Monday, October 12, 2015

Binding Sense of Brotherhood

Military friendships, losses remain deep, profound
October 11, 2015

The military veteran's experience is intense, emotional, personal, therefore unforgettable.
The authors participated in the recent Honor Flight to war memorials. Paschal Baute, right, who served off and on from 1948 to 1972 with all four military branches, mostly as a Navy chaplain, is now chaplain to the Lexington Blind Veterans Chapter. Charlie Eyer was a medical lab tech with the 121st Evacuation Hospital near Seoul, South Korea.

Through training of all sorts, one arrives at a binding sense of brotherhood. Combat and the memories of lost brothers magnify the intensity.

"Never have I felt as close to my wife or kids as I did with my brothers in combat," confided one Vietnam veteran. There is nothing like this sense of closeness in civilian life.

Thus, for veterans a loneliness in civilian life is inescapable, which no civilian can understand. This may be one reason there are so many suicides of veterans today. The emotional transition is hugely challenging.

Research shows the disconnect is so strong it can be buried for 30 years and then emerge as post-traumatic stress disorder, as happened with one Vietnam veteran friend.
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