Saturday, November 21, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - 11/11/67




A Bronze Star V-necked my true love's chest,
Lodestar phantoms counsel R&R.
An attitude adjustment at a nations behest,  
Now nameless anxiety is the invisible scar. 

A Purple Heart tattooed Vengeful Psyche -
Lingering static stifles sobriety's light.  
An Orgasm is a thunder strike,
Naivety in love is an SOS, Right?

A Silver Star shines Villinously luminescent -
Lonely foolish children suck a solitary thumb.
And Love is California effervescent 
Now that Daddy daydreams in Kingdom Come.

A Medal of Honor Vivisected a soldier's neck - 
Lost on point in a rice paddy in Viet Nam
A splash down in a pungi pit -  a bitter reality check. 
Never forget is the epithet of this cryptogram.

Submitted By: Wife of a Vietnam Veteran


This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - Different




To My Brandon, 

              I can't believe we have been married for almost 11yrs now. We have been through so much 15 years you serving raising four children. I still close my eyes and see the man who seen something different in me. When we met I was a single mother of two kids. Raising them on my own. Their real father walked out and it was just me. I began  to believe it would always be just me. No one would ever see me as anything other than a girl with two kids. I met you thinking he will be the same as everyone else no different. I was so wrong you came into my life and really seen me for me. I remember being terrified of you I just couldn't understand the warmth of your heart and the gentleness of you. I had never met someone like you. I always knew you were different. We dated for a month and you stepped up and took my kids as your own. I just was so amazed wow is this real. You asked me to marry you on my son's birthday. Which I never saw coming after a little over a month. But I knew you were different and I said yes. I was definitely a little  scared because then we got word you would deploy but it was a chance worth taking. After your second deployment I could tell you where not yourself and it scared me. You became so angry and shielded from me and the kids. I tried to talk to you but you wouldn't let me in. But I knew who you really were so I tried to always understand. But after years of fights and you trying to take your life I knew things were not OK. You realized you needed help and got counseling for PTSD. It was not easy for either one of us but I knew we had to do this to save you and me. We have come so far together and I realize every day how much I need you in my life because without you I would be different. You are such an amazing person and have so much to give I am so great full you picked me to grow old with. I love you and honor you and will always be by your side. You have faced PTSD and not let it over come us and because of that we are so different we are stronger.

Submitted By: Proud Wife of a Veteran


This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - Love My Husband





I love my husband with all my heart and sometimes I feel like I can't go on. He is so mean to me, and I don't understand. I  am not allowed to get sick because that is when PTSD really shows up. Like now I am having real bad headaches and pain running down behind my left ear also my neck hurts so bad at times I just want to cry. I am supposed to be resting until I can see the neurologist next week but he acts like he doesn't care, if anything gets done in the home I have to do it, he doesn't take care of paying the bills and if I don't get them done he gets so mean. I am afraid to say anything at all at times and I feel like I am walking on egg shells and they are going to crack at any time and set him off. When he is sick I take care of him but it is not that way when I am sick I take of myself. Everyone at Church thinks that he does take care of me but I don't say anything to anyone. I got real bad at Church Sunday and couldn't keep my balance and he got mad at me I think some of the members saw the way he was acting but I could not help it. It is like he is ashamed of me, but I have got to try and hold on no matter how bad it gets because I do love him and I will take care of him as long as I can.

Submitted By: The Wife of a Veteran


This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - My Hero, My love




Dear Michael,

  I wanted to let you know just how much you have touched my life. There are no words to say just how affected my life is by your presence. I have never met anyone like you before and I can't imagine my life without you in it. My heart has been healed from past damage, I have someone to look up to, to lean on when needed. You have been there when I've needed you the most and help my hand through touch times. When my world was thrown upside down, you were the one who was there, giving me strength to even move forward. I know that you believe you don't deserve all you have but you really do. You have seen the worst in this world and I can only give you a little color and peace. I only have my heart to offer you and my time. I will always be there when you need me. I can only pray that this continues on the path we are on now. I love you more each day. The more I spend time with you the more I learn that love is patient and kind and that there is hope for true love !
after all. 

With all my heart,

Jennifer


This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - One last commitment March 2012 An ode to my friend





See you Again.
March 2012- Copperas Cove , Texas

As I sit on the porch of the beautiful log cabin house in which my buddy and his wife chose for its uniqueness, and in the house in which he made a permanent decision to end the pain, regret and agony from the numerous combat deployments. I find myself staring at the flag pole with the American flag waving so beautifully. It was only week ago that he was sitting here in the same chair drinking his favorite beer watching his son attempt to ride his bike for the first time. It was in this vary spot in which he and his wife would build their yard to such beauty that it truly belonged in a magazine.

But these temporary thoughts were oh so fleeting. I kept staring at that flag waving and placed my head in my hands once again and wondered how I can honor this man. This contemplation coupled with tears from a grown man crying over his friend was about to find a solution. As I leaned back in the wooden rocker chair, I glanced over at the table to my right. Standing tall and upright is one of the things that a soldier would always call his friend. Mr. Vodka, and lo and behold Mr. Cigarette. Not really the greatest choice of friends, but they will do. Mr. Vodka albeit the nasty orange flavored kind spoke to me in a way that no other inanimate object ever has spoken to me. It was as if I was Alice in Wonderland or Neo from the Matrix or pick whatever movie where the Protagonist has a decision to make that will affect the rest of their lives.

As I lit that cigarette I spun that cap off that bottle of vodka and put it to my lips. I only paused for 2 seconds and contemplated if I could polish off the rest of the bottle of vodka with about half left. I being a former soldier still had that mentality of Ill take that hill and see whats on the other side.  I knew from my prior run-ins with getting smashed into the wall by alcohol.  I calculated that I had about 6 minutes until I was fried. Now those 6 minutes I had were crucial and would lead me to make a vow and honor my friend in the process.

After downing that half a bottle of orange vodka I put the cigarette back in my mouth and stood up and made my way to the flag pole.  No sooner have I stepped foot off the porch I started to cry so uncontrollably on this inside that my guts went into violent vibration mode. I felt like throwing up. Not yet because of the vodka but because doing this final task would signify that my friend is truly gone. I had to catch myself and lean against the pole for support. With the cigarette in my mouth I unhooked that flag lowering line and brought that flag which used to stand for freedom now stood for mourning as I lowered it to half-mast.  I tied that line back to the pole and took 4 steps backward, took the cigarette out of my mouth with my left hand and raised my salute slowly and so perfectly with my right hand that my basic training drill sergeant would have been proud. I completed for the first time a perfect about face with military style and precision and went back to that !
wooden chair.

I finished that cigarette and by the time that I found my pack of them I realized I have a few minutes before the bus would hit me. I lit another cigarette up and leaned back and made a vow to myself. That vow was and is as important to me as the Hippocratic Oath is to doctors. I vowed that no matter how bad things would ever get in my head, that I would never permanently erase with a bullet the agony, pain and regret from being a soldier.

After pausing to reflect on that commitment I knew I was already on my way to alcohol intoxication. I stumbled thru the doorway and up the stairs to where my buddy shot himself and wanted to take one last look at his shrine to the good times he and I had together. There we were in Colorado, training for combat and at the same time trying to grow a completely ridiculous bushy mustache. As my last nod to my friend I placed my head against that photo and cried out loud. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you, please forgive me!  After a few moments of uncontrollable reflection I realized I couldn't stop sobbing and made my way to pray at the porcelain god we call a toilet. As I very clumsily collapsed on the floor and unintentionally banged my head on the throne, I knew I would not only purge myself of all the toxins from my physical body, I would also purge and clean out my mental bank account and declare bankruptcy  so I could start anew.

Submitted By:  A promise to my battle buddy to honor him with love and respect

This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love Letter Campaign - In your Granddaughter's Eyes




Grandpa,

Throughout my life you have always been there, supportive and loving. And although I don't see you much I wanted to share what you have always meant to me and how I have come to see what you mean in my life. 

Before I was ever born or dreamed up you became a part of my life. Stepping in as a father to my mom and her brothers and as a husband to my grandma when the stresses and horrors of, I believe, the Vietnam War took its toll on my (biological) grandpa. You carried with you your own experiences and picked up the pieces of a broken family and made them whole again, giving young children a father and, eventually, this girl someone to look up to and love. 

I don't know much of anything about you're service in the Korean War but the passion and pride you have in your eyes when you have talked to me about your time in the Army makes me smile even just to think about. As time has gone on I have come to realize how much your memories, love, and support mean to me. But I what you may not realize is the passion you have inspired in me. You, as well as my other family members that have served, have left me a legacy that I want to carry on. You, all of you, have inspired me to want to serve my country. While it may not be in the Army and while it may not end up being Active Duty I know that I would have your full support and that you may even be proud of me. 

To tell you all of this and the full extent of what you mean to me in person probably wouldn't come out like this above. I would start to tear up and cry at the thought of what you mean to me and from there on it would become jumbled mess of words that probably wouldn't make much sense, hence the letter that doesn't even convey how much you mean to me and how much I love you.

I know that I have could easily just thanked you for your service to our beloved country and left this letter at that but that just doesn't do justice to what I wanted to say. Being the only grandpa in my life you have had an enormous impact and I don't know how different my life would have been without you (and, quite frankly, I don't want to know). I am so blessed and lucky to have a grandpa as great as you. So in your granddaughter's eyes you are one in a billion. You are brave, courageous, inspiring, loving, and so much more. In my eyes you have inspired me to be my best always and you have been one of my biggest motivators all of my life, even though you don't know it. 

Maybe I have written this in the wrong place, as this is supposed to be a love letter but I do love you, grandpa, and I wanted to share what you have meant to me. So to close, in your granddaughter's eyes you are all I could want to be in many aspects. I hope one day I am as brave and strong as you were in service to your country and still are through your health problems. I hope to be as loving and understanding in all situations I encounter in my life. I hope to be as supportive as you have been for me and I hope that the passions you have inspired in me show through and inspire those around me.

I love you and thank you for your service,

Your granddaughter


*I write this letter anonymously as I wish the focus to be on the feelings and emotions that the brave people in my life have created.


This blog post is part of The Love Letter Campaign... a project started by FamilyOfaVet.com to encourage those who love a hero to write a letter sharing their story (where they started, what they've faced together, and why their love endures). It's not just for spouses, but also for parents, siblings, caregivers, and friends. It's about telling the "rest" of our stories... stories that continue despite PTSD, TBI, and the challenges of life after combat. To share your love letter or find out more about the campaign, visit http://www.familyofavet.com/love_letters.html.