By Brandon Matthews

It’s an early Sunday morning, and two U.S. soldiers sit on a small radar station in the Pacific monitoring a radar screen. Most days this is an uneventful responsibility, but today, things will be different. Around 7 a.m. small dots begin to appear on the radar screen, until one by one the screen is full. In a panic the soldiers notify a young lieutenant of the radar activity. As potential danger is approaching, a proper response is critical.

The lieutenant determines the radar activity must be planes coming from California and speaks four crucial words: “Don’t worry about it.” As the lieutenant ignores the warning signs, 353 Japanese airplanes begin an assault on Pearl Harbor. Within a few hours, America lost eight battleships, six major airfields, almost all planes, and 2,400 men. What was thought to be a surprise attack, was actually dismissed only an hour before with the words, “Don’t worry about it.”
Early detection and proper response is critical not only in war but also in life. Here are some dots to look for on your radar screen:

You feel helpless or hopeless
You withdraw socially
You eat or sleep too much or too little
You have no motivation
You use substances excessively
You think of hurting yourself or others

If life indicates an attack is on the way, don’t dismiss it. Dismissal often leads to death. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., yet 80 percent of cardiovascular complications can be avoided with early detection? Give yourself a proper response. Your dots deserve more than a “Don’t worry about it.”

Our city is equipped with incredible resources, services, and people to assist you when trouble is on the way. For Tomorrow would love to help point you in the right direction. You can connect with us at [email protected].

Brandon Matthews is the For Tomorrow Program Director