Saturday, April 28, 2007

Another Brave Soldier's Story

Trauma affects everyone involved.

Rank doesn't matter.

CSM Sam Rhodes wrote a story that appeared in the Catoosa County News.

It's valuable for understanding various aspects of what our troops are facing, and even how we may be able to help.

After serving in the Middle East for approximately 30 months the thoughts and reminders come and go ever so often and you really cannot acknowledge them.

It’s tough acknowledging them to your peers or superiors without concerns that they may see you as weak or think bad about you.

Yes, these where the toughest times as I transitioned from constant deployment to the duties of a Brigade CSM (command sergeant major).

I continued to embody all those traits and the character that I thought kept me and most of all my soldiers alive for 32 months in the Middle East in my everyday work habits. The 192 Infantry Brigade could not be doing better.

Unfortunately for most of the first nine months little did anyone realize that their Brigade CSM was not doing that well at all.

Read more at the link. It's worth the time.

To your healing!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Another Vet's Story.

Starting to get back into action here.

I found a powerful story online that shows one man's struggle. Of course, many are facing the same demons. On Being Home is the title.

It’s not that loud noises terrify me. It’s just that I don’t respond appropriately to them. My heart goes off like a Led Zeppelin drum solo, my diaphragm sprints, pulling-in far more oxygen than I need, and I want to fight back. But there is no one to fight, there is nowhere to go, nothing to do. I’m supposed to just go on normally, but my body doesn’t know that and though I tell it, sometimes it takes a while for it to listen. There was a time, when a noise that didn’t belong was heard, people looked at me for some leadership, they wanted me to tell them where to go, and what to do; now they just look and think: who is the weirdo hyperventilating at the bar because a waitress dropped a tray. This woman I see at the Vet Center said that the body can reabsorb adrenaline in five to ten minutes. She said to control my breathing and concentrate on something else and remind myself that I really am normal. It works. She is a very smart lady.

This reminds me of a wise friend's comments. He basically said that the veterans need to re-learn appropriate responses to everyday life.

The good news is that these problems are slowly becoming more well known, and more resources should become available to help.

To your healing,


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

My Own Reintegration Has Begun

I'm home on terminal leave... After being gone for over a year, really.

I've been fortunate, and have been able to see my family about 3 or 4 days every 6 weeks.

Even so, getting readjusted to family life has its challenges...

New priorities and old projects are still waiting to be tackled.

Be back on point soon.

To your Healing!