Skip to main content

View Diary: Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (80 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I remember talking to Viet Nam vets when I was (9+ / 0-)

    in college, ’66 – 72.  In the activist circle I was part of, there was a woman, a lefty minister & trained therapist, who worked with vets and was in a relationship  with a vet, so vets were around sometimes.  The minister had come out of a traumatic childhood.  I didn’t know how to verbalize it, there wasn’t any term like “PTSD” yet, open discussions of child abuse hadn’t started yet, but It was clear she was a person who had been through shattering experiences and had somehow remade herself.  She was strong and compassionate, and vulnerable, and she carried an awful lot of knowledge about pain.  That was her connection to the vets.  That and respect.  Once one of the vets she was close to, & I knew to some extent, had a breakdown and signed himself into a metal facility for a while.  I remember the minister explaining to several of us that sometimes “going crazy” is a sign that you’re still spiritually alive, still reaching for something beyond the intolerable choices.

    Sometimes talking to those vets was a simple, daily kind of thing.  Other times, it was shocking and grim.  Mostly it was like signaling at each other across a big field at twilight.  Trying to get closer was taking a step forward when the ground might just disappear from under you.  How not?  I was 18, 19 years old, and I’d never been to war.   Sometimes I was just there when somebody needed to talk, and that was something.

    Later, I knew other vets – some of whom seemed to have taken no harm from the war, though how can I tell?

    But the vets I knew in college, and a few after that, have always been with me, in the back of my mind.  They’re people I won’t ever forget, but how things turned out for them – that I’ll never know.

    Reading your diary connects me to your life in a way that reminds me – sometimes the journey goes on and becomes a process of healing.  I hope it’s been so for the men I knew, a little, all those years ago.  I’m  so glad that it has been for you.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

    by Fiona West on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 03:36:53 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site