Well written story on what happens to some of us when we get back from the war zone.
I'm leaving shortly to go back to Iraq for the third time but I didn't see one road side bomb, have to look at a weapon pointed in my eye or have to injure another human being. Did treat a lot of injured folk though and had rounds bounce off my aircraft but I didn't go out each day thinking that I could die at any minute. There were moments when I said Oh S#!$, like the RPG that blew up right in front of my aircraft and flying through the smoke or the first night in Iraq and we had that mortar attack on my first night in country (a first time for the base we were at).
My point is, I didn't go through what much of the ground guys did, yeah a shot here and there, some unexpect booms but my post traumatic scale has been pegged at a big fat 0 for quite a while. Not so for all the people in my shoes, many of my fellow sailors and Marines have turned into violent sleepers, see something on the side of the road and they veer across a couple of lanes of traffic and you almost feel them wanting to jump out of their skins or having a group of them have a scene like this. Their dreams act like positive reinforcement for each bad thing that happened to them or each horror that they saw and only time will tell how it will affect them for the rest of their lives.
There is a poll that was just released by Zogby International that says 72 percent of 944 troops deployed in Iraq say we should leave in 2006 (I'm not one of them), the percentage is higher for the reserves and National Guard 89 and 82 percent. While I think the number is a little high, I'm not entirely suprised at it. The numbers would probably be a bit different depending on which base you're at. This is the third trip over for some of the guys on the front line, almost getting blown up once is enough for most people, but they've had to do it daily for a year or two of their life, for a twenty one year old kid. That's 5 to 10 percent of his life spent dodging bullets, that's probably someone who's tired of coming over.
War isn't easy, specially for the us who have to fight it, but the military isn't a democracy. We go where we're told to go and try to do the best job we can. I still stand by the idea that pulling out quickly would be a bad idea.