Sometimes you have an event that you really want to communicate, except you don’t have that skill.
Yes I’ve been gone for quite a while and can’t even remember how this blog works, but I’ll try and hopefully to not go into too much bullshit to describe what happened.
I’ve become involved with a local VFW post over the last few years. It’s a long story, but you’ve always heard that you should not volunteer for anything. I did and let’s just say I’m in charge of a lot more stuff than I wanted to be. In looking for help, I’ve tried to find someone younger to help with some tasks and I’ve failed - but I keep trying.
I’ll point out that I’m not a big VFW fan, it really is an inept bureaucracy that I deal with. I just joined so I could have a beer on Sunday if I wanted and comradely was something that was missing since I moved to Gadsden. I was eligible because I spend a couple of years in Thailand during Vietnam and crossed a ‘Combat zone’ several times. That’s nothing compared with someone who has actually been in a War zone!
I stopped by the Post to check on things and JW was there. Nice young man that I’ve been trying to get us to help with the figuring out how to get the next generation of veterans involved. He stops by occasionally and I’ve seen him on the golf course occasionally.
He saw me can came down to talk. I had not talked to him about much, except helping with the next generation - knew he may have a some PTSD issues, but no details. I then became aware of why the VFW exists, or at least what we should be trying to do and feel woefully inept.
Three tours in Iraq and one if Afghanistan. Combat artillery. They taught him how to climb into a machine respond to threats with deadly force. The smattering of details are coming fast and I’m trying to sort them out. An IDE injury that would eventually be declared the end of his usefulness. A marriage that would be ended because of War. A young child that he can’t see because of the bad ending to the marriage. Put out to pasture, being taken care of but without self-respect. Nothing to do except exist.
The machine seemed like a computer game and he mastered it - almost sounded like “American Snipper” with artillery. How do you take that skill and use it when you’ve been put out to pasture? How do you fight the battle of being a part of you Son when the court looks at you as, well something other than a man that wants to be a father.
I feel so lost in not knowing what to do.
He may be 70% medically retired, but I’ve seen him play scratch golf - something I’ve only managed a few times in my life on only 9 holes - not 18. We seem to be in concert with our views on politics and life. We agree that we need a General to start fixing our country, not the crew that claims they will fix things. We’ve destroyed the family with our economy (one of these days I write something on ‘Who killed the Bread Winner?’). Our education system has been overtaken by yet another bureaucracy.
What do I do? The only thing I can think of at this time is some commercial on radio I’ve heard over the last few months that goes something like ‘Have you ever stopped and talked to a veteran? Really talked?’