How PTSD Nearly Stole My Life

Haunted by Guilt and the Smells of Blood and Gunpowder

It has been 45 years since I returned to the U.S. from Vietnam. I was only 19, but the year I spent there made me feel like I had already lived 10 lifetimes. My family said, “Welcome Home,” but I have never fully come home.

Why do I still carry so much pain from that war? I have been told over 100 times: “Put it behind you and move on with your life.” But Vietnam hangs onto my innermost thoughts like a newborn to its mother’s warmth.

The friends I left behind …

Out of the Army—and Out of a Job

Military Drawdowns Overseas Mean More American Veterans Struggle to Find Meaningful Work at Home

As the military drawdown in Afghanistan continues, the United States will add an additional 80,000 veterans from the Army alone to the civilian workforce. This is on top of the …

The Next War

War’s a joke for me and you,
While we know such dreams are true.
–Siegfried Sassoon

Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death,–
Sat down and eaten with him, …

A Veteran’s Return

Visiting The Bench Where My Parents’ Future Began

I’ve been trying for years to write something about my mother’s bench in the waiting room at Union Station in Chicago. The bench where she sat and waited the day my …