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.
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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