October 24, 2008

Combat PTSD and Memory

Would You Want to Forget the Biggest Most Influential Part of Your Life?

Sometimes you have no choice but to do so, or go insane. I do not think that every soldier who contracts PTSD from combat in the defense of our country wants to use this as an excuse to commit crimes. Maybe some will claim so, less than 1% and I doubt that they actually have PTSD. The rest of us live in fear of what may happen, we feel the snap of reality going and when we come to we fear what may of happened and what we did.

How many times have you heard about the wife waking up in the middle of the night with the Vietnam Vet choking her, he has that 1000 yard stare and a look of death on his face. He comes to and cannot believe that he was back in combat trying to kill charlie when in fact he had his hands around her throat. This is not a warm up to go kill, rob or steal because we think what a great idea it would be to become a criminal now that we even have the "perfect" excuse. Tell me, where do you see soldiers and veterans getting away with anything?

If anything we have attention drawn to us and have placed upon us a higher demand for a show of integrity and character. We exemplify the pride and honor of our country and its people. Not that soldiers or veterans with PTSD need any more stress than we already live with, but there it is.

Sometimes I need to share with someone who will listen and validate what happened to me was real. If I do not do this I might convince myself, again, that I made it all up, that it just did not happen. I do not need solutions, I do not need answers. I just need to be heard to know what I am feeling matters, that it is real.

Imagine knowing something about yourself more than you know anything, and at the same time knowing how unreal it is. This part of you has such a hold on you, that you cannot for the life of yourself feel its grasp until it is too late, then it has you and you are no longer yourself. Imagine a watery consciousness slipping away and thinking who was that? And, you already know the answer, as it dissipates like smoke on the wind. In that moment of realization comes the instantaneous realization of your being, slipping away.

The sad truth is that the American Public has become blinded to the plight of our vets and this has become evident of the ease to condemn those that commit crimes, and vilify them rather than to actually solve the dilemmas we face. We have become accustomed to ignoring our veterans who have defended our nation, since after WWII we have become your person you love to hate. This is who we are, we who do what you do not want to do and wear the emotional scars and bear your shame.

Let me ask you again. Would you want to forget the biggest most influential part of your life?


  1. I appreciate you opening up to your life to the rest of us. My husband and are at a bad place in our life right now, as we are two parents, two NCOS, and two soldiers living and coping with PTSD. We thought that as two NCO's, we would be able to handle our PTSD better than most...but we've found that it's actually the opposite as we try to cope with issues of marriage life, each of our own PTSD issues, and eachothers. But...we've accepted it and hopefully in time, we'll be able to find ourselves and eachother again.

  2. You are welcome,it helps me at times to open up and share with the world what I used to consider a weakness. Acceptance and a willingness to seek help are the cornerstones to a journey of healing.

    As NCO's you have been trained to combat the physical where an outward force can be matched by strength. In the confines of our mind lays our most dangerous enemy, our internal self.

    In a battle with no solid enemy and no apparent battleground the warrior having been trained to combat the physical comes in contact with a foe that can over shadow the imagination.

  3. Thank you for your openness and for letting the world peer into your life with PTSD. I am not a veteran but I have the upmost respect for what you have done and what you are still doing by telling us all of what is really happening.

  4. DOD still has the lid on this one. I was point for a team that looped around you all from the water through lower guard area to top of Kuwait and into the city to clear and spot for Team3 c-4 fake land attack from the beach. Which did put us in a bind, but we ALL made it.(THANK GOD) Now 20 years almost after the fact the V.A. still plays ,but has got me for that disorder. I continue to struggle ,but I know that with the help of the Congress ,i will be Heard and notice We all well.... GOD Bless D.W. Miller nascar3dwm@hotmail.com. and the other 15 that all came back from a one way trip

  5. Hey my brother, welcome home. The world would be shocked at what we did over there, the myth of the bloodless war. Total bullshit, I personally watched over 20,000 enemy soldiers die with my unaided eyesight. I also had modern periscopes to drive by night, I could actually see better at night. All about the silhouettes, which is a funny story. I learned over 200 silhouettes to try and distinguish who we were firing at...Yeah, the meat grinder of modern tank warfare...I was in the fucking infantry leading armored tanks to war...fuck, nut up and do that you fucking pogues!!

    Imagine dodging artillery shells, you just saw one of your tanks get hit directly by a bomb! To your right a guy in a lightly armored vehicle by tank standards throws his track and has to repair it unexposed to bombs blasting away...no time for me to do anything about that I have to get out of the way of the tanks because I can hear in my head the enemy saying "Fire for effect!" which means we have our aim right fire it all!!! I got out as the bombs were dropping to my left and right...when they started dropping behind me, I took the fuck off.

    Fuck orders, captain or general I am moving my ass out of there....Hell I'm was the driver on point for the 7th Corp, 1st AD, 3rd Battalion, Dco 6th/6th Infantry Bamberg Germany. Only two other vehicles were farther in combat than I, the 1st and 2nd battalion point vehicles. We took turns rotating tanks, MLRS rocket systems...we were local security for the largest land warfare in modern history...we fought and killed the enemy in the second ground engagement of the war deep inside Iraq. My unit was the furthest most regular Army unit in Desert Storm.


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