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A veteran from Iraq

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Mark Dohle: It was one of those wonderful Georgia days in mid-February, which resembled more a day in spring than one in the middle of winter. Bright sun, no clouds in the sky, a wind yes, but not very cold; just a very nice, slightly bracing day, mood elevating, just like spring. I got off at the Turner Hill exit here in Conyers, Ga.; it is the turn off for Stonecrest Mall. It is a large mall, which is like all the others and has a great many stores that have grown up around it. I was on my way to Sam’s. As I was driving up, I saw a man sitting at the stop light, and I could see his sign from way back. Now there are three places that I have chosen to give money if I see someone there asking for help. These places are far from downtown, so hopefully most of them are really in need. In any case I think I give more for myself than for those who are asking. Why; you may ask? Well speaking only for myself, I feel that it would in some way harm me, if I on a daily basis passed by those in need without giving anything. I just notice them too strongly to pass all of them by. Besides outside of Atlanta, they are not that common, not actually rare, but not at every other stop sign.

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Posted (edited)

Mark Dohle: It was one of those wonderful Georgia days in mid-February, which resembled more a day in spring than one in the middle of winter. Bright sun, no clouds in the sky, a wind yes, but not very cold; just a very nice, slightly bracing day, mood elevating, just like spring. I got off at the Turner Hill exit here in Conyers, Ga.; it is the turn off for Stonecrest Mall. It is a large mall, which is like all the others and has a great many stores that have grown up around it. I was on my way to Sam's. As I was driving up, I saw a man sitting at the stop light, and I could see his sign from way back. Now there are three places that I have chosen to give money if I see someone there asking for help. These places are far from downtown, so hopefully most of them are really in need. In any case I think I give more for myself than for those who are asking. Why; you may ask? Well speaking only for myself, I feel that it would in some way harm me, if I on a daily basis passed by those in need without giving anything. I just notice them too strongly to pass all of them by. Besides outside of Atlanta, they are not that common, not actually rare, but not at every other stop sign.

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Well said. I will not give money but if I see someone with a sign that they are hungry, I will swing into a local fast food and get him or her a meal and ride by to hand it to them. It is just the right thing to do, speaking for myself. None of us can save the world but I can help in my small way. Great read by the way.

Edited by Robbie333

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Posted (edited)

Mark Dohle: It was one of those wonderful Georgia days in mid-February, which resembled more a day in spring than one in the middle of winter. Bright sun, no clouds in the sky, a wind yes, but not very cold; just a very nice, slightly bracing day, mood elevating, just like spring. I got off at the Turner Hill exit here in Conyers, Ga.; it is the turn off for Stonecrest Mall. It is a large mall, which is like all the others and has a great many stores that have grown up around it. I was on my way to Sam's. As I was driving up, I saw a man sitting at the stop light, and I could see his sign from way back. Now there are three places that I have chosen to give money if I see someone there asking for help. These places are far from downtown, so hopefully most of them are really in need. In any case I think I give more for myself than for those who are asking. Why; you may ask? Well speaking only for myself, I feel that it would in some way harm me, if I on a daily basis passed by those in need without giving anything. I just notice them too strongly to pass all of them by. Besides outside of Atlanta, they are not that common, not actually rare, but not at every other stop sign.

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I attempted to avoid this for a while and just write a swift reply but... I am a retired soldier and have seen--much. Forgiving is a start for the healing. Forgeting takes time. For me I can forget in hours but still get haunted by a smell, taste, weather or a site. Every time I forget something reminds me. Dreams shake me awake and I relive the bad for days and sometimes months. I think a soldier whom has witness so much horror learns either to deal with it or not. It depends on the personality. My son is struggling with two tours in Iraq and we help each other. You are right about something else. We as soldiers deal with a lot but in my years I have seen the "locals" suffer much too. Men, women and children -civilians--very much. It is sad. Nature helps me many times when I get into my funks, at least it works for me. Have a good life my friend and lend a helping hand when you can. God Bless.

http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

Edited by Robbie333

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Posted (edited)

I attempted to avoid this for a while and just write a swift reply but... I am a retired soldier and have seen--much. Forgiving is a start for the healing. Forgeting takes time. For me I can forget in hours but still get haunted by a smell, taste, weather or a site. Every time I forget something reminds me. Dreams shake me awake and I relive the bad for days and sometimes months. I think a soldier whom has witness so much horror learns either to deal with it or not. It depends on the personality. My son is struggling with two tours in Iraq and we help each other. You are right about something else. We as soldiers deal with a lot but in my years I have seen the "locals" suffer much too. Men, women and children -civilians--very much. It is sad. Nature helps me many times when I get into my funks, at least it works for me. Have a good life my friend and lend a helping hand when you can. God Bless.

http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

Thank you Robbie for both of your comments. Yes, we all go through it, but the fact that you yourself have gone through so much allows your to have deep empathy for the suffering that we all go through. I hope your son does well, I have a niece that is also going through a lot of emotional upheaval since her tour in 2003.

Thanks for the Web site. Have you heard of EMDR (http://www.emdr.com/)? I may be on the site you sent me....I will go through.

Peace and thanks

Mark

Edited by markdohle

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Thank you Robbie for both of your comments. Yes, we all go through it, but the fact that you yourself have gone through so much allows your to have deep empathy for the suffering that we all go through. I hope your son does well, I have a niece that is also going through a lot of emotional upheaval since her tour in 2003.

Thanks for the Web site. Have you heard of EMDR (http://www.emdr.com/)? I may be on the site you sent me....I will go through.

Peace and thanks

Mark

You are welcome and yes, Peace.

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I attempted to avoid this for a while and just write a swift reply but... I am a retired soldier and have seen--much. Forgiving is a start for the healing. Forgeting takes time. For me I can forget in hours but still get haunted by a smell, taste, weather or a site. Every time I forget something reminds me. Dreams shake me awake and I relive the bad for days and sometimes months. I think a soldier whom has witness so much horror learns either to deal with it or not. It depends on the personality. My son is struggling with two tours in Iraq and we help each other. You are right about something else. We as soldiers deal with a lot but in my years I have seen the "locals" suffer much too. Men, women and children -civilians--very much. It is sad. Nature helps me many times when I get into my funks, at least it works for me. Have a good life my friend and lend a helping hand when you can. God Bless.

http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm

For me, the hardest part was finally admitting to myself that it was time to let go. That took quite a while and sometimes I still have a difficult time. Realizing what we have gone through and the fact that it is over and in the past is not an easy task but it is pivitol in forward progress. Also realizing that this process was going to take a long time (im still going through it) was another of the hardest things. In your mind you just want it to be over, you want the nightmares and day dreams to stop, you want to sleep when you lay down at night. You also want to feel included with things going on around you, but by living in the past you are alienating yourself from everything else. Once you can start living in the present you have to start forming a new mind set, a new life in essence, another hard task but doable for most of us. Strive to create new lasting memories and SHARE your experiences... holding them in is no way to live and by sharing them openly you will be suprised as to how much it helps you let go... Just my two cents...

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For me, the hardest part was finally admitting to myself that it was time to let go. That took quite a while and sometimes I still have a difficult time. Realizing what we have gone through and the fact that it is over and in the past is not an easy task but it is pivitol in forward progress. Also realizing that this process was going to take a long time (im still going through it) was another of the hardest things. In your mind you just want it to be over, you want the nightmares and day dreams to stop, you want to sleep when you lay down at night. You also want to feel included with things going on around you, but by living in the past you are alienating yourself from everything else. Once you can start living in the present you have to start forming a new mind set, a new life in essence, another hard task but doable for most of us. Strive to create new lasting memories and SHARE your experiences... holding them in is no way to live and by sharing them openly you will be suprised as to how much it helps you let go... Just my two cents...

Peace

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Not many nights are passed without the nightmares of my tours of duties coming back to wake me,night sweats leaving my side of the bed wet,Memories of the faces trying to kill me or the faces that were what was left from my actions. Some times waking, crying for the friends that never made it back with me,The nightmare of making it back without a scratch while some wont walk again bothers me to ask why.I feel lucky to have survived 4 tours .I feel for my fellow brothers who when they make it back the war still rages on in their minds and souls.I know their pain,I've seen too much.

Peace is hard to find these days but I try,And knowing that what I did for this country helps a little but it is knowing my family loves me is what helps the most.Our fellow Vets who have lost their way deserve everything we can do for them,I for one pray for their peace.I am but one of the lucky ones,nothing else.

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Not many nights are passed without the nightmares of my tours of duties coming back to wake me,night sweats leaving my side of the bed wet,Memories of the faces trying to kill me or the faces that were what was left from my actions. Some times waking, crying for the friends that never made it back with me,The nightmare of making it back without a scratch while some wont walk again bothers me to ask why.I feel lucky to have survived 4 tours .I feel for my fellow brothers who when they make it back the war still rages on in their minds and souls.I know their pain,I've seen too much.

Peace is hard to find these days but I try,And knowing that what I did for this country helps a little but it is knowing my family loves me is what helps the most.Our fellow Vets who have lost their way deserve everything we can do for them,I for one pray for their peace.I am but one of the lucky ones,nothing else.

I got orders for Viet Nam, but then they were cancelled. I had two brothers over there already. In the 60's it was against government policy for more than one member of a family to be in a war zone, I had two. Robert was in the Air Force, he is ok. David, well not so good. He came back different and never got back to normal.

Thank you for sharing, and yes like you, I pray for all of them as well. We pay a heavy price for our wars, the highest is after our men and women come home. Oh Yes, I have a niece who was in Iraq, she also saw too much for a 20 year old to see....though she seems to be getting better.

peace

mark

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I got orders for Viet Nam, but then they were cancelled. I had two brothers over there already. In the 60's it was against government policy for more than one member of a family to be in a war zone, I had two. Robert was in the Air Force, he is ok. David, well not so good. He came back different and never got back to normal.

Thank you for sharing, and yes like you, I pray for all of them as well. We pay a heavy price for our wars, the highest is after our men and women come home. Oh Yes, I have a niece who was in Iraq, she also saw too much for a 20 year old to see....though she seems to be getting better.

peace

mark

I am now in my 44th year of life,I wanted to be a life long Marine,To be proud to know that at a moments whim I would gladly give my life for this country,Only to be taken down by Diabetes .I am glad your orders were cancelled and feel for your Brother David,I dont think anyone who came back from Nam ever really came back normal,I lost an Uncle there and he is the only Diaz on the Memorial wall in Dallas,every Year at the Texas State Fair we go see his name and Even though I did not know him for he died when I was little it touches me very deeply,His memory has carried on from the stories my grandfather"GOD REST HIS SOUL" told me,He was a very brave ,kind,and loving man who would give the shirt off his back to those that needed it,"Only the good die young" my grandfather used to say.I come from a long line of military men,All served proudly.I pray that your niece comes to term with the bitter hell that War is,nothing good ever comes from killing your fellow man.Im just happy and proud that she came home to a loving family that is there for her in her lowest of times. My family laughs at me because I have this love for life that they hadn't seen in me ,Like the time at the State fair I walked up to Larry the Cable Guy and didn't know who he was and he handed me this fried cookie dough and after I had taken a bite he asked me if I knew what it was and he said it was a fried cow turd and then the next thing I know It was on TV and all my family and friends were asking me how fried cow turd was ,That was the first time I was on Tv,It happened last year,You might be able to catch it on Tv the episode where he does Texas fried foods ,Not many people know what I look like and for some reason it bothered me to be shown on Tv,It kinda reminded me of the reporters and media hounds that spotted the ground during the Gulf war,sticking their noses in things that they had no reason to.I used to break their cameras if they got to close to me,many an Eye was punched.anyway my mind floats away sometimes but what can I do,LOL May peace come to you and yours.

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Sad piece, but true. I was touched by all of those who shared.

doug

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