The posting below is one I wrote in the wee early morning hours of my husband’s Vietnam Veterans Reunion, held here in Charleston. This just shows, I should not post until I am completely awake. Somehow, I posted these comments in the comments section, not in the blog. This should teach me that I should have at least two cups of coffee prior to writing in my blog. Such is the life of a writer!
Another early morning amongst the velvet blanket of darkness outside. Across the street, I see a light glaring in a neighbor’s home. Sunrise will arrive soon, kissing the Charleston community with another blessed morning. Although it is early, I feel blessed. Over the weekend, Phil and I shared his 9th Infantry Division reunion — laughing, joking, listening carefully, and talking about a band of brothers experiences during a time of war…a time when America refused to support the war…Americans blamed our soldiers for the war…and all that happened during it. The Mi Lai Massacre…The Tet Offensive…and Agent Orange…other events that happened, which most Americans cannot understand — simply due to the fact that it is a war. Unless we were there, we the Americans, cannot understand.
With each of these reunions that Phil and I attend, I see a healing process. As you know, my husband suffers with PTSD. There are times I simply wish to run away from him and never let him catch me, or bring me back…but this weekend…was different. He only grew anxious once…Just once…and when I confronted him about his ‘grumpiness,’ this time — he appeared to listen to me…no fighting…no belittling me. Thank you, God! Normally, his ‘rage’ kicks in during these times, and knowing him as I do, and how verbally cruel he can be, I ‘handle the situation’ by walking away…attempting to ignore him. Unless you live with someone who has the emotional scars of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially from a combat zone, you cannot understand what we, the supporters of this ‘condition’ tolerate. Let’s just say, it isn’t a pretty package!
This weekend was different. When he grew so grumpy, I decided it was better to hang out with the girls and leave him be. For once, it appeared to work.
And so, to all of you who were here — at the reunion — a total of 16 people, I cannot thank you enough for embracing us into your extended family…Once just a ‘band of brothers…’ now…an extended family who may not understand…or just might understand what we…the wives, and family members experience whenever the PTSD triggers kick in. I would like to thank all of you, especially Dusty and Lou Dewberry for opening a door and welcoming us as a small portion of your extended band of brothers and sisters – from the remnants of the Vietnam War, slowly we find hope and acceptance. May God Bless All of You and may God keep you safe as you journey home. Thank you!