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Old 10-21-2006, 03:32 PM
Abn_Rgr
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Confused Generation gaps.

I had the opportunity to attend a Point Man meeting at the Salem, Oregon outpost a couple of weeks ago. After the meeting my wife and I stuck around for a little bit to visit. The conversation moved to PTSD and I took the opportunity to express my difficulty in my diagnoses.

Coming out of Desert Storm, I knew that my life had forever been changed I just didnít recognize to what extent. I had some bad dreams at night and ran different scenarios through my mind during the day. I was shook up from combat but not ready to give up on my plans of retiring from the military. I attended every school I could get into and trained my men harder than any one else in the company, convinced that being better trained would end nightmares and prevent further fear should I go back to combat. Long story short, nothing helped and ultimately I was forced to leave the Army in 1996 due to Chronic Fatigue, Advanced Degenerative Disk Disorder, and a drunken suicide attempt.

It wasnít until 1998, 8 years after combat that the night sweats, bad dreams, and unbearable panic attacks got bad enough that I went to the Salem Vet center. When I was called in, the gentleman asked me what the problem was. I didnít know how to say what I felt, I thought I was half nuts and considered another attempt at suicide my only option. When I did finally begin to speak, I was amazed to find the counselor finishing my sentences for me. I couldnít stop the tears in my eyes and could not believe someone else understood the madness in my head. When I did finally regain my composer I asked if I was as nuts as I thought and inquired as to how he understood when no one else could. He said it was very simple, he told me I had PTSD and he could readily see it because he had done 3 tours in Vietnam and he his self was dealing with PTSD.

I had never even considered something as exclusive as PTSD. I always felt that it was something that was reserved for Vietnam or ww2 Vets. The amount of time I spent on the battlefield compared to those before me seemed minimal. I didnít feel (quite honestly) like I deserved to be broken or hurt. I felt a great gap between those who served as I did, and those who served before us. I felt guilty for the reception we got coming home and the fact that VA was telling me to file claims for compensation.

I know that because of what Vietnam Vets endured paved the way for all the support my generation received, and I will say that I am forever thankful for that sacrifice above and beyond the war itself. I have the highest respect for all of you.

I already see gaps between Desert Storm and OIF Vets. How do we break all the stigmas and misunderstanding between the different era veterans? I am trying to find a way to reach the young men in my area, but just as I was when I returned from combat, the ones I have talked to usually state that they have no problems and donít need nor do they want any help. I know they will, I just hope we can all move fast enough when they finally realize it. Suicide and addiction are such a waste. The young guys are partying hard and donít seem to see the connection just as I didnít for the first 8 years I was home.

I love all my Brothers and Sisters and would do anything anytime to help anyone of them. God Bless, -Jeff-
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:41 PM
silentwarrior
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Re: Generation gaps.

Thanks for the post airborne ranger. I understand what you are saying. I fortunately have some outstanding vietnam vets who have helped me. I also can relate to minimizing combat experiences. One older vet told me that it was not how long it was it was what happened when hell opened up. I was with 2nd Mar Div during the storm and could run no longer. It finally caught me after 14 years. I too have the uttmost respect for the men that have come before me. I myself am trying to start an outpost here in Kfalls. I also am a part of Veterans of Modern Warfare. We need orgnaization of veterans and families in order to address the many needs for returning vets. If we can make a fist, then we can deliver a blow to the devil. God Bless you .
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2006, 08:19 PM
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danausmc danausmc is offline
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Re: Generation gaps.

Thanks for the posts men, I have been thinking about this since you first posted and it is bothering me that I cant come up with the answer right off the top of my head.
I spent most of the day 11Nov2006 just talking to Vets of all ages and eras, but mostly OIF and Desert Storm. Im comfortable talking to most ages and era Vets, but you just cant assume anything.
What is the common ground of everyones experience?
Boot camp?
Lousy chow?
Deployment?
Away from home and loved ones?
Sheer terror when the word comes down to get on line or kick down that door?
Its been 16 years since Desert Storm and MUCH longer since Vietnam. ABN Ranger, do you think there is a problem talking to me for example? (my age group) .....
what bothers me is the young Vets I talked to Saturday all think what they did is not so bad and just shrug it off....but I guess I did that too.....I find I dont know any of the acronyms so I dont know the language.....but the experiences transcend time and give you common ground.....Im not good at words to express what Im feeling , but make your self available with out being in your face.....remember another thread about the singer? You guys stepped back in your minds and let the words minister to you......I did not get past the invasion of my space and missed the opportunity for a blessing.
Maybe you should just offer these guys a coffee and get to know them.....or at least let them know you are around.....Im thinking five or six years and these guys will be in trouble unless we can get the message to them soon....I talked to a young man (30) this week and its been two years and now he has asked to talk.

Remember what we need to be able to do is just listen when the time comes....its not about us any more.....my experiences should benefit you and yours should benefit others.....that kind of thing.

Im here if none of this made any sense.....
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:02 PM
Don Dodson Don Dodson is offline
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Re: Generation gaps.

Great thoughts, guys! My thoughts on the "generation gap" is this: when most of us came back, we either thought we had buried Vietnam so deep in our minds it couldn't come up, or we 'self-medicated' over it with alcohol, drugs, sex, work, achievement, etc. Today's returnees are really no different. What we try to do with our "Pizza Feeds" at Navy Medical Center - San Diego and other contacts is to introduce them to the message that we care for them, we know they have been through hell and back, and hope they take a copy of a hand-out or Brother Dean's Down Range book. I see in their eyes the desire to just "stand-down," take off the mask and talk. My lovely wife sees their loneliness when they thank her for the food and get a hug from someone their mother or even grand-mother's age.

What I am saying is exactly what Dana just said: let's just be there for them over a soda or cup of coffee, talk about home, about "before," and "during." At some point they may actually hear our offer to listen to the their pain and hear their grief and guilt. It does seem they are getting better debriefing than we got ... that's not saying much, is it? ... and as long as we keep making the contact, sooner or later we will be there when one is ready to let God start their healing.

I find another population that does listen to us 'old guys.' I have parents of OIF and OEF veterans in my workshops and meet them in the community. I offer them a book and my PMIM card. I think it may be through the families the greatest good can be done in the short term. As much as we wish we could spare them our learning curve, each one of them will have to make their journey home, just like we did.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL! WELCOME HOME.

Don "Oboeman" Dodson
Outpost Leader, PMIM La Mesa
PointManMinLaMesa@NorthernTrail.net
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:17 AM
Abn_Rgr
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Re: Generation gaps.

Good points. I had a pretty amazing Saturday and got to meet a lot of vets. Vietnam vets I could share intererest in Harleys and the older vets I simply thanked for thier service and conversation usually went from there. The guys fresh back however, they don't stand out or seem to be caught in the same view the older guys are. When I do find one they are moving to fast or (it seems) don't have time to slow and talk. I do realize I was the same way for about the first 5 years I was back on the street. I knew there were problems but it took 6 years and one very perseptive Vietnam vet to point it out. My heart aches, I know that the longer the problems stay hidden, the more damage they do to the body. I do commit at least 60 minutes a day to "on my face prayer" and I realize that if God was forgiving and took over my life, anyone can expect and recieve the same. Bottom line is I know with all I am that my heart is for veterans and if I pay attention and listen, I will be given an opportunity. Dana, in response to your question about finding it difficult to speak with you as a Vietnam vet, God has used Point Man to eliminate any reservations about that. But, if I would have met you on the street in 1994, in all honesty I probably would have been on defence and spoke as little as possible. The stigma that comes home with a patriot straight off the battlefield is overwhelming. It is only through our heavenly father I have cut the chase and stepped up to say I love you all; you are my brothers...-Jeff-
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:51 PM
CFMTX5505
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Re: Generation gaps.

How to reach the Warriors of today as a Warrior of the past?

What a time honored approach we have waiting for us into the human mind of doom and desaire, similar to the days that never end when on the ground ourselves.

We, from the past, I was Viet Nam in the beginning, made the days work with closeness with another person. That person selected us when we were Newbies and in turn we selected a replacement when they rotated back home one way or the other.

Our new brothers are coming home with a boatload of garbage that is still usefull stuff to them. We can select one or a few and just talk about current events so they can get to know us and we know them. Soon they will see the rage and know it isn't doing any good hanging around in the pack. They don't know the way to the dump, we can show them where it is, but we can't take out the garbage for them. When they find the time, we can help them watch the clock, they will ask the questions and we will give them the answer or get one for them. Out of 50 if we see 15 or more go to the dump and lighten the load what a joy that will be for us. If we are party to that trip to the dump what can we get out of the pack by helping them.

Helping some one find the joy of trusting in the Lord the same way is a time honored practice that could be well learned by many today. I know you have seen people beat a person over that head with a Bible and point acusing fingers at what they do only to chase that person further out the door instead of bringing them in.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
(Ro 8:1).

With a person who doesn't know the Lord we can't give them condemnation but give them the Word and then Rom 8:1 will be theirs.

The young combat brother has got to get the condemnation out of the pack and into the dump but we can't rip their life out till it is no longer their life. Then they are open to dump a usless life and get a never ending life with the Lord.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
You can never help a person with a flat tire till they have two flats at once.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:01 PM
177point5_Gunny
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Re: Generation gaps.

Outstanding info here on these posts! Thank you all for contributing a wealth of knowledge. I'm a recently retired Marine who has not seen combat. And one of the biggest lies the Devil almost tricked me into believing is that I have nothing to offer these young warriors returning from war. I have what the Lord equipped me with...a listening ear, words of encouragement, and leadership skills to name a few.

Recently I had the honor of being "called up" by the Lord to run to the aid of a hurting Marine vet who did 2 combat tours in Iraq. With a little faith, prayer, and the support from our church/Point Man group I am confident that the Chief Shepherd will lead our hurting Marine beside the still waters, restore his soul, and lead him in the paths of righteousness For His Name's Sake! (Psalm 23)

I can't thank you all enough for the posts. Your knowledge and experiences will definitely prove useful in helping this young warrior loosen his load of many burdens and allow for healing to begin.

However, I could still use any advice on how to keep encouraging and staying engaged with this young warrior without encroaching. I know how it was for me in the past...as soon as someone flashed a bible or mentioned Jesus I was out the door! Thankfully I'm not that same person today. Instead of running away from Him, I now run to Him.

In Christ,
Den
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:52 PM
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danausmc danausmc is offline
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Re: Generation gaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 177point5_Gunny View Post
Outstanding info here on these posts! Thank you all for contributing a wealth of knowledge. I'm a recently retired Marine who has not seen combat. And one of the biggest lies the Devil almost tricked me into believing is that I have nothing to offer these young warriors returning from war. I have what the Lord equipped me with...a listening ear, words of encouragement, and leadership skills to name a few.

Recently I had the honor of being "called up" by the Lord to run to the aid of a hurting Marine vet who did 2 combat tours in Iraq. With a little faith, prayer, and the support from our church/Point Man group I am confident that the Chief Shepherd will lead our hurting Marine beside the still waters, restore his soul, and lead him in the paths of righteousness For His Name's Sake! (Psalm 23)

I can't thank you all enough for the posts. Your knowledge and experiences will definitely prove useful in helping this young warrior loosen his load of many burdens and allow for healing to begin.
However, I could still use any advice on how to keep encouraging and staying engaged with this young warrior without encroaching. I know how it was for me in the past...as soon as someone flashed a bible or mentioned Jesus I was out the door! Thankfully I'm not that same person today. Instead of running away from Him, I now run to Him.[/FONT][/COLOR]

In Christ,
Den
Every once in awhile give him a call and meet him somewhere for coffee or maybe lunch or something. set a date and keep it. no matter what. your not checking up, your being a friend. If you look at your question and rephrase it as, how do you remain someone's friend....God has already given you those skills from childhood. Works for me Gunny.

Den, welcome to this board.....you have already contributed a lot.
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