Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PTSD, What is it?

PTSD, What is it? Vol 1

by Chaotic Ramblings
December 07, 2006 10:24 AM EST (Updated: December 09, 2006 11:13 AM EST)
comments: 11

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a panic disorder caused by experiencing something traumatic. Some examples of trauma are: rape, WAR, car wrecks, 9/11, abuse and much more. For some people, this trauma takes over their lives; waking and sleeping. Suddenly, their lives change because they smell a certain scent, hear someone's voice or find themselves in an environment similar to the one where they experienced the trauma. These experiences then set off a chain of events: flashbacks, actual reliving of the trauma, overwhelming feelings of danger and panic attacks. People that suffer from PTSD never really know what will set it off; it could be anything and happen anywhere. Little by little, PTSD sufferers start to cut themselves off from persons, places and things that might cause a flashback and before they know it, they have cut themselves off from everyone and everything.

National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder definition of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop Severe PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Special Thanks To: Chaotic Ramblings
WAMarine---Semper Fi

What's Your Take On This?
Do You Know Someone With PTSD?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Postwar Psychological Trauma Insight

A Long time ago in a land far away, I went to war for LBJ. Nearly three million of us served in that country Vietnam. We returned with a lot of broken parts and Purple Hearts. For those who have not seen, No explanation is possible. For those who have seen, No explanation is necessary.
I’m very proud of “Doc” McFall; he was able to reveal with plain, graphic words, ‘combat conditions,’ as they were. He has laid it out for even nonmilitary folk to understand, especially for those not touched by the Vietnam War. More importantly, he provides an insight into the plight of those of us who suffer from PTSD.

Thank you my Brother for sharing your story, the misery of war as well as its aftermath—the mental hardship of death and destruction, the nightmares and flashbacks with vivid intrusive and suicidal thoughts. You opened up your soul, exposing your human feelings, the agony of postwar psychological trauma. We pray for you, your recovery, your loving and caring wife Jessica, and your renewed relationship with God (“Big Ernie”, to us ‘Nam Vets).

E. Everett is a survivor who keeps on keeping on, a Marine who does not know the how to give up. “I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even in My Sleep” is a Journey out of the Darkness of Hell into the Light of Hope and Recovery. It’s also a Journey of Possibility and Healing from the Horrors of War, to God’s Victory and Peace of Mind.

“Doc McFall,” YOUR BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ALL! Keep on writing, my Brother!
Keep the Faith, just let the past go, and let God handle it! In the end, “Heaven Will Bless.”
"Love You Brother, Welcome Home…"

Semper Fi
Pfc. Jay E. Keck, Machine Gunner
Vietnam Veteran Class of 1966-67
Echo 2/7 1st Marine Division Aka: http://www.vietnambogeyman.com/

Saturday, October 27, 2007

If You Suffer From PTSD, U_R_Not Alone!

Book Review
By Ed Evans

“I Can Still Hear Their Cries – Even In My Sleep; A Journey Into PTSD," By E. Everett McFall. Published by Outskirts Press, Inc. 60 pages. Softcover.

Having been on the receiving end of the marvels of Naval medicine, by "Corpsman" in the Republic of South Vietnam, the title of “Doc” is sacred to me, as it is to so many Marines.

The first thing you need to know about his book of mixed narrative and poetry... you will know from the subtitle, “Even In My Sleep – A Journey Into PTSD.” For many of us Marines, it’s important you know that before you start reading. As I got into the book, I could feel myself drifting toward the edge of the cliff. It doesn't take much to put many of us right back into yesterday; sights, sounds, the whistle of incoming mortars, the crunch as they hit, the cold sweats.

There’s an old joke about two Marines talking about Vietnam. One asks the other, “When you were you there?” The other responds, “Last night.” Yeah.

This book is Doc McFall’s journey, as the title says, into PTSD. The liner info on him reads, in part, “After 40 years, over 44 jobs, three failed marriages, and five years of psychological therapy, E. Everett McFall is now a full time student at the Indiana University Northwest.”
His book is a series of bread crumbs showing the way back out. With the help of many others, he found a way, and the book shares that. If you suffer from PTSD, if you think you’ve learned how to handle it, if you have friends or family members who are “still on their way home,” this might be the book that lets them know they aren’t alone.

Dr. Regina V. Jones, a professor at Indiana University Northwest, has said of this book, “…a cathartic work that takes a reader into the torment and pain of a Vietnam War veteran who, through poetry and prose, provides a reader with a shocking sensory insight into life as a Marine Corpsman and a surviving veteran.”
What she writes is valid, but civilians will never get to the level of understanding that this book will bring to any Marine who reads it. Below that level you can’t explain it. At that level, you don’t need to. Rated as FiveStars.

Ed Evans served the Marine Corps from 1959 to 1986 as a Marine Combat Correspondent and Photojournalist. At his home in Nashville, Tennessee, he is involved in a number of Marine and veterans organizations. He is also Pastor of Donelson Christian Church.

Ed EvansMGySgt., USMC (Ret.)Not as lean, not as mean, but still a Marine. http://community.webshots.com/user/photo8069 http://donelsonchristianchurch.orgPUT AMERICA FIRST! Stop being a good Democrat. Stop being a good Republican. Start being a good American.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Does Depression Hurt?

In the Military, Too often it was taught, drilled and instilled in us that 'Real Men Don't Cry.' We can never allow ourselves to be emoitonaly weak. We were trained to be strong, resilient and always tough it out. That's what a real warrior does, is it not? Well, Not always. Sometimes Men who have been subjected to traumatic events under combat conditions have flashbacks of those events.

The mind replays sights and sounds permanently recorded and stored within its memory bank. These intrusive thoughts can occur at night ( as nightmares) or as flashbacks during the waking hours. They can be "Triggered" by any stimuli of our sensory system: certain sounds, visual objects/places, smells and even taste. Most Vietnam Veterans have unfavorable responses to loud noises, crowds, wooded and or forest areas. The Iraqi Veteran also has to deal with desert sand, alley-ways, and house to house urban dwellings.

Depression can occur when the memory of death of a fellow Marine(s) /Soldier(s) returns and haunts us, or lingers for days on end. Sometimes he / or she will wonder why God sparred them...Thus they will feel a mental burden called SURVIVORS GUILT. These depressive states are now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short. Thousands of us have it. We are Burdened by the PAIN. We argue spontaneously, we are temperamental, we sulk/self isolate ourselves, and Yes-WE CRY. Wouldn't You?

What is your opinion?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Stress Management?
This Current War?

Friday, October 19, 2007


By E. Everett McFall

By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
An Amazon Top Ten Reviewer
A Corpsman's Response to The Vietnam War: Sequelae, October 13, 2007

E. Everett McFall offers his own tragedies and illness and gradual recovery from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the result of giving medical aid to the living and the dead during his tour of duty in Vietnam, 1966/1967. Responding to a therapist's advice to commit the unspeakable experiences to a written journal was the impetus to launch his slow and terrifying road to recovery, a journey that in his own words persists to this day.

The results of that initial journal are here in this collection of thoughts, reflections and poems he has appropriately titled I CAN STILL HEAR THEIR CRIES EVEN IN MY SLEEP: A Journey Into PTSD. It is a book that would be well for all of us to read and experience as, despite the horrendous accounts of war's disabling effects on the human mind, it is also one of the books that will be considered a retrospective first in the exploration of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - a 'new' disease state dramatically brought to light by the experiences of Vietnam Vets.

McFall may not be trained as a poet, but he is more than sophisticated as a communicator. Few people who did not serve on a battlefield have an appreciation for the task assigned to Medics or Corpsmen, young lads whose expected life span in country was counted in days rather than in years. These are the 'field docs' who ministered to the wounded, salvaged those they could, and assisted the physicians in assimilating ‘matching’ body parts after mine and grenade and yet larger explosions threw disassembled arms, legs, torsos, feet, etc far from the point of 'enemy engagement', in order to ship the remains to the soldiers' families back home. How any Corpsman could escape psychic damage from such unrelenting trauma is impossible and McFall sensitively expresses the sights, the sounds, the odors, and the tragic aftermath of such an existence.

These poems are raw, difficult to read without a visceral response, but at the same time they demonstrate how at least one survivor, however injured by that experience, was able to revisit that time through poems and mark a path to gradual recovery. McFall generously adds to his book appendices such as 'Tips for Vets and Families Who are Managing Stress' and a 'Veterans Resource Guide and Directory', additions that make this sensitive book as much a gift to the war-experienced reader as it is a gift to the world of poetry. This is a book of courage, survival, and hope - and one well worth the attention of a wide audience.

Grady Harp, October 07

Monday, October 8, 2007

MARINES-Together We Served- OOH Rah!

Do You Know What USMC Means?


The synonym USMC stands for the United States Marine Corps, which is recognized as one of the premier combat forces in the world. The USMC is a branch of the U.S. military responsible for providing power projection from the sea, utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces to global crises. Alongside the U.S. Navy, the USMC operates under the United States Department of the Navy.

Originally organized as the Continental Marines in 1775 as naval infantry, the USMC has evolved its mission with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. Owing to the availability of Marines at sea, the USMC has served in every American armed conflict including the Revolutionary War.

To find out about the USMC, one of the premier combat forces in the world, and also to have the opportunity of keeping in touch with colleagues, log on to the http:/marines.togetherweserved.com website. TogetherWeServed.com is a unique, feature-rich resource helping Marines stay faithful to the Brotherhood of the Corps. This is a place where Marines can re-connect with lost Brothers, share memories and tell their own Marine story.
USMC Homepage

What do you think???
Please feel free to leave a comment!!!
Got your copy of I Can Still Hear Their Cries, Even in My Sleep, yet???

Thursday, October 4, 2007

DANCING WITH DEATH, a combat ritual

Enemy in the valley, Midnight attack they mount,
Enemy in the valley, Too many to count.
Enemy in the valley, As far as one can see
VC in the valley, They want to kill me.

Foxtrot 6 to H.Q. –Come In
Fire mission! Fire mission, over,
Broken Arrow--Broken Arrow,
Fire mission! Fire mission , over,
“Scorched Earth” 10 minutes non-stop
Zappers in our lines, Position is overrun,
Can’t hold, can’t hold, “It” must be done,
Fire mission! Fire mission, over.

H.Q. to Foxtrot 6, confirm your last…
“Broken Arrow – Broken Arrow”.
Pour it ALL, all on top of us,
Napalm, High Explosives & Phosphorus.
Roger that! Foxtrot 6, tango’s in your house,
Dig in tails down, HELL is on the way.
Firing for effect, so hold your breath
Time to go dancing, Dancing with Death!

Trees and People explode like Popcorn
Screaming flaming darting Silhouettes,
Stomach churning, from Napalm Burning
Wood and charred bar-b-que’d Flesh.
Smoldering humanity, such Insanity
Pungent chemicals: super heated Acid,
Mixtures of 10 w 40 & High Octane set aflame
Rolling Soapy Thunder, igniting perpetual pain.
Infernal Inhaled, we struggle for Breath,
It's a Combat Ritual of Dancing With DEATH.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

PTSD -103 part 2

Almost 3 million Americans came to South Vietnam during it's decades of war. Some were active combatants, others were rear echelon or support forces. (more on that later.) Not everyone fired their weapons or engaged the enemy. However the enemy made his / her presence known whenever they felt like it.

There were things that some of us saw that would sicken even the most moral upright citizen, not to mention that we participated in or witnessed things, or at least had knowledge of-that which would be a violation of criminal laws of any civilized community. After all we were at WAR. We were young, we were trained to be skilled professional assassins, killers, and mentally motivated to; Adapt, improvise, and overcome. We were trained to do whatever it took to get the job done.

Unfortunately, when we came home, we came "Home" to an anti-war minded, unsympathetic, unsupportive public who openly expressed their contempt for us, as if We had started the WAR. The people, here stateside, whose freedoms we believed we were defending, expected these killers of men, women, and children to "act normal" once we returned. After all,"you are not in the jungle or rice paddies now, boy." Define NORMAL.

Those painful memories, flashbacks, nightmares of the carnage-human life lost and the brutality against humanity, far exceeded the normal threshold of Sanity. "Oh, He's just having a little trouble adjusting to being back here in the real world.'' Sarcastically we were told, it's just a little "Shell Shock, it will go away in time."

***News Flash!!! Every Sound, Action, Thought, Visual Stimuli, Feeling, and Smell is permanently recorded-stored in our mind... Killing is not Normal. Watching your friends die, is not Normal. Smelling decayed, rotting human flesh is not Normal. Inhaling charcoal black skin and bones from bodies burnt beyond recognition certainly anit Normal either.

It has a name; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ---Google it for some interesting reading.