community where you soon realize and catch a glimpse of where you are, where you were and where you are going. The community around us teaches us much about patience and support. Granted, not every person fully grasps — or may never grasp — this concept, but those that do end up being a great asset to the Army. You see, our soldiers cannot operate at their fullest potential or their highest quality if they are experiencing a threat at home. We have to control only that which we have control over — self. No matter how much we would like to control the Army’s timeline and dates, locations and missions, we can only choose how to serve independently to contribute to improved health and welfare.

Perhaps we do not see it as just a mask, or as a force to be controlled by the system, but how we can create and develop change new and old to heal our nation.

So again, how are you feeling? What are you thinking? Be honest with those feelings, confront those thoughts, deal with them, and then think outside of self.

Lori Ann Palomares is an Army spouse and a Killeen area resident.

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