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7326Re: I need some advice

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  • Charles P. Arnold
    May 1, 2007
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      --- In Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan"
      <pierceheart@...> wrote:
      > Occasionally, you end up as "the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five
      > wooden planks," with "overgrown frat-boy behavior". Saturday night
      was a case of drunk dialing. Had a dinner party with witchy friends.
      In fact, another devotee of the Morrigan. And when I'm playing host,
      the "undry cauldron" is a very apt description for how I pour drinks.
      And, as Charles remembers (maybe) from my days at the 'Wick, I can
      sometime go way over-board. I usually do this no more than three,
      four times a year. Saturday night was rough. Brought up issues that,
      you know what? really only bug me when i get maudlin stupid drunk.

      One day I'll tell you what happened at The Green Mountain Diner after
      Danny's closed (brother-in-law took me out for my birthday and I
      killed a bottle of Armagnac, a couple of Alabama Mudslides, a few
      Slammers and one or two somethingelses). That is a night I am not
      especially proud of and not just because I barfed all over the table
      at the restaurant.

      But what this does say is that there are some underlying issues that
      you have to deal with and deal with soon before they start coming out
      at other times.

      > There wasn't jack shite my going out on more patrols would have
      done to prevent any of our soldiers from dying.


      > What it DID do, and you can argue with me til you're blue in the
      face, I know what my counseling sessions said - it painted me as
      being extremely risk-avoidant.

      That is another way of saying "pro-survival," and not as gung-ho as
      all those butter bars and 1st Loouees who came into country and
      immediately decided that they wanted to lead their squads into combat
      without having a clue. It's a wonder what a hand grenade (if you
      believe in giving a warning) next to your face can tell you.

      > We were a brigade headquarters, logisticians. Outside of mainline
      combat troops and pilots, we had some of the highest casualty rates:
      we run truck drivers.

      Hey, that is because you guys didn't use what we learned in Vietnam
      about how to equip trucks for protection and offense.

      > Our S3 regularly went out on about one patrol per week. He felt,
      and I can't say I disagree, that we, as a staff, need to not get used
      to sitting in the TOC watching the war on a screen. Not when we are
      advising and controlling the units out on the roads. He was an O-5,
      Lieutenant Colonel, quartermaster/aviation, who refused to take off
      his cav sabers from back in the days of being with GarryOwen. He'd
      run with convoys, up in the "tea cup" on the back of HMMWV or FMTV,
      behind a SAW or .50 with some young PFC.

      Gutsy, SOB. He lead from in front and that way he learned the reality
      of the situation and the men learned about him.

      > Why? So the troops knew he was taking the same risks. I don't know
      if that's the right thing or not.

      For him, definitely. But were you the S-3? Did you have the same
      responsibilities? Or was your job more specific in its

      > But I know HE thought it, I know our Commander thought it, I know
      many of our NCO's thought it.

      So you felt guilted into doing it too?

      > I didn't do that. Sometimes it bugs me. I've been to the Vet
      Centers. I stopped going once I got a fulltime job again, partly
      because my free time is very little: I'm full time as an Army
      Contractor, drilling one weekend a month (HAH!) as a commander, two
      girlfriends, two masonic Lodge (those are being dropped from my
      list), and work as one of four officiants in a Trad circle. With my
      copious free time I had before the full time job, even then, I missed
      shite, did do things, lost track of time and tasks, and felt guilty
      for it. Going to counseling helped with that. Occasionally we talked
      abouot survivors' guilt. I'm still here, still doing what I do, and
      nothing changes that. Feeling sad over having lost people, some of
      who I started to get to know, well, that's normal.

      That's about par for the course.

      > Occasionally getting shitfaced, and it all welling up, well, that's
      normal too, isn't it?

      Normal? For a problem that hasn't been dealt with, yes.
      Look, I couldn't even deal with the fact that I had a problem until
      around 1995, more than 25 years after I got back to the world. Yeah,
      I knew there was something; I even went to a shrink at Ft. Bragg but
      he sent me to group counselling with a bunch of Army wives who drank
      too much, whose husbands beat them and who beat their children, an a
      Military Intelligence agent assigned to the group specifically to
      hear what I might have to say. I quit after a month, swallowed
      everything, and ignored, ignored, ignored. And look at what it has
      done to me, not getting the help I needed when I needed it. I'm
      nasty, sarcastic, confrontational, have an incredibly sick sense of
      humor, have periods of serious depression and, if I wasn't very
      careful, would go back to drugs and alcohol and lose the life I have

      > thanks for all the well wishes and advice. I'm doing okay,
      especially now that the hangover is gone.

      Well wishes? I was kicking you in the head!
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