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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was working the other day and talked to one of my customers for awhile. He served in a few garden spots and we found we had some things in common. He started talking and the floodgates came loose. He talked for almost 2 hours just unloading. The things he has seen and had to do in combat. We talked about things his wife of 29 years doesn't even know about.

He talked and actually sat and teared up but kept talking. All I could do was listen. He talked about waking up at night in a cold sweat, the seeing it over and over again in his mind EVERY day. That sometimes he will be working or watching TV and everything will zone out and he is back in certain situations. That very few people understand what it was like and telling most people (even his wife) is useless because you have to have been there. I just listened and let him talk it out. I told him my points of view when asked but otherwise just let him unload.

He came in this morning to to tell me he had his first good night sleep in almost 20 years last night. Yes I know what PTSD is. Yes, I know he could see a psychiatrist and get "help". I also know what combat does to you....so if you ever get the chance to sit and LISTEN to someone like this....do it. He put himself in the line of fire for us...the least we can do is listen and try to understand.
 

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I can't imagine having lived through something like that. Good on you for listening to him. :righton:
 

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your a good dude matt.
 

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You da' man, Matt! It was a former Marine infantryman(I know, once a Marine....) who went to medical school, and then became a shrink at Ft. Stewart, that saved my behind. Fifteen years of horrific, repressed memories had taken it's toll on me, and my family. He was the first person I could talk to. At least these days they are debriefing service members, and treating earlier. Your friend needs to get some help through Mental Health, if nothing more than to get it documented. It never goes away. It just get's a little easier.
 

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I am glad you gave your time to listen to him and I am glad it helped. I know it sounds trite, but I think of the dying words of one of the characters in the Bourne Identity- "Look at this, look at what they make you give". This country asks far too much of too few these days.
 

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Dei Gratia
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Jonboy said:
I am glad you gave your time to listen to him and I am glad it helped. I know it sounds trite, but I think of the dying words of one of the characters in the Bourne Identity- "Look at this, look at what they make you give". This country asks far too much of too few these days.
+1

Thank you Matt. I don't know you but I am glad you're around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
CountryGun said:
You da' man, Matt! It was a former Marine infantryman(I know, once a Marine....) who went to medical school, and then became a shrink at Ft. Stewart, that saved my behind. Fifteen years of horrific, repressed memories had taken it's toll on me, and my family. He was the first person I could talk to. At least these days they are debriefing service members, and treating earlier. Your friend needs to get some help through Mental Health, if nothing more than to get it documented. It never goes away. It just get's a little easier.
I am FAR from being the man...all I did was what you or Grunt or any other combat vet would have done. LISTEN...and understand.

Don I tried to steer him that way but he won't go anywhere near a shrink or even tell his regular physician about it. He has lots of NICE Class III toys and multiple carry permits (Ga, FL and UT) and is honestly (and maybe rightfully so) scared that a diagnosis could lead to him losing both guns and permits down the road. I've known him for almost 2 years and he JUST talked to me a couple of days ago about it out of the blue. All I can do is listen and try to understand HIS experiences. We all have our own and although it never goes away maybe talking about it with someone he can at least make peace with it.
 

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Marthar1, thank you for doing that. I know that no thanks is necessary and you were not looking for it, but what you did was the right thing.

In today's time, going to a shrink does have the possibility to make sure you never can buy another firearm, again. Unfortunately, our politicians have put us in that spot. Its really a shame that because a man probably does need someone to talk to, he is afraid to because of some ridiculous law.

I know I'll probably never run into you, but I'll tell you that you're a good man, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. There are not a lot of men left out there like you, but I'm darn sure glad you're out there. :righton:
 

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Great job, Matt!

It's a blessing and a curse that I'll never be able to go into active combat. However, I remember seeing my grandfather go through some of the same things towards the end of his life. Serving under Patton in the Battle of the Bulge for his first deployment took its toll. Seeing what Germans had done to Jews after fighting in his second tour sealed his fate. I learned early not to wake up grandpa from his nap.

Different generations. Different wars. Same issues.
 

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My grandfather served in WWII, went in on D-day +1 on Omaha. He didn't talk about the things he had seen and done until about a week before his death, when he was sure he was going to die. They could never get him to talk about it before then.

He opened up, told them the way he had kept his sanity the whole time was that he just thought about everything he had seen and done as a dream. As if it were not real and he didn't actually see and do those things.

Luckily for me, he kept a journal of his entire time there. He wrote in it fairly often, and I go ta good idea of the things he did and saw over there. I can see how it could drive a man insane. He once had a to kill a man that reminded him of his 1st cousin, said he looked just like him, he was forced to get close and use a knife. Said that was really hard as well.

He said the hardest part was squeezing the trigger on someone that looked just like someone that could live right down the road from you. He also said he killed more people up close than he did far away. Sometimes with just a pistol or a knife. He had a harder time with the up close killing than he did with the far away.

He also talked about his feelings when some of the men he was closest to died in pretty gruesome ways near him, some he saw die right in front of him.

I won't ever pretend to understand what a man goes through after seeing all that.
 

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A Typical Cat
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Good on you so that men such as these may find some comfort in their sacrifice.
 
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