The battle hardened soldiers of the United States military from the founding of this country to the present day have always made a connection to a valley. The valley has been symbolic of passage, of strength, of a commanding presence over the threats of an enemy, standing up, walking through it and beating all enemy combatants. It has been idealized as a valley where being number one, the strongest mean not just surviving but vanquishing a defeated enemy through the strengths our soldiers have had in times of war.
I Shall Walk Through the Valley Of Death has been described in a variety of forms, borrowed into the modern language of modern warriors, thrown from the lips of battle hardened US troops, seen as war tat on muscled biceps and strong backs and has been drawn on everything from mission briefing paperwork to the T-Walls in the deserts of OIF and the cement walls of a platoon shack in OEF.
At the wars end and as our troops return home to the land of the big PX, the feelings, emotions, the desires to return to family and loved ones, always at the heart of our military, take center stage. But as the transition from battlefront to home front occurs the feelings of battle brothers, the shouts of platoon sergeants, the call for a Medic or Corpsman, the smoke, the shouting, the prayers and ultimately the smell of the battlefield are never forgotten.
A soldier that has experienced war will forever be dipped in the ink of battle. These feelings and emotions can often resonate as stress and a disconnect upon returning home. The Valley so many of our soldiers have connected with not only to command and conquer through its passage has also become a means to an end resulting in passing through the darker chapters of war and life's experiences and travelling through a valley of healing and finding strength and healing as a journey through and past the valley. This military PTSD shirt serves a reminder that no matter how war and battle has touched you and the stresses endured you can overcome them in positive ways.
The soldier may leave the valley but the valley doesn't leave the soldier.