Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Veterans...

i have a question...

a couple months ago at drill, our platoons sergeants gathered all the veterans together and told us we had to attend a couple meetings. at first i thought...oh great, here we go again...but we were told it was a "welcoming home" type meeting. my "battle buddy" and i looked at each other. welcome home...we've been home over a year (like the majority of the people in my unit who have been deployed). we all grabbed a sit and listened to some Captain and a couple of civilians talk about how we are "most likely feeling...and how veterans usually feel when they get back...what types of services are available for us and our family..." they threw in some bullshit dvd that featured a Lieutenant Colonel talking about five specific scenarios that we could potentially go through or already have at this point. i don't remember specifically all the scenarios...one was a kid getting road rage, another was flashbacks and ignoring everyone around them, the other was a kid carrying a loaded gun everywhere he went to feel safe...that's all i really remember. half the people in the room were watching intensely...the others didn't give a shit. i personally felt like it was a slap in the face. the way i look at it...when i first got back i heard so much about this and that program and the VA will provide you with this...blah blah blah. i didn't want anything to do with the military when i got home...let alone fill out tons of paperwork to get my back and feet checked out...find some kind of family counseling. so i didn't. i did things my way...dealt with being frustrated at everyone and everything in my life for months...tried to make some kind of sense of where my family was now...but i dont understand why it took over a year and a half for someone to provide me with this information? i meet with the VA hospital representative who told me to come in and get my back and feet looked at...a couple civilian woman offered me a bunch of information, that actually told me where i could find free family counseling. i kind of just smiled...took all the numbers down and grabbed their fancy pamphlets and left. where were they when i was completely broken down, fighting with everyone around me daily, feeling so anxious and frustrated that i didn't even want to leave my house, attempting to cope with my father in a nursing home and a mother who still drank herself to sleep every night? the army wasn't there...these civilians weren't there...the VA was out of the question. like i said before...i carried myself through these indescribable times. (i had friends who were there for me and i'm beyond grateful for that). now without their help and fancy bullshit dvds and pamphlets...i'm doing fine. on the other side, i have someone in my family who can not cope with what he saw/did in iraq. he's in the hospital for attempting suicide, using drugs...he has PTSD...he has three kids who keep wondering where daddy is going...its not far.

my question is...

what do you think veterans need once they get home?

i'm not talking about VA meetings, etc. i know friends and family offer support, but the truth is they'll never get it...and having the only people around you not get it, doesn't help. i don't think forcing veterans into, for example a meeting, where everyone is expected to tell their story, eat cookies and meet again next week is exactly 100 percent productive. so share your thoughts...i'm interested.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I eventually got over PTSD through some very sound advice given to me by my vietnam vet platoon sgt -- talk about your troubles with anyone who will listen whether they understand or not. You can come to deal with the inner demons, I don't even have to take meds anymore.

4/27/2007 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger TheUsualSuspect said...

My plan? I haven't had the chance to test it, but I'll let you know how well it works.

"Right, douche. What's your plan?"

Well I'm glad you asked. Its simple. One word.

Strippers!

That's Joe's failsafe.

6/19/2007 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you only want to hear suggestions from veterans, or would non-vets' opinions be OK?

7/02/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger GI Kate said...

i want all opinions.

7/03/2007 01:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, should I e-mail you or send it to MYSPACE (you say that you want all opinions)? I hate this war with a passion, though, I MUST tell you!

7/03/2007 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger GI Kate said...

you can send it to either one.
do i know you?

7/04/2007 03:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No ma'am--surfed in on various links--I believe Rieckoff's. Guess it'd have to be MYSPACE, as I didn't see an e-mail on this blog (some blogs have 'em, some don't). Will explain after I do that (contact you thru Myspace).

7/04/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger GI Kate said...

heres my email...

arita8x8@yahoo.com

7/04/2007 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger ex ssg said...

well going thru the v.a. for ptsd sucks. but when my freinds are around i'm not nuts or over reacting . is war good no, but you know who you are, your job. does really mean life or death. as the people who counsel me say. does seeing children dead still bother you? YEAH YOU FUCKING IDIOT! adults not to much. pets, yeah. who can tell us whats , what? they will never know what small decision can affect or who. what do i do. sit by myself. hope i won't lose my job. and hope some time will be normal. it's sad my deployment felt me feel more normal than anything else.

3/02/2008 04:38:00 PM  

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