June 5, 2011

Memories, Flashbacks and Dissociation as a Function of Combat PTSD/TBI: Experiential Research

I am a Combat PTSD Veteran of the First Gulf War, I saw hectares of blood stained sands strung as the death clock clicked, chimed and claimed 45,000 lives. I lay witness, on point for the 3rd brigade of the 1st AD and beheld the 20,000 lives my unit snuffed in three bloody campaigns lasting 100 hours. I drove for 172 hours straight without sleeping, yes that's 7 days, on drugs they force me to take. I can speak on the horrors of flashbacks; memories that materialize and steal my reality to those thousands of enemy soldiers being wiped out in hours; the struggle with dissociative features of Combat PTSD as it threatens to engulf me everyday for the last 20 years. Imagine you are having a happy moment and the next thing you know visions of bodies and carnage engulf your view, confusion rings and the struggle to return to war or remain in the present resounds and sometimes I do not know where I left off or began. So, I pick it up where my slipped consciousness puts me and take my cues from those around me as to the reality of the situation sets in.

Today I understand these moments for what they are, a window into a place I tried to shut off. I have learned that this window, when open needs aired out. So I feel it and go with what nature needs me to understand. To live my purpose is to find a way.

Just percolating an idea for a paper I have 25 days to write, title is solid. Just needs fleshing out now...


  1. Interesting perspective. I'm very interested in hearing more about these drugs and the Jarhead Myth. As the oldest son of a career marine, I have my own opinions on that subject. But I'd like to hear yours as well.

  2. The movie and Desert Storm are both associated with a bloodless war fought by buttons and bombs. The movie depicted marines sitting on their asses not doing anything, my war. I call it the First Gulf War, because it gives the fallen their due respect. The marines I fought with laid down their lives to teach me not to trust the enemy when they surrender automatically. The next day, the same thing happened to us. Except we got the drop on them, thank God for the marines. First in, last out.


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