Sometimes these things just don’t go away. Whether it is waiting at a red light and a random image from days gone by flashes past or sitting in the doctor’s office trying to explain why I get so angry some of the time. After all, how does one successfully convey what I did in Iraq and Afghanistan when the majority of people only get their information from the crooked mainstream media?
War sucks. It really, truly sucks. I missed plenty of birthdays, holidays, vacations, significant moments while I was playing in the sandbox. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I volunteered and there was vengeance required after 9/11. Still, there will always be a hollow part of me wondering how much different life would be for me if I had never volunteered to go to Afghanistan in 2002. By the time my 3 tour of duty was finished in early 2006 I completely forgot my own birthday- and it was the day before we were rotating out of Camp Victory, Kuwait from doing a year in Baghdad.
Thank you for your service. Thank you for all who served. We owe a debt that can’t be repaid. War is hell, an old saw, but true. The nightmares never go away, the pain, anger, survivor’s guilt, the little things that trigger memories, as you said. There is no way to thank those who served or are serving, except by treating them in the best manner possible.