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Thread: mTBI, PTSD and Stress (Catch All)

  1. #61
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Silence

    Until next time...

    Walk with me....

    Invitation open...

  2. #62
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Bravo

    Mike F,

    At first I was puzzled and on second reading found some understanding. No good at poetry though. It helps if - even on a small scale - some of the journey has been travelled personally and then the insight comes.

    Thanks

    davidbfpo

  3. #63
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default So...

    What is the point of all of this?

    This is just my White Paper on PTSD and mTBI.

    See as a survivor, I didn't know how to step out of the arena. I had to figure that out myself. So, I did something audacious. You now have a case study to read. Take your time with it.

    Now, maybe y'all can figure out what to do.

    As for me, I'm actually going home to just be normal for once. Life is way too short to be spent in the insanity of war.

    Thank you for your patience and time. I hope that I did not offend anyone.

    Peace


  4. #64
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    What is the point of all of this?

    This is just my White Paper on PTSD and mTBI.

    See as a survivor, I didn't know how to step out of the arena. I had to figure that out myself. So, I did something audacious. You now have a case study to read. Take your time with it.

    Now, maybe y'all can figure out what to do.

    As for me, I'm actually going home to just be normal for once. Life is way too short to be spent in the insanity of war.

    Thank you for your patience and time. I hope that I did not offend anyone.

    Peace

    Anyone offended by that does not count...

    Thanks for sharing, Mike

    Best
    Tom

  5. #65
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default

    For MikeF.

    Brothers In Arms-Dire Straits

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5JkHBC5lDs

  6. #66
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good job, Mike and

    good pick, Slap...

  7. #67
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default For those suffering silently

    Initially, I did not know where this would lead.
    Just one long brutal honest conversation.
    Throughout this process,
    I found the true meaning of Easter.

    Not just turkey, yams, and jellybeans
    I found love
    As my wise counsel told me
    This has to be done

    So here it is….
    further psychotherapy in my own controlled environment.
    now, the soldiers voice.
    Don’t make another generation suffer in silence

    This is why I did what I did.
    I had to give up trying to fix this stuff myself.
    Now, y'all have everything you need to solve the problem.
    Thus validation -Mike

    Sir, thanks for saying what most won't...

    Michael, thanks for sharing what we can't comprehend.

    Sir,

    It has been interesting reading your notes. I did not realize how much your time in the service has cost you. Reading about you spending time in jail for being drunk was somewhat a shock, but not entirely unbelievable.

    Many of the people that came back showed signs of great stress in their lives, even if they were not in positions of great responisibility. Soldier 1 tried to kill himself several times (Soldier 2 and I had to pull him in from Atlanta traffic one night), Soldier 3 lost it on some woman trying to recall him for IRR, I nearly killed a kid in the barracks one night for simply talking bad about 5/73. Almost everyone bought guns when we came back. Shootings in the barracks quad happened many weekends with bullet holes being found in B Troop barracks. Some were so close to my window that I found myself dropped to the floor in reaction.

    I know that both Soldier 2 and I found solice in talking to veterans from previous wars. I linked up with old paratroopers from Vietnam through various groups and they were very helpful in bringing me back into the right.

    I did not know it at the time, but A Troop, and all of 5/73 were hard men. Some of the things we experienced, even after you left, seemed almost normal at the time, but when put against the background of other units as I have now been able to do, I see that there was nothing normal about it.

    One of the examples I like to think of is the jundi we worked with in Zag and beyond. At first there was much distrust of Major Aziz's men amongst the lower enlisted, and the jundi mistrusted us too. Slowly, through months of shared guard duties a bond began to form. As the local threat began to target the jundi as much or more than us, that bond deepened. I remember one day after an ambush had seriously wounded a jundi, their SGM was questioning a detainee. The detainee was being flippant. Most of the patrol base had seen the wounded jundi, missing his lower jaw, medevaced out. The IA SGM hauled off and backhanded the detainee. At this, the entire patrol base erupted in cheers. Of course the SGM was quickly brought under control and many of the troopers signed at that as well. In that moment I realized how much we had all changed. No longer were we soldiers and jundi, Americans and Iraqis. For all our differences we had become one- as we talked, fought, and bled together. The Americans weren't cheering the simple act of a beating- they were showing support of the jundi that had become battle brethern.

    At Zag, I always chose the East Gate guard position. The jundi there got to know me very well and eventually gave me a nickname, told me stories about their families, and adopted me. As a compliment, many would loudly proclaim me Iraqi and I made many friends there.

    And yet, in Iraq I learned hate. Real hate, not the kind that gets so easily tossed around as in when someone talks about displeasing things.

    The first time I ever shot at another human was in the fields of Turki village. In some ways I think killing is like sex- an intense, immensely personal affair, and the first time you go about it you aren't very good at it.

    There in the fields of Turki I changed as a person. The rest of the Diyala campaign was nothing more than an infant learning the ways of the world as a new man grew in place of the old one.

    I suppose this email is a ramble of disjointed thoughts. Lately I have been thinking very hard about Iraq, terrorism, and the future. This tour is drawing to a close, as is my time in the military. My struggle now is to find some application of the knowledge gained over the last two years to do something progressive. As well, the struggle to come back to the social norms of America are filling my thoughts. My reactions to things that offend me are still those of violence, held in check by mental thought and not reaction. Just tonight I put on the gloves and beat up a connex while working out issues from things earlier in the day. Sometimes coming home is not so easy a road, and the longer you spend away from home, the farther that road becomes.

    Anyway, happy Easter and I look forward to reading more of your story.
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-13-2009 at 01:15 PM.

  8. #68
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Final thoughts in LTG Caldwell's words...

    As Delivered

    5-73 Cavalry “Headhunters” Ball Remarks

    LTG William B. Caldwell, IV

    071129

    Throughout my thirty one years of service, I have talked to countless units
    about their history and lineage and reflected on their unit pride and esprit de
    corps… the pride of being part of something bigger than themselves… knowing they wear the same patch… the same crest… that links them to great warriors from World War II, Korea or Vietnam… Soldiers who fought valiantly and honorably and some who never returned.

    BUT….

    NEVER before have I had the distinct and immense honor I have tonight…. The opportunity to address the Soldiers, the Paratroopers, who actually made their history… the men and women who fought the battles! Being here tonight is very different. I’m not here to talk about Warriors of previous conflicts – to reflect on their bravery and heroic deeds… NO – tonight it’s all about YOU!

    All too often we do our duty and then fade back into obscurity… never
    asking for accolades or even thanks… well… you deserve the accolades for your efforts and you and your families deserve the thanks for your sacrifices… for the "Spartans of TF 300” just wrote the next chapter in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division! In that next chapter, they will talk about how over thirty percent of this squadron of 442 Paratroopers received valorous awards and another sixty percent achievement awards for actions in the combat zone… how over twenty-five percent of the squadron was killed or wounded in combat and of the eighty Humvees that were in the squadron, over thirty five percent were
    catastrophic losses with many others damaged. AMAZING statistics by any
    standard.

    Your accomplishments over this last deployment have been incredible…
    almost unbelievable.

    When you entered Diyala Province the enemy had a strong hold and safe
    haven… a place where they could operate at will and prepare for operations in
    other areas of Iraq. Immediately upon arrival Headhunter 6 devised a plan to
    take the fight to the enemy… and that’s just what you did! An old adage goes “it
    is better to have an army of deer led by a lion than to have an army of lions led
    by a deer.” That adage never accounted for the Headhunters. You all are The
    Spartans of TF 300, a legion of lions led by a lion!

    Your plan, while simple, was extremely effective and now that plan has
    become a standard for operations in other areas of Iraq.

    You conducted three major campaigns during your fifteen month
    deployment. During these campaigns you stemmed the flow of insurgents and
    Insurgent technology from Iran. You established a trained and effective Iraqi
    Border Patrol. During the Turki Campaign you identified and destroyed insurgent
    safe havens and training camps which were responsible for IED Construction
    and training, marksmanship training and ideological indoctrination. And in the
    process you killed over 300 insurgents and captured another 100. During the
    Diyala River Campaign you were asked to stretch your unit even further and
    moved the “Spartans of TF 300” westward to Baqubah where you rooted out
    more al Qaeda – killing over 300 insurgents and detaining countless others.
    YOUR actions… YOUR success saved countless lives and literally changed the
    situation in Diyala Province. What the Division intended to be an economy of
    force operation – you turned into major campaigns… We’ll all need to remember
    that next time we ask the Headhunters to go do something!

    And your success was not only in combat operations… You fostered
    relationships with the Iraqis that led to their trust… a trust that resulted in the

    citizens and tribal leaders working with Coalition Forces for the first time in two
    years…providing important information on insurgent activities and caches.

    Bottom line: you were the smallest unit in the brigade. You were spread
    the thinnest. You sustained the greatest number of casualties and you were able
    to hold the most ground and accomplish more than any other unit in MND (N). I
    guess good things really do come in small packages! Diyala and all of Iraq are
    safer today because of your efforts over the last fifteen months.

    But we all realize that it was done by Paratroopers who made incredible
    sacrifices and showed enormous bravery. (Aside) When I read the reports on
    the actions of the Paratroopers who will receive Silver Stars tonight I was totally
    amazed. These stories read like something out of a Hollywood script… A young
    specialist firing the .50 cal while his buddy in the vehicle applies a pressure
    dressing to his shattered wrist…. and then he dismounts multiple times to
    resupply his weapon; a medic, with total disregard for his own safety and without
    orders moves more than 100 feet in the open under intense fire to save another
    Paratrooper’s life while bullets whizz by and even strike his body armor and aid
    bag. These are just a few of the stories of bravery that highlight the character
    you all possess. I recently exchanged e-mails with Time Magazine’s Mark Kukis
    who embedded with you along with his cameraman Yuri. Yuri said they saw your
    character immediately. He said they quickly realized that you were different than
    other units they had covered. He stated that you were the best they had ever
    seen… when you realize that Yuri has lived in combat zones for over fifteen
    years, covering everyone from the Chechen Rebels to sister service units, that is
    an amazing testament to you all. They sensed… and I quote “a healthy
    underlying aggression tempered by professionalism and thoughtfulness.”… or
    the translation of this is… Some kick ass Paratroopers who could turn it on
    when required!!

    We will never forget and will always honor the sacrifices made by your
    brothers in arms…. Paratroopers who gave the last full measure of devotion to
    their Nation… and to you.

    I want to assure you tonight that their sacrifices were not in vain. I know
    that over time, history will record their actions and your operations in Diyala as
    one of the great success stories in OIF. We already are seeing the results of
    your commitment and sacrifices.

    You all are the one’s who achieved this greatness – you all are the ones
    who were in the arena and deserve the credit.

    Teddy Roosevelt years ago talked about the man in the arena….. He said….

    “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is
    marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who spends himself
    in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high
    achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
    so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know
    victory nor defeat.”

    Well let me tell you… it is you… the fearless Spartans of TF 300… who
    have been in the arena…. That we will remember… Your faces are the ones that
    are marred with sand… sweat…. and blood. You have spent yourself in that
    worthy cause and you know the triumph of high achievement. Ten years from
    now… when a new Paratrooper reports to the Headhunters his leadership will
    pull him aside and say… “Son, let me tell you what this unit is all about” and he
    will tell stories similar to what you have heard about Normandy and Sicily… But
    ten years from now…he will tell the story of the Headhunters who fought in the
    Turki Bowl Campaign and the Diyala River Campaign in Iraq in 2006 and 2007,
    he will talk of heroic deeds and incredible sacrifices – he will talk about you!

    Thanks so much… for allowing Stephanie and me to share this evening
    with you – you and your families are amazing – and we are thrilled to be here
    with you!

    AIRBORNE!!

    God Bless you all!

  9. #69
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Sweat complete

    what I took everyone through was what the native americans call a sweat. we now call it medication and therapy...Every society has done this for their warriors...Every society except us....It is how you let go and release...

    in reality, we learned all we needed to know in sunday school and kindergarden...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZUx_3BJR-Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZj6QXm4hp4

    Be good to each other. I've said what I needed to say...

  10. #70
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    Default

    After Nam, I stayed drunk a long time and I can't sleep unless I have a loaded weapon in my bedroom. That Mossberg is covered with dust but it is there. I never got any release until I felt honored as a Veteran and I got that from a Native American Pow wow about 18 yrs ago or so, their Veteran's Honor Song when all the Vets on hand go in the arena and move together around the flag and Native Staff. I'm not Indian but that's just my personal experience. Once I felt honored as a Vet, I was able to respect and honor the NVA/VC - men who just wanted to make it home and keep their buddies alive. It's a hell of a life we chose and I believe in time you will be able to look back and believe that if you had it all to over again, you would change nothing. I wouldn't. therapy never did a thing for me but I know a few guys that it did help. Hang in there.

  11. #71
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default I wouldn't have it any other way...

    Thanks goesh. I was able to articulate and publish this experience because I made it through. I decided to let my final psychotherapy session be published for free because it can help others.

    If some disagree or don't like it, then this thread was not for them.

    As a smart, wise psychologist told me, "Either fix it now or end up divorced five times and dying from psorosis of the liver."

    I have modeled it all mathematically. Eventually, after I take some rest and have time to finesse it, I'll publish it. I combined biology, economics, and pyschology into one model that can explain individual behavior, groups, and that of the state. But, for now, that must wait. I gotta fix myself first.

    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-14-2009 at 04:00 PM.

  12. #72
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    After Nam, I stayed drunk a long time and I can't sleep unless I have a loaded weapon in my bedroom. That Mossberg is covered with dust but it is there. I never got any release until I felt honored as a Veteran and I got that from a Native American Pow wow about 18 yrs ago or so, their Veteran's Honor Song when all the Vets on hand go in the arena and move together around the flag and Native Staff. I'm not Indian but that's just my personal experience. Once I felt honored as a Vet, I was able to respect and honor the NVA/VC - men who just wanted to make it home and keep their buddies alive. It's a hell of a life we chose and I believe in time you will be able to look back and believe that if you had it all to over again, you would change nothing. I wouldn't. therapy never did a thing for me but I know a few guys that it did help. Hang in there.

    Hey mate

    Welcome back!

    Tom

  13. #73
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Lessons Learned from Zaganiyah

    Persistent Presence

    Not in my town claims the mayor as the hamlet burns in anarchy
    Self-denial self-inflicted in meaningless promises turned towards lethargy
    Obscuring transgressions against the village
    Established men descend to pillage
    The circle of control diminishes as grievances expand
    Sparking great controversy across the land
    Armageddon is here; the sky falls down
    Nothing has changed; No evolution of man
    Neither rich nor poor shortchanged from suffering
    Some days I grieve it all for nothing
    I cannot fix what always has been,
    Therefore, I must transcend.
    No longer am I angry.
    I return refocused.

    These were my lessons learned through my journey. I realize that it is only one town so it might not be universal, but you can consider it.

    When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. When someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it. --Author Unknown

  14. #74
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    I combined biology, economics, and pyschology into one model that can explain individual behavior, groups, and that of the state.
    You'd better hurry. For some of us, that has been the underlying framework for our investment strategies. See behavioral finance. Not sure what the published literature is, yet. Look into it before publishing. See cryptomnesia. Worst case scenario, you discover that someone else thought of it first, but you realize even if they beat you to it, it took lots of smart people a long time to come up with what you came up with (or read, forgot, stored in your subconscious, and then pieced together) on your own.

  15. #75
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default A straight line

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    You'd better hurry. For some of us, that has been the underlying framework for our investment strategies. See behavioral finance. Not sure what the published literature is, yet. Look into it before publishing. See cryptomnesia. Worst case scenario, you discover that someone else thought of it first, but you realize even if they beat you to it, it took lots of smart people a long time to come up with what you came up with (or read, forgot, stored in your subconscious, and then pieced together) on your own.
    I used Wicked Problems literature to erase all the lines and come back with only one. It works for me.

    Unfortunately, I gotta take it slow right now and let my brain heal a bit. Right before my cognitive screening test for TBI, I wanted to join in a rugby tournament. Not too smart.

    I'm gonna present it in a couple of weeks to some distinguished professors who do things like study and map the eye to make new technologies. We'll see what they say.

    Thanks for the input Schmedlap. Right now, I'm simply putting it down on paper so I don't forget it.

    Mike

  16. #76
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    Default

    Moving sir,
    Thank you and carry on
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  17. #77
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default In other news...

    Sometimes I forget to say,

    "Welcome home brothers....Thank YOU for your service."

    Last week, one of my boys was killed by his wife in an accident. Keep that in mind as you conduct safety briefs....

    RIP SGT Eric Autio. See you on the final dropzone brother.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7326252&page=1

    Eric was one of my paratroopers. His death is a shock and tragic, but his life was beautiful. He positively impacted everyone arround him with his strength, humor, and character.

    Second platoon never rolled mounted without listening to OAR. So tonight, in memorandum, I ask you to join me in remembrance of a good man. Grab your drink of choice, kick back, and remember.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX32_...rom=PL&index=5

    here's part two..to my deployed brothers, know we're thinking of you....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUND9AsL_6M

    I apologize for my emotional outburts, but better on-line that can be erased...that's the way I found to resolve and return to the "real" world.

    v/r

    Mike

  18. #78
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    Default Hi

    I do not believe you have anything to apologize for.

  19. #79
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default 23 april 2007

    Keep this in mind as you consider your thoughts...I wrote about it in SWJ in "Love and Hate."

    1st Lt. Kevin J. Gaspers 26 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Locker Jr. 28 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Staff Sgt. William C. Moore 27 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Sgt. Randell T. Marshall 22 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Sgt. Brice A. Pearson 32 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan 20 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Spc. Jerry R. King 19 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Spc. Michael J. Rodriguez 20 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll 23 23 April 2007 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning Died as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion when a suicide VBIED attacked a patrol base in Diyala Province / Died in As Sadah, Iraq

    Persistent Presence

    Not in my town claims the mayor as the hamlet burns in anarchy
    Self-denial self-inflicted in meaningless promises turned towards lethargy
    Obscuring transgressions against the village
    Established men descend to pillage
    The circle of control diminishes as grievances expand
    Sparking great controversy across the land
    Armageddon is here; the sky falls down
    Nothing has changed; No evolution of man
    Neither rich nor poor shortchanged from suffering
    Some days I grieve it all for nothing
    I cannot fix what always has been,
    Therefore, I must transcend.
    No longer am I angry.
    I return refocused.

    23 April 2007

    No sleep after dinner with al Qaeda
    All warning for naught
    In love and hate
    Sometimes we have to bring the hate
    in hope of better days
    Men bleed, heartache sores
    Paratroopers persist
    In ever knowing presence
    In evervesance
    Volunteer twice, no hope of virtue
    Sadness persist
    As we bury the dead
    Hope forlorn, but not lost
    Ever more we persist.
    Strive brothers strive
    for better days
    And our children LIVE
    Some things best left unsaid
    Strive paratrooper strive
    Pack up your things
    and patrol once again

    It is what it is....

    let drops of mourning fall
    for loved one's lost
    and be not ashamed
    tears were meant to be wept

    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-23-2009 at 04:26 AM.

  20. #80
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    Default

    When units come and go together, it helps with the PTSD. I think cohesion and moral support stays intact and greatly facilitates integration back into civilization. In Nam, we rotated in individually though in the early years, divisions/brigades etc entered as whole units. We left individually and psychologically alone. when I got on the freedom bird home, I didn't know a man on the plane. We were all about 14 hours from civilization thinking life would be so great and wonderful once out Viet Nam. We had visions of hamburgers, cold beer and round-eyed women - we had lost all contact with civilization and were going home. The guy I sat beside told me he was being dishcharged and would be a civilian the next day. when the plane took off, he got a blanket, covered his head and sat and talked to himself all the way to Okinawa. Nobody had a clue what was really coming back to the States from Nam. The fact that a fallen comrade who wasn't KIA in Iraq or Afghanistan can be eulogized, honored and remembered and the word spread, says a great deal about not only his unit but the whole approach the military takes towards PTSD these days.

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