Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ghost Writer

Guest Contribution from Doug Barber.

My thought today is to help you the reader understand what happens to a soldier when they come home and the sacrifice we continue to make. This war on terror has become a personal war for so many, yet the Bush administration do not want to reveal to America that this is a personal war. They want to run it like a business, and thus they refuse to show the personal sacrifices the soldiers and their families have made for this country.All is not OK or right for those of us who return home alive and supposedly well. What looks like normalcy and readjustment is only an illusion to be revealed by time and torment. Some soldiers come home missing limbs and other parts of their bodies. Still others will live with permanent scars from horrific events that no one other than those who served will ever understand. We come home from war trying to put our lives back together but some cannot stand the memories and decide that death is better. We kill ourselves because we are so haunted by seeing children killed and whole families wiped out.Others come home to nothing, families have abandoned them: husbands and wives have left these soldiers, and so have parents.Post-traumatic stress disorder has become the norm amongst these soldiers because they don't know how to cope with returning to a society that will never understand what they have endured.PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy. PTSD comes in the formof depression, anger, regret, being confrontational, anxiety, chronic pain, compulsion, delusions, grief, guilt, dependence, loneliness, sleep disorders, suspiciousness/paranoia, low self-esteem and so many other things.We are easily startled with a loud bang or noise and can be found ducking for cover when we get panicked. This is a result of artillery rounds going off in a combat zone, or an improvised explosive device blowing up.I myself have trouble coping with an everyday routine that often causes me to have a short fuse. A lot of soldiers lose jobs just because they are trained to be killers and they have lived in an environment that is conducive to that. We are always on guard for our safety and that of our comrades. When you go to bed at night you wonder will you be sent home in a flag-draped coffin because a mortar round went off on your sleeping area.Soldiers live in deplorable conditions where burning your own feces is the order of the day, where going days on end with no shower and the uniform you wear gets so crusty it sticks to your body becomes a common occurrence. We also deal with rationing water or even food. So when a soldier comes home they are unsure of what to do.This is what PTSD comes in the shape of - soldiers can not often handle coming back to the same world they left behind. It is something that drives soldiers over the edge and causes them to withdraw from society. As Americans we turn our nose down at them wondering why they act the way they do. Who cares about them, why should we help them?

Soon after writing this, the author committed suicide.
Final Message- "If you're looking for Doug, I'm checking out of this world. I'll see you on the other side."

6 comments:

Pete Bogs said...

I heard about this a few weeks ago... very chilling words, directly from a participant... this is the aspect of the war on terra Bush doesn't want us to see, and will not likely acknowledge... Bush got Cindy Sheehan's goat because he was so dismissive when they initially met... didn't seem to take it too seriously and didn't want to know about her son... he doesn't want to know about anything disagreeable, or anything that doesn't fit his preconceived notions...

Reverend X said...

I was hesitant to put it up like this, but I finally went with the author's wishes to put the article out there as much as possible. That and it is about time the pro-war crowd lives up to its favorite three little words, "Support our Troops!" The Pentagon isn't lacking support getting them into theater or keeping them there, but they do not seem to realize that they are still our troops when they come home. The Liberal social safety net is all these guys have after that and it's getting more and more frayed every day. As the beast of government drowns in the bathtub, so do a lot of good people who were promised so much for their service. Go ask a Korean War Vet about Reagen being our greatest President. You might be surprised.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like a good cry in the morning to wake you up. Thanks Rev. (no sarcasm, really) I have to say with all my rallying and "support" of our troops, I have a tendancy to lose sight that the support shouldn't end with the war. As per the author's requests, I will also his these words out to many. Even my liberal-bashing Repub friends can't deny this one!

Anonymous said...

Send... SEND these words out to many. Hard to see with blurry eyes.

Anonymous said...

Send... SEND his words out to many. Hard to see through blurry eyes.

Anonymous said...

Damn I'm lame.