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Cavtrooper088

Nightmaresbattles re fought in a war lost long ago.

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Lord-Lord-Lord It is 0203 hrs and another nightmare awakes me to the memories of my failure to bring back my men . I'm sixty one years old and I'm still reliving battles fought 37 years ago.

I can still hear the screaming of Sheppard in my ears after a 51 cal went through both his legs near the mouth of the An Loa valley by LZ English. I can still remember Franks telling me how he is planning on going to Indiana Univ the night before his LOH burst into flames over a tree line near Phan Thiet. The smell of his burnt flesh and the body bag far to light. Shield's body after two days in a river. Bill's blood all over his LOH. Larry's burnt helmet. others far too many others. Good men lost because of bad decisions I thought were right at the time.

I also dream of the fear-- how my knees shook and my hands trembled before the fight would start. The sick preverted joy of killing.

I think I'll have a drank and stare at the tree line one more night.

Cavtrooper088

cobra platoon leader H troop 10th Cavalry RVN 72-73

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Cavtrooper088, I know of another Vet who never has a night of rest. I hope you are not mixing alcohol with medication...not a good idea. The memories never leave, they are always there. Reliving them only intensify the horrific thigs that occurred to so many in a foreign land with no one really showing support for what was done by and to so many Americans.

Counselors/therapists don't truly understand unless they have lived the experience, or something similiar. Their suggestions/plans are usually learned/studied subjects in college. They do try and help Vets to deal with the issues, to open up and not keep their feelings bottled up...each has their own method to assist one in the "healing process".

Some days/nights are worse for the vets trying to deal/exist with the constant thoughts, intrusive as they may be, then others seek refuge in other lifestyles, however the one constant is usually the memories never go away.

I do think however talking about the experiences validate these other people and their purpose and meaning to their lives and it was taken away.

You did the best you could with what you had. I am sure you were probably pretty young when you experienced these terrible situations. You had little experience with the trauma of war. There are others who have gone before you, and more past you who will deal with the sorrow of wars. This never lessens what you have experienced. I only hope you will be able to find some peace in your life. Don't beat yourself up, thinking wondering, wishing, it happened that way for a reason we don't know. Your plan is to tell your story. Keep the memories of these men alive and not the tragedies of their deaths.

My cousin was just 20 when he served as a Sp4 in Viet Nam, while I was in the Air Force in Tx...he lost his battle over there. He was so young and brave and served with honor. You served with honor too, and were lucky enough to come home.

Peace be with you my fellow/brother Veteran. Peace.

Edited by halos2

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Thank you Halos2. I appreciate your thoughts and words. I was a 21 year old LT, and all the names I mentioned were younger than me. Franks was only 19, and he had such big plans for IU. Mostly involving booze and wild women as I recall our conversations B)

I didn't take a drink last night 'cause I can't handle it. I had trouble with drink many years ago after RVN and had given it up. I'm not a good drunk. When I'm drunk I have to fight all the men and try to take all the women to bed, and I sadly found out that when drunk I was good at neither.

Nowadays I'm not a tee totaler, but I'm close to being one. I drink one whiskey sour (d*#n those are good) every 23rd of june to celebrate my "alive day", and I'll have glass of red wine with my wife from time to time. Last night would have been a good excuse to drink and I wanted to take a drink, but I didn't. I just stared out the window at the treeline and remembered. It was a rough night. Thanks God for daylight.

Also thank God for having young men and young women who are willing to give their all to protect the freedom of our wonderful country.

Cav

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Thank you Halos2. I appreciate your thoughts and words. I was a 21 year old LT, and all the names I mentioned were younger than me. Franks was only 19, and he had such big plans for IU. Mostly involving booze and wild women as I recall our conversations :angry:

I didn't take a drink last night 'cause I can't handle it. I had trouble with drink many years ago after RVN and had given it up. I'm not a good drunk. When I'm drunk I have to fight all the men and try to take all the women to bed, and I sadly found out that when drunk I was good at neither.

Nowadays I'm not a tee totaler, but I'm close to being one. I drink one whiskey sour (d*#n those are good) every 23rd of june to celebrate my "alive day", and I'll have glass of red wine with my wife from time to time. Last night would have been a good excuse to drink and I wanted to take a drink, but I didn't. I just stared out the window at the treeline and remembered. It was a rough night. Thanks God for daylight.

Also thank God for having young men and young women who are willing to give their all to protect the freedom of our wonderful country.

I too have watched the Tree Line for many years.......God Bless and Keep You!

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God bless you as well Curt.

I suppose that every war has it memories. Mine will always focus around tree lines, bunkers and 51 Caliber machineguns. Time and time again we would be hovering and scouting looking for signs of foot traffic and we would find three or four sets of tracks, maybe a blood trail and you could look ahead to the tree line where the tracls were headed and just "feel" eyes watching your every movement. One thing you could count on---they never fired at you until they were ready to hit you hard.

I consider myself lucky as I fought my war from the back seat of an AH-1G cobra. The infantry (God bless them) did the tough stuff. I've fired danger close many times for grunts whispering on the radio because the NVA were that close.

I had a rough night the night I wrote that first posting. The last couple of days have been much better. It is weird as long as I was in the Army (retired after 2o yrs) I never struggled much with the memories. About five years after I retired I really started having nightmares and even memories popping up in the middle of the day. That and the anger management problems has made for an interesting post military career.

Cavtrooper

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So one of my P-Docs would ask me how did I feel about such and such, and I said "it wasn't nothing but a thing, and to keep on keeping on". She never understood that, so she is the one who probably diagnosed me with PTSD, dumb*ss! I do know that there are things missing from my c-file, and will never make it there because the records, if there were ever any, would have been destroyed. So there is no 'event' of record.

I thought I was never bothered by anything that happened in the Army, but in my case everything was masked by undiagnosed bipolar. Once they diagnosed and started treating my bipolar disorder, then the nightmares started. I guess in a way, I am lucky, because mine are very rarely about the service, but just very bizarre and violent. In my mind, I guess I just live with the nightmares, knowing that it is just a continuing service to my country. They give me Prazosin for them, but it doesn't help. Or maybe it does, and the nightmares would be worse without it. I am not going to try and find out though, so I just keep on taking the medicine.

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