1/01/1990

Common Ground Common Sense

Having listened in on a flashback my brother was having during his recovery (thanks to the maximum amount possible of morphine they gave him), the war weighs very heavily on many of those who return home.

Only occassionally do we ever talk about how the war has scarred him. In a moment of complete honesty and self-loathing my brother told me there was no way to redeem his soul. There was nothing he could do to make up for the hundreds of lives he took, though he was pretty sure that 98% of his kills were insurgents. His nightmares are of his buddies re-dying in his arms or his own death and the relief it is. He talked about the terror he feels in being with loved ones and bringing them into his twisted world. He worries that he might snap, like other men have done. The fact that he is concerned about it shows me he retains his soul, no matter how tarnished he believes it to be. But since then he has never spoken of it again. And I wait for him, in case he needs me to listen..... And fear that after his recovery, they will re-deploy him back into a living nightmare.

Like many of the current and returning warriors he has a macho image to maintain. They do not talk about the nightmares, the anquish, and the guilt they have shouldered. It is is not the 'manly' thing to do. So, like my brother, they keep up the facade of normalacy and bravado. And I would guess that even with an annonymous survey, they would be relucant to admit to themselves where they really are mentally. Like refusing to see the elephant under the rug because then you'd have to figure out how to get it out of the front door.

My friend in the Army says "There is NO god here", not the one worshiped by the Muslims or by the Christians. He says it is truly god-forsaken and without hope. I would say that comments such as these are made to friends and family more honestly than to surveyors.....

With soldiers and Marines (my brother loves being a Marine by the way) making statements like this, how high could morale really be?

Common Ground Common Sense

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