Ramblings Of An Infantryman - Kimber Forum


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Old 06-23-2018, 10:51 PM   #1
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Cool Ramblings Of An Infantryman

I received an email from my son on Thursday. It was fairly long for my son, who is not the world's greatest writer. His skills have improved over the years. I guess writing reports for the Army has provided plenty of opportunity to improve! He called it "Ramblings Of An Infantryman"!!

He grew up as a shy, somewhat withdrawn and quiet child. I taught him an honest work ethic, honor, responsibility and respect for women and authority. One of his joys as a youngster was blowing up toy soldiers, tanks, jeeps and trucks with fireworks!! (I let him do that under supervision.) He still does it, except that he now uses much more powerful stuff and gets paid to do it!!

Blowing claymore mines in Estonia 2016

Firing a $75,000 Javelin anti-tank missile in Estonia 2016. He blew up an obsolete heavy duty truck called a Husky with it.

As for the email he sent, I was quite touched and shocked by it. Here is an excerpt from it:

You have changed a lot over the years and so have I. We are both definitely different than when I lived with you.

But here is where I explain why I have changed so much. You don’t even realize how much I have changed in the last 10+ years. Don’t worry, most other people have not either. Because I hide it most of the time. But in the past 2 years I have decided that I am who I am and people can like it or not.

So this is why I have changed. Most of this you will have never heard from me. After two combat deployments I have grown not to trust most people. Only the ones that I hold close. I have been blown up, shot at, have watched friends die on and off the battlefield. I have patched up friends and had friends die in my arms. I deployed with 34 people to Afghanistan and now there are about 12 of us left. Most gone from suicide. I have experienced more death at 36 than most people would in 2 or 3 life times. But that is the hard part that I accept. It has gotten harder over the years. But that does not mean the Army is all bad. I have met some amazing people and gone amazing places all over the world. I have been places that I had never even heard of before I joined the Army.

My son has PTSD. Who wouldn't after all that? But he manages it well. He also pointed out that his Army life has provided him with a "strong wife" and "resilient children" (three--two daughters and a son who know what their father does for a living and they have adapted to it!!)

I stuck this in here to explain why I talk about my son and his service so much. I am proud as hell of him. And yes, YOU are welcome that he has sworn to lay down his life to protect you....the American people. He is giving his all to help Make America Great Again!!

In November, he will return to the states, from Germany, and report to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina to start his new assignment as a U.S. Army Drill Sergeant. Recruits could not have a better man train them!!!

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Last edited by Lineman; 06-28-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #2
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I thank him for his service.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:05 PM   #3
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Lineman, Thank your son again for his dedicated service. That day in November will be a great day when he is back in the USA.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:30 PM   #4
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Lineman, keep talking to him - he needs the companionship. Please send him my thanks for his service. I have two grandsons in the army. Actually one now as one came home early from Afghanistan with injuries. Fortunately he escaped from life threatening injuries. Over ten years of service. The other grandson started as a guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. He has moved on to things he says he can't discuss. Also over ten years of service. I truly appreciate the soldier in the Army.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:51 PM   #5
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GOD bless and keep him safe.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:42 PM   #6
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Keith, let me recommend (VERY highly!) two books -- you read them, and see if it helps you 'see' PTSD, and then, as you come to know your 'new' son, see if he might like to look them over.

This first -- amazing amazing amazing! Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma and the second -- even more amazing: In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.

There are a couple of YouTubes of Peter working with vets -- very moving/motivating. If YOU can come to see how the trauma is 'held' in the body, perhaps you can help your son see it -- and 'finish' it, which lets it go.

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity to heal as well as an intellectual spirit to harness this innate capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question - why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed. Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them.

I hate to ... bastardize ... my deeper understanding of his work, but I haven't time to write out a thesis! (I made Chico read it too -- I'm sure he can say he benefited.)

Levine starts with where and how he 'got' the idea; (his own car crash incident) and connected some AMAZING dots -- (again, I'm shorthanding and "bastardizing" -- read the whole thing!) If you look at the antelope who is chased by the lion... if he is lucky enough to get away, then he returns to the rest of the herd and goes back to eating, but he keeps, for example, shaking his skin and twitching and stomping a foot... This is PART of the (normal mammalian) recovery from a near-death experience.

We humans, on experiencing a near-death experience (or what feels like one) metaphorically run screaming from the PHYSIOLOGICAL after effects. We DON'T "shake it off" -- let the body burn through the adrenaline and other shock/fear/escape chemicals that enable mammals to escape and live -- and of course, for young guys pinned down by a sniper or pinned in place by an IED -- EVERY SINGLE CHEMICAL response in their body (PHYSIOLOGICAL, not specifically -- or rather -- separate FROM the mental/emotional!) says "run for your life!!" But, instead, our young (or old) guy has to lie exactly still, calculate where the sniper is, hold down his (entirely normal!) physiological responses, and hold his rifle still and steady to shoot back. He does not GET to 'finish' his BODY'S "run for your life" chemical storm. And, when the young guy gets back to 'his herd' -- when he SURVIVES the attack by the lion -- he forces down the physical responses that are the 'finishing' of a mammal having just escaped death.

Having NOT finished, the body keeps trying to bring it up to clear it, and we human choose to drug it so as to NOT let the body deal with the shaking and crying and twitching and general 'clearing' of the chemicals; or push it down harder (till it explodes: outwardly or towards self!).

So, when the guy gets back, and he finally can no longer 'hold it in' -- even if he GOES to the VA and a shrink -- all too often, the shrink wants him to rehearse and replay the 'bad' incident -- to re-release the shock/fear/escape chemicals he hasn't been able to finish before -- and then he's given "techniques" to NOT DEAL!

We moderns have a really BAD habit of assuming "it's all in our heads!" (<-- CHICO!! What do I keep yelling at you?!). Our BODIES are screaming for relief and help, and we stupid big-brained humans try to TALK ourselves out of it! (Imagine if you have Type 1 Diabetes -- can you TALK your pancreas into functioning again?!)

Anyway -- Levine is brilliant and I LOVE his stuff!! Recommend it very very highly! (He IS working with the VA, last I heard -- but he's one old guy, and there are many thousands of PTSD young folks!)
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:48 PM   #7
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Your son is in my agape' prayers.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:12 PM   #8
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As a former soldier, I salute him for serving his country.
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