There’s No Friend Like a Battle Buddy
During my time in the Army, I got to know some really good guys. They were all sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, but most of all, best friends. I read a saying, "You never have friends like the ones you made during war." I don't know who wrote it, but it sticks in my mind because I am still in contact with damn near every one of my brothers that I met in the military.
Recently, I found out that one of the soldiers I met before I left the Army was killed over in Afghanistan. Nothing hurts more then when you hear of someone that you knew getting killed over there. During my deployments, I have lost friends and seen great men succumb to the fallouts of war. I have seen the toughest of men break down in tears, I was one of those men. They say when its your time, its your time. That doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I know that there is nothing I could do or could have done, I know that. Doesn't change the way I feel. There was a time when I wanted to go back in, go back to war. I had good reason for ending my time, and its still the same reason I don't join back up.
People think its so easy to talk about war, but it really isn't. I can talk about my experiences with one of my battle buddies, but not a friend who wasn't there. It's even hard to talk to a counselor because they don't understand my experiences. I know I am not alone on this. There are other Veteran's out there that feel the way I do.
There are resources out there that current service-people and Veteran's can utilize to try to help cope with the stresses of post-deployment. The one that I found to be the most help was www.afterdeployment.org. It covers the topics of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and work adjustment.
To all past and present service members - know that you're not alone.