It has been a long time since my discharge and yet nothing informs my being like the time I spent in the army. 7 years is a chunk of time. We were not conquering heroes – shit, quite the opposite. The insurgency was never something we expected. To be quite honest I was always convinced that I would die young. I never imagined what adulthood would be. I was so convinced that I would meet my end in combat and of course I was about two hearbeats from just that.
/not fit for inclusion/
All that defined me has gone and quite honestly I do not know how to cope with this stage of my life. I never dreamed that I would live to see my 32nd b-day. I can thank the 212th MASH for that – or curse them. Whatever. What's the point? Its all so prosai and stagnant. We alll look back at nostalgia at or youths. Shit I am a skeleton of what I was – a poor shadow of my once self. I knew pride, I knew lust for combat, I knew angst, I knew love – or at leat I thought I did.
What I know now is nothing. Confusion, fear, panic. I live in my mind of 10 years ago. I wish that I could just fade away rather than continue in this path of endless stagnation.
In WII the artio of wounded to killed in action was 3:1. In Vietnam it was 4:1. Now its 7:1. The choppers get you out of combat to a MASH unit so fast you just don't bleed to death anymore. Between Iraq and Afghanistan there have been 5,000 US deaths. What people don't realize is that means that there are 35,000 wounded vets wandering the streets now. What people also don't realize is that with such incredible advances in medical technology soldiers with horrendous wounds are surviving and the incidence of PTSD is horrendously high.
So thank you W for sending me to Iraq and thank you 212th MASH for saving my life even if I didn't want you to. The crazy thing is that I had two vials of morphine in my pocket while I was lying on the hospital bed. With all the shit they were pumping into me through the IV I could have killed myself with them – but shoulder was fucked and I couldn't move my arm. What a way to survive. Motherfucker!