Why did I make it home and Bill Didn’t

Posted on July 28, 2010


When I use the words him, his, men on this site I mean his/hers he/him/she and men/ women

One of the effects of PTSD is the “Why did I make it home and not Bill”. Now Bill has over 58,000 different names. I just used Bill.  No one effect of PTSD is any worse than another. Each one eats you from the inside out. It’s a haunting that doesn’t quit. For many, it builds and builds. For a lot of us, this starts long after our return home and for some it starts sooner. For most of the men and women, counseling of some type is absolutely necessary. The biggest problem here is many won’t seek the counseling. Some because they don’t believe they need the help and others because they don’t want that label of being a ” that crazy Vietnam Vet”.

When in a war situation, strong bonds are made. You must be able to trust everyone around you but at the same time there are certain others that you form a special bond with. That person that you can talk to with ease. That person who saved your life. It doesn’t make any difference why that special bond was formed it just was. Then one day that person gets shot and dies. You may act tough and try not to show it but deep inside it begins to eat you up. Then you go back home. You start to think about this person and the pain returns. You begin to think about his young wife or husband and child or his parents. You begin to think that his parents loved him more than yours loved you. It’s probably not true but that is the way you see it. You begin to grieve for his wife/husband and child or his/her parents. You know how much they miss him. You know how much you miss him. You just know that they had more to live for than you. It continues to build and build.

Some are lucky enough to seek and get help. It may be through the Psychology people or a religious leader. Either way is better than the alternative. The alternative comes in one of two forms. You completely lose you gripe on life or you commit suicide. Don’t let this eat you up or someone you know. A friend can encourage a friend to seek help by reassuring him that he needs to talk to someone and that this is just a natural response to a terrible situation.You don’t want to even mention “it’s not that you are crazy”.

Don’t let the “Why Me” totally destroy your life or that of someone you know. In order to honor the brave men and women we must live our lives to the fullest. Let us reach out to others in need. Let us finish our day by telling these brave men and women that we did something for them today. Do something to honor his memory. Write a story about him to be published in his hometown newspaper. Give your wife and children a hug and let them know that you are glad to have them in your life.