Darkness falls…choices must be made.
My commander and the others are not listening. No one is listening. Repeatedly I tell them all…. we need aircraft and we need them now!!! He’s not paying attention…distracted by the Afghans. Like a mental sprint I’m searching for solutions feeling threatened…thinking about surrounding enemy. Thinking about getting hurt, about getting aggressive and hurting others. We…no, they are near…we are not prepared. I fucking hate not being ready. I need my radio. Fuck him. I know what we need, if he’s not going to do it. I will.
Read more, click here Conflict of Interest.
After everything I tried, I failed to sleep with her.
Looking over my medical records, she collected hand written notes from our weekly meetings. Wiping aside her dark brunette cut shoulder length hair, she adjusted her glasses, and crossed her arms covered with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The beautiful artwork spread all over her shoulders down her back wrapped around her thin frame.
To read more, click here…The Only Exception.
Growing old without Jojo and Little Man is disturbing. Time doesn’t seem the same and life isn’t the best without them. The sun does not set or rise. What was beautiful before is a passing thought today. What I valued before has little to no meaning. Without them, the day doesn’t arrive new and the night doesn’t come soon enough. Watching how fast these past eight years have passed concerns me. Why do lessons learned have to be so costly? Are all these challenges meant for a purpose where so many losses and failures happen for a reason? I ask these questions because from the very start, when forced to make a choice eight years ago, I chose to pursue a good life with Little Man and Jojo, finally new warrior responsibilities. After all that I failed at, I’ve come to believe that the unhealthy thinking I may have been pursuing the next warrior life. Fact is how I couldn’t have all three. Little Man, Jojo and that life.
Today, I seriously look at life different, but I don’t. To read more, please click this link: Spitting Teeth
I did everything I could to sleep with her.
She looked over the records where her notes collected over time from our weekly meetings. Dark brunette cut shoulder length, glasses, with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The artwork spread all over her shoulders, and down her back wrapped around her thin frame. She was strong-willed with a mind like a steel trap. It was the details she craved. With severe back problems from childhood, she pushed through her hidden pain. Every month she took injections to cut the pain, only once a month would she be forced to rely on a cane. Younger than myself, I could never understand how something so irritating could happen so soon to a woman.
Posted on the walls behind her were diplomas for a Bachelors and Masters degree in social work and medical policy, a Molly Pitcher award for leading military wives at Ft. Bliss, Texas. It wasn’t only how cute she was; some of it was her intelligence, most of it was how she rebelled against the mainstream. She was a pistol, and no one fucked with her. Being the lowest pay grade on the scale, she didn’t have high-profile responsibilities.
To read more, click on this link….The Only Exception.
For her, here is Paramore’s “The only exception.” Enjoy.
“Surrounded where choices fly like bullets. Darkness falls. The commander and others are not listening. No one is listening. Repeatedly tell them more than once we need aircraft and we need them now! He’s not paying attention…distracted by the Afghans. Like a mental sprint searching for solutions I’m feeling threatened…thinking about enemy. About getting hurt. About hurting others. We, no, I haven’t seen them yet, just feel they are near. I feel we are not prepared. I fucking hate not being ready. I need my radio. Fuck him. I know what we need, if he’s not going to do it. I will”…..to read further, click on this link: Conflict of Interest. watch U2 EXIT video after reading.
This article is from 1927. Spending time in hospitals, here is a note about the experiences.
Being in that hospital was one thing, being away from my family tore at me where the anxiety ripped my brain apart. It was the reality that pulled into a mental ward, it was all over with. I entered a place I feared worse than warfare. We all fear mental wards. Its forced on us by culture. In this case, I was a special operation’s warrior still in the community about to experience termination of my livelihood.
People were not only labeling me as insane, they treated me like I was crazy and a threat to the world I loved and defended. What hurt the most was how mental health issues are unacceptable where I had come from. Because of this fact, in a matter of minutes my warrior life would come to an end. A purpose in life I believed I was born and raised to do. Something I had wanted as far back as my memory takes me
From the start, I wanted to find these people. People I knew would be there for me and my family when we are most challenged even threatened. For us, a code of silence protected our community and still does. The purpose is to protect national security, for us, most importantly, this silence defends our families and preserves our way of life. Would these individuals be there for my family when they need help. As far back as I can remember, I knew I would do the same for those people.
The very dedication and loyalty I hold for my own family, I would give to them as well. To the point, if one of our family become threatened or worse, hurt, in the worst case scenarios, we would go as far as finding those responsible and bring them …justice. No matter if it took a day, weeks, months and yes, even years. We are that focused and patient. Taught in selection and training, we are capable of setting a task, goal or objective in our minds and not let go until it is completed.
What I mean is we wouldn’t carelessly go out and kill an individual. We would find them and everyone associated with them bringing them back to authorities. I repeat, we wouldn’t kill first. Instead, we would put the fear of God in them where they wished they were dead. Proof of this is how we are part of the groups who have hunted down Al Qaeda capturing or killing 80% of their leaders and people.
To understand more, please go to Warriors…unspoken truth, silent code..
Not afraid of the past, after ten stays at VA mental hospitals, I’m driving forward. Today, I’m going to share some experiences.
Combat mental illness or PTSD is a difficult subject, embarrassing, complicated even too difficult to explain.
As you read this blog, not only do you need to understand Jojo and Little Man, you must understand the path taken since 9/11. A personal journey.
Allow me some time to put thoughts on paper. This post will be a page, not a long post. I’ve learned my lesson in posting. For now, I’ll leave you with another song and brief note. Keep this in mind. When I post songs from women, they make me think of Jojo. I’ll post only songs that I believe feed into this post. If they only show one image and not a video, the purpose is to listen to the lyrics describe Prepare to Cross over.
Prepare to cross over
Returning to America alone from war in Kandahar, Afghanistan and Iraq found me home without a house and family welcoming me home. Six months remaining in the military. throughout the days and nights, I became resentful of everyone I had worked for. Angry for failing to take care of my family, both accepting responsibility yet blaming others, I became furious at my ex-wife for choosing to leave and putting me in a position I would have to decide on the mission or my family. Angry at her because our marriage was about to fall apart anyway. She took my son with her.
Choosing to get away, I spent my days and nights purposely avoiding work, riding my motorcycle for up to 12-16 hours at a time. I didn’t care, no one else cared.
Riding along the gulf coast of Florida, I met the new Jojo. By accident, unexpectedly, at 16, the new Jojo grew and matured while I was away to welcome me home. To be brief, over those six months we rode together everyday and night…
To read more, please click here: War, PTSD and Metallica Unforgiven 3.
Imagine having the honor of being one of the first to go forward and defend this country. There are so few, you find the little things to be a luxury. Like toilet paper, cigarettes, coffee, magazines and newspapers and most importantly, letters from home.
Imagine you took over a city, it’s airport and the surrounding area. Your team secured everything now waiting for replacements. One night, just before Christmas, you wait for the Marines to arrive. Over the horizon from the surrounding desert, you see the rise of dust as the oncoming armada of “Devil Dogs” approach the city. Leading them into your area, you release this group of warriors to take over. It’s here you finally find a break to catch your breath and rearm/refit.
Christmas 2001, weeks following 9/11 at Kandahar, Afghanistan. On the brink of divorce, my son’s mother and I overcame many infidelities, barely holding on to our marriage. That year we left our son Little Man (Age 5) behind in America with relatives and separately made our way to Oman and Kandahar, Afghanistan. As a surprise for both of us, other warriors set up a trip where my ex-wife met me in Kandahar. We shared Christmas where she brought with her this Enya song. A bizarre mixture of Irish music with scenery of war in Afghanistan. I will never forget this song. It rings over and over seared in my mind. Memories of war seem frozen in time forever carried in your brain.
I remember Christmas night she and I shared a dinner of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) of Spaghetti and hot chocolate/coffee. We found ourselves talking all night long about our Little Man.
That night at the Kandahar, Afghanistan Airport, we cleaned out a bombed out building at one point laying in the middle of the night on top of broken glass from a window. Despite the crunching and crushing glass, we found ourselves alone for the first time in almost six months. That night we stayed together making love all night. After weeks of fighting, that night was our first source of peace in months.
The following morning, as she lay asleep, I remember having head phones on listening to this song. Staring at my ex, I had hints of falling back in love with her. It appeared from our view point, the experience of 9/11 and our work brought the two of us back together. Despite all the conflict, arguments and hatred for each other, we always loved each other. Watching her sleep, I was alone to contemplate what the future was bringing our family.
What was supposed to be an overnight visit turned out to be six days together. For just a year afterwards, we enjoyed a return to a strong family. However, follow on deployments led us to barely hold on until two years later we eventually divorced. The final straw, our marriage ultimately collapsed under the strain of war. We screwed ourselves going into battle, yet we worked hard to make it work. Due to our choices we became a casualty of war.