Veteran’s Day

“The victims of PTSD often feel morally tainted by their experiences, unable to recover confidence in their own goodness, trapped in a sort of spiritual solitary confinement, looking back at the rest of the world from beyond the barrier of what happened. They find themselves unable to communicate their condition to those who remained at home, resenting civilians for their blind innocence.
The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015” ~ David Brooks.

We don’t celebrate Veteran’s Day here on the farm.  We purposely ignore it.  When someone says “Thank you for your service”, my husband grimaces and sometimes politely shrugs.  Other times he grumbles under his breath, “A little too late.”

He was spit on, couldn’t get served coffee in his home town restaurant, was called evil awful names.  He grew his hair long vowing never again to have a short haircut like he’d had in Vietnam.  He is one of those veterans, the ones for which the sound of a helicopter stops him in his tracks, a sudden noise so many years later can still make him very wary.  He watches all the time.  He is a Veteran.

He likes to say he is crazy, he likes to keep people at a distance.  He can be wonderful and loving and in the next moment spiteful and hateful.  He never feels he can step into a church again.  Could god forgive him for what he did in the name of Uncle Sam?

So our day is spent quietly about the farm. We do mundane things together.  We discuss the upcoming deer gun season and where we will put our equine and cattle so no hunters on the neighbor’s land will mistaken them for deer.

That is our Veteran’s Day.


One thought on “Veteran’s Day

  1. Viet Nam vets are the ones I seem to identify with the most. I remember watching things on the TV thinking…………..Wow…….they must be brave. I didn’t know about all the hatred they endured till later………..and I feel ashamed for my fellow CIVILIANS who didn’t have a CLUE what these men went thru.

    My hats off to your husband. Ya, it might be a little late……but it’s heartfelt.


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