Monday, December 20, 2010


Someone who is close to me recently returned from six or seven months of service as a Marine in Afghanistan. He drives trucks for the military.

Earlier this year, family members were informed he had been involved in an "incident," but they weren't given details. Today I learned a bit more about the nature of this event.

I wasn't surprised to learn that a truck he was driving hit an IED. He regained consciousness in a helicopter.

Physically, he's allegedly recovered. But now that he's stateside, he has terrible PTSD. He can't sleep or drive, and even riding in a car is apparently too much for him. He cries a lot.

What's his family's response to this? They're criticizing him for not being sufficiently masculine. They can't make the connections among the Bush-era anti-terror wars they supported, the crappy economy made worse by Bush administration policies, this guy's joining the Marines because he felt enlistment was his one ticket out of Hellmouth, Arizona, and the total shattering of his life because of his service in Afghanistan.

The family's proposed solution is that he accept Jesus and go back to Afghanistan like a real man.

Fuck you, conservative America.


the rebel lettriste said...

Oh, this is awful. The NYT has run a long and thoughtful series on PTSD and also on suicide in the military. Not that your loved one needs to read about suicide, but the series might be food for thought for asshole family members telling him to buck up.

Jesus won't make the flashbacks go away. But Jesus just might put an end to all war, and that'd be ideal in this situation...


Susan M said...

Holy shit. I'm so sorry for this young man. He'll be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for your loved one, I agree, that some education may be food for thought for his family members though. Sometimes family members do not understand the extent of mental aflictions until it is far too late. My prayers are with this young man as well.

Arbitrista said...

That is just terrible. What is wrong with people?

Anonymous said...

How horrible. That poor poor guy. He's already done so much.