Sometimes we don't understand an experience until we have actually lived through it. Being part of a PTSD/TBI family is the same way. No, our soldiers did not make the ultimate sacrifice and we are thankful for that. We did lose a part of them over there, though. As my son's own commander said to me, we become their “battle buddies here at home”.
What does that mean? If you are living with a combat veteran who has PTSD or a TBI, you already know. The war does not end for them. Spouses and children are discovering that every day. There's another family member who also lives through this: the parent. Many of our soldiers are still teenagers who never left home before basic training. My son went to war at the age of nineteen. He spent his 20th birthday in Iraq.
Before joining the Army, my son was literally called by many different people “the perfect child”. No, he wasn't perfect, none of us are, but he and his brother and sister were perfect for me. He was well-liked, caring, a protective big brother and older son. I was a single mom but very happy with the life and kids that I had been given.
My son's nightmares began even as he was still in Iraq. During his surprise two-week leave home, he shared with me and a friend one nightmare in particular. He would be driving a humvee. The Tigris River was on one side. Innocent Iraqi civilians on the other. In front of him was the enemy. In his humvee? His younger brother and sister. He woke up shaking and screaming and yes, wondering what choice he made. All he could think about was checking on his siblings.
Submitted by Monica Newton. Monica is the mother of a combat veteran who will be writing often for our Monday Momisms. We are very honored to have her as a part of FOV and look forward to the posts that she shares!
We look forward to having any mother of a service member write to us from their perspective of the military life and experiences. If you are a mother of a combat veteran, we would feel honored for you to write in to us and share your story. Or, if you are a combat veteran or married to one, please share this information. Please feel free to email me at anytime if you would like to contribute or for any other reasons.
FOV Communications Liaison