07 April 2014


Well, I see PTSD is back in the news, courtesy of the latest massacre on a (the same) military post where soldiers can’t carry guns thanks to a Clinton (which reminds me of a story I heard when I went to Bosnia back in the 90s about the Clintons … but you won’t believe it  … and I digress).

Wanna’ know what PTSD is?

PTSD is being 65 years old — having done hard combat for 18 months 40 years ago — and watching We Were Soldier Once … and Young (the Mel Gibson movie, based on the Joe Galloway book — and I’ve been privileged to speak with Joe) and leaning your forehead against a cold wall, listening to a hard rain … and crying.

Not crying.

Trying-to-catch-your-breath sobbing.

And you cry because you don’t know why.

Only that there’s an echo of what was, and of guys who were, and things that happened. To you.

You know it’s a movie and you know what’s not real. And you know it's not even the war you fought (I worked in four-man teams. Our war was quite a bit different than the one depicted in the book/movie, but I worked in the exact same area of the Ia Drang several times, and one of those times was very less than pleasant, I can tell you that).

That’s what PTSD is.

And that’s what those of us who have seen the horrors and loveliness of war live with every fucking day of our lives. And that’s what an entire generation of new warriors will live with for the rest of their lives.

And fuck anyone who doesn’t understand it.

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