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Re: [Pagan-Headstone-Campaign] I need some advice

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    Morgan, I ve read your letter and the posts in response to it. Some things stood out to me that I d like to share with you. 1) You have some very good friends
    Message 1 of 13 , May 1, 2007
      I've read your letter and the posts in response to it.  Some things stood out to me that I'd like to share with you.
      1) You have some very good friends who feel deeply about you.  That's important to remember.  Take some time to remember the things you're grateful for.
      2) These friends have been there and know exactly how you feel.  That's important, too.  They're not coming to you with a sense of pity.  Their empathy is because they've all been in your situation and they've survived it.  That means there's hope.  It means that there is a way out of this and they're willing to stand with you and share that hope and strength.  Take it.
      3) Now the hard one.  I don't know what path you follow, but I'll share something from my path (Norse) and hope it will help.  We honor our fallen warriors.  When a warrior falls in the line of duty, it often means that he was the greater warrior.  Odin gathers the greatest ones to Valhalla because he'll need them at Ragnarok.  You, in return, are honored that you had charge over such a great warrior.  Honor Matt and honor his memory.  Thank the gods that they recognized how important he IS and how nececessary he WILL BE in the final battle.  The act of thanksgiving is also very important to your own emotional health and sanity. 
      Ridha vit nu skullum
      Qvad in rikke Rigar
      Groena Heima godha
      Odni at segja
      At un mun alvaldr komma
      A han sjalfan at sja
      And now, let us ride
      Saith the children of Rig
      Across the green realms of the gods
      And say to Odin
      Behold a great king is coming to see him.
      Thank the gods.  Thank your Friends.
      Rev. Bradley Murphey

      Morgan <pierceheart@...> wrote:
      How do you deal with guilt?

      I flew a desk.
      I didn't fly it as well as I could have?
      I was a battle captain (I ran a TOC) for a logistics unit.
      I could have, I hadf the opportunity to go outside the wire more htan
      I di.

      What do I do?

      I had a dinner party tonight at my home, and I felt guilty, for Matt
      Stovall, Linda Tarago-griess, and all the other we left left behind.

      How do you deal with it? I COULD have gone out more often, and I
      chose not to.

      Because I was afraid of etting hit.

      ow do ou live with ourself, when you know you had the option of going
      out more, and you didn't, and, because of that you are alive, and they

      How do you deal with it? GVoddamnit, i feel guilty: I KNOW I DIDN'T
      give my utmost for their sacrifice.

      How do you deal with it?

      DO ANY OF YOU HAVE _ANY_ IDEA HOW GUILTY i feel gfor still being
      alive, as a battle captain, when I head the reports for alll of them
      not making it back alive, like Matt Stovall, whom I learned about two
      days before I went on leave to go to stones' rising at four quarters
      farm in Pa ... what made it him and not me that got killed: my
      cowardice. Somedays I wish I had gotten hit, and not my Broter Master
      Mason Matt Stovall... I earend it morE THAN HE, ONE TOUR IN bOSNI, nd
      no wife or family like he had ...

      Can any one of you, any f you, answer me, why am I still alive??????

      "First we take manhattan, then we take berlin."

      scared, drunk, and scared shiteless... .

      Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
      Check out new cars at Yahoo! Autos.

    • Charles P. Arnold
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 13 , May 1, 2007
        --- 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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