Thursday, September 16, 2010

“My Loved One Went to War – Someone Else Came Back”

This is a guest post by Ken Jones, PhD:

Nations go to war. Human beings go into combat. War is a media event. Combat is savagely personal.

War will eventually recede. The media will move on. The memories of combat will remain with our troops for a lifetime.

The families and loved ones of those now returning from combat want desperately to understand what has happened to their returning warriors.

Why are the warriors that they waited, longed, and prayed for now so seemingly distant and unapproachable?

It was the same for me 40 years ago. In January of 1968 I turned 20. I had been in Vietnam for 10 months. My unit of the 11th Cavalry was operating on the Cambodian border.

In March of 1968 I returned to the world; I felt 100 years old. I quickly learned never to talk about Vietnam, or admit that I had been there.

There was no such thing as post-traumatic stress back then, and I never heard of traumatic brain injury.

The anguish of what I had seen and done and heard and smelled played over and over in my nightmares and intrusive thoughts. Combat survivors do not remember their experience. They relive it.

For 13 years I sucked up the pain. I got married, had a family, and went into business.

On the outside I was successful. On the inside I had only two alternatives left – insanity or suicide.

I began to write, first on 3x5 note cards and then on yellow tablets.

I also got very lucky. On a business trip to Anchorage, Alaska, I stopped by the Vet Center.

There I found someone who understood what I said, and assured me that I was not going insane. He was a former combat Marine who had also been in Vietnam. Now he was the Vet Center team leader.

Finally, there was someone I could talk to.

The notes I had scribbled to myself became the book WHEN OUR TROOPS CAME HOME.

Working with other combat vets we found that there was a very similar pattern of experiences that resulted in our combat-induced post-traumatic stress.

This pattern, this progression to becoming combat survivors, is described in a second book, LIFE AFTER COMBAT.

Both of these e-books are offered FREE, as a gift to the families and friends who desperately want to understand what has happened to their returning warriors.

These e-books are also offered FREE to our warriors as one more voice reminding them that they are not alone.



Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and her social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing works with clients to use social media to attract more business. Read her social media marketing blog.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Phyllis thank you for all you do to support our troops, veterans, and their families.