War—the Waiting

Fear can be like a bone chewing pit-bull full of worry that will not let go.  For LBJ, after he was out of the White House, I believe his fear came from guilt. Years ago, I read a review about a book written by one of the Secret Service agents that guarded LBJ on his ranch after he left the White House.  This agent wrote that LBJ had a chapel on the ranch where the 36th President went daily to pray. The agent reported that LBJ talked a lot about dying. I think LBJ wanted to die—his way to escape the people he gifted with death, those that haunted him.

Waiting for something to happen is worse than when it happens. During the first Gulf War when the older Bush was President, most Americans, through the media, had an up-close view of war at its best and that image was misleading.

Wars seldom work as well as that one did—with so few causalities and so many quick kills and victories leading to the gates of Bagdad where GWB’s dad knew when to stop.  This morning, I read a great piece written by Christopher Torchia, an Associated Press reporter. In  “Afghanistan battle shows war rarely fought to plan“, Torchia captured the atmosphere of warriors waiting.

It reminded me that when a night patrol, an ambush or a field operation came along, most of us wanted to get outside the safety of the barbed wire so bad, we drew straws hoping to get the short one—the one that would put us in harm’s way.

Discover Before PTSD, it was called Combat Fatigue or Shell Shock


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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