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Old 06-01-2004, 12:03 PM   #1
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Friend coming home from Iraq

Hey, all...
I have a friend who will be coming home from Iraq within the next month. I'm thrilled that he's coming back, of course, after having been wounded last April and then watching 4 of his best friends die in combat this past spring. He's said that his injuries from the first time around have healed and his shin is better after having taken a bullet...

...but he's already mentioned PTSD. Watching his friends die, having their grey matter on his camo...their blood on his hands. Even from what he's said so far I know it's going to be a long road for him.

My question is this: What do I do to be the best possible friend I can be to him. What are the best things I can do for him? Obviously I'll listen whenever he wants to talk. But should I ask him about things to let him know that I'm willing to listen or should I wait for him to say something? I've known him since middle school and one of the only ones to still actively see how he is. So any suggestions? Also, what should I expect him to be like when he comes back? I'm sure every case is different, but any insights are appreciated. Thanks.

 
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: Friend coming home from Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuEstrellita
Hey, all...
I have a friend who will be coming home from Iraq within the next month. I'm thrilled that he's coming back, of course, after having been wounded last April and then watching 4 of his best friends die in combat this past spring. He's said that his injuries from the first time around have healed and his shin is better after having taken a bullet...

...but he's already mentioned PTSD. Watching his friends die, having their grey matter on his camo...their blood on his hands. Even from what he's said so far I know it's going to be a long road for him.

My question is this: What do I do to be the best possible friend I can be to him. What are the best things I can do for him? Obviously I'll listen whenever he wants to talk. But should I ask him about things to let him know that I'm willing to listen or should I wait for him to say something? I've known him since middle school and one of the only ones to still actively see how he is. So any suggestions? Also, what should I expect him to be like when he comes back? I'm sure every case is different, but any insights are appreciated. Thanks.
Hi there. My brother served in Nam and suffered PTSD as I do too. I would let him talk when he wants to, don't try to drive anything out of him. I don't know if he had any therapy over there or not, but I would suggest he get into a program asap. Will anything happen to him? I doubt it, but I also don't know if he's having any flashbacks right now. The sooner he gets therapy, the better! Trust me! When my brother came home from Nam, this is what he should have had, he had reoccurence dreams after another. Sometimes he was pretty scarey when he slept. He also walked in his sleep, something he did anyways as a kid. My brother died almost 4 months ago from kidney failure due to Diabetes he got from Agent Orange over in Nam. And I do not think highly at all of the VA Hospitals. They could have handled the ulcer in his foot better and they didn't which led him to be over-antibioticed and it was downhill from there. Then they stuck him a VA Hospital that had no diaylsis machine. Can you believe that? Then they wanted to transfer him, get rid of him when he was at his most critical condition. He didn't even last 20 minutes outside of the hospital in an ambulance on his way up to me in Chicago. I was so traumatized by his death! Anyways, better your friend seeks therapy asap. Good Luck!

Andrea

 
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: Friend coming home from Iraq

Thanks for your reply - I'm also not thrilled with the way Jim was treated after his first incident in Iraq. You'd think that if he'd tried to join the Marines almost deaf in one ear with schrapnel still in his leg, they wouldn't let him in, but they have no problem sending him back over there like that. Really...it's terrible.

The scariest thing for me was that he used to talk about going to Iraq as being in the place he loved, doing the job he loved. After his friends died right in front of him he started talking about waiting for his opportunity to kill again...eventually he just seemed depressed every time we talked.

It was a more meaningful Memorial Day knowing that I easily could have been mourning his loss the past few years.

 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: Friend coming home from Iraq

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuEstrellita
Thanks for your reply - I'm also not thrilled with the way Jim was treated after his first incident in Iraq. You'd think that if he'd tried to join the Marines almost deaf in one ear with schrapnel still in his leg, they wouldn't let him in, but they have no problem sending him back over there like that. Really...it's terrible.

The scariest thing for me was that he used to talk about going to Iraq as being in the place he loved, doing the job he loved. After his friends died right in front of him he started talking about waiting for his opportunity to kill again...eventually he just seemed depressed every time we talked.

It was a more meaningful Memorial Day knowing that I easily could have been mourning his loss the past few years.
War is ugly! There are no winners! Everyone is a loser in war! All that participate suffer and all who watch suffer and all who are innocent bystanders, suffer! Be patient with him. Understand what he has witnessed in front of his very own eyes. But the best thing for him would be therapy.

Andrea

 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: Friend coming home from Iraq

I'm sorry, I got involved, I saw the damage in my brother with war. The most important thing you can do for Jim is to support him. It's too late to moan over the war, just support him, it will leave him less confused about what he is doing over there and of course what he originally went over to Iraq for. Hope this helps.

Andrea

 
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