Casualties of the Mind (part 2 of 3)

In Vogt’s piece, one soldier says, “When you come back to here and you go to a combat stress from somebody who has a Ph.D. and whatnot and had never set foot in harm’s way, he’s only giving you textbook criteria or a pill to help you sleep better at night.”

The shrink says, “This is the kind of thing I hear a lot. Avoidance is typical. Each soldier’s timeline is different. There’s no predicting when a soldier will be ready to open up.”

It’s true. We all have different timelines, which may be unpredictable bombs ready to explode without warning. From 1966 until 1981, I didn’t even know my flashbacks, drinking and anger were from the combat I carried in my head.

The beasts come out at night and wake me to a nightmare world of combat where I hear the sniper round that touched my left ear—an inch to the right and I would have been dead or the time we were escorting a supply column north and one truck hit a landmine and we found only the foot (still in the boot) of the guy who was riding in that truck—he had two weeks left before he would have gone home.

Continued with Casualties of the Mind – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

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.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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~ by Lloyd Lofthouse on August 1, 2010.

5 Responses to “Casualties of the Mind (part 2 of 3)”

  1. May I ask you a question ? I can’t know or recognize what this combat blues singer is describing, so I need to ask you if he sounds like he has opened up by this song ? Btw. I’ve heard this many times and I like it. Where is your novel you mentioned ? Just asking… no hurry.

    • Sorry, I’m new to the Combat Blues singer too. Found him on YouTube this weekend. I think he has other YouTube videos also. I wrote a novel about Vietnam over a period of seven years in the 1980s while attending writing workshops out of UCLA. The novels mentioned at the bottom of the posts are historical fiction about a real man who went to China in 1854 and returned home to the UK in 1908. I started researching and writing “My Splendid Concubine” and “Our Hart” in 1999. Spent almost a decade on those two before publishing.

  2. What do you say about this song from the early 80’s ? Wayne Barker Jr. and The Vettz, do you recognize it ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tihAtpVLUY8

    I’ve read your entire blog now and I liked it. I hope some other veterans finds it.

    But you will write more soon, will you ? Nice to talk with you. All you old men seem to have something in common, you are stuck in the age of 19 and have a peculiar sense of humor. I can almost sense the 19 year old boy in you before you went to war. 🙂 Good work.

    • I listened to the song and that was the first time I’ve heard it.

      I am going to write more but now my focus is on writing posts for iLook China ( http://ilookchina.net )

      I noticed how the singer talked about hating Vietnam. I do not feel that way. The Vietnamese were defending themselves. We were the invader. It took time for me to put it all in perspective. Since I’ve been studying and writing about everything to do with China, I’m seeing Americas wars through different eyes.

      53,000 American troops were killed in Vietnam and a few hundred thousand wounded. However, about 5 million Vietnamese were killed and only one million were combatants. That’s a lot of suffering. For the “Land of the Free”, the US has killed a lot of people in countries that were not threat to that freedom.

  3. “The Vietnamese were defending themselves. We were the invader.”

    That’s good to hear that you are able to think that way. That’s also why they won that war. Homeland is always the best reason to fight for, it is the only true one. And there for they do not doubt and get PTSD for their doings. They have to pay the price just as we Finns did. Majority of us got killed and it’s also classified as a genocide. This is why the Palestine’s are able to do the same, they refuse to be forgotten and get trained since they are kids. West will not win that war of the same reason. I just wonder how long it will take for the rest to realize this fact.

    But there is good things about America too. Without you we would all be communists in this world. Not so good.
    And I love the combat talk blues songs. Great stuff and funny most of them.

    I close this too for now.

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