by OPOVV, ©2017
(Sep. 4, 2017) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to yet another interesting episode of ‘Pulse of the Nation.’ Hello, I’m your Roving Reporter, and sitting across the desk from me is none other than Professor Zorkophsky, the prolific bestselling author with yet another book at the top of the list. Hello, Professor, and welcome to the show.”
“Glad to be here and, please, call me ‘Zork.’”
“’Zork’ it is. Looks like you’ve got yourself another blockbuster. Has Hollywood called you for a movie deal?”
“No; no. You misunderstood: the ‘bestseller’ part was true, but true only for the psychiatry textbook market, which is pretty limited, although I must admit I’m somewhat surprised that so many lay people are purchasing the book.”
“Well, you have to admit it reads as if it’s a novel, a novel in three parts.”
“That may be true, but it reads that way because the three characters are real people and the situations that are described are based on real events. Actually the stories are just about word-for-word, transcriptions of the sessions that I had with the three men.”
“Three men. I take it you’re talking about combat experience, but from what war and what’s the age of these men?”
“Hold on! You’re going too fast for me; one question at a time, please. The combat was in Vietnam between the years 1965 and 1970. One is Army and two are Navy.
“The ages of these men vary by six years. They were all enlisted; IQ’s above average and each became a leader of whatever group they were associated with. The Army guy had more long-term exposure; one of the Navy guys was the Captain of a patrol boat and the other Navy guy spent his time on a ship, except the time when he found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time, through no fault of his own.”
“Excuse me, but we’re up against a hard break. Got to pay the bills through a commercial break: “Forever Young” 4:06”
“The common denominator of the group was being shot at and shooting back; of being shot at and attacking; of being attacked and turning the tide of battle in their favor by exterminating whoever attacked them. These men don’t consider themselves war heroes and, to a man, view their combat decorations as one big joke. The only medal that they’re proud of is the Good Conduct Medal.”
“Interesting. So these young men got back to The World in the late 1960’s, is that correct?”
“And they all had PTSD?”
“And then they all drank, did drugs, didn’t trust anybody, and had an impossible time forming long-lasting relationships?”
“Anything else? Any other commonality among them?”
“The nightmares were what they were most afraid of. They were afraid to go to sleep; if they didn’t have a nightmare on a particular night that was no guarantee that they wouldn’t have one the following night. There was no talk of PTSD and the VA didn’t offer any help, unless it was a pill in a bottle, and when that was gone the VA didn’t refill the original prescription. A lot of Vets committed suicide because of the VA.
“Each of these men sat for hours through the night with a barrel of a gun in their mouths, and then the next day would go to school or go to work, only to repeat the scene the following night or, if not then, sometime in the near future for years, for decades.”
“Yes way. One of the Navy guys left his wife and kid because he thought they’d be better off without him. He made a grand sacrifice but that’s not how those on the outside looked at it. He ‘deserted’ his family but in reality he was falling down a hole he couldn’t crawl out of. The nightmares incapacitated him to the point of a destructive cycle that was out of his control.”
“The Army guy found his soul-mate but turned his back on her and walked away. She was on vacation and they met in Daytona Beach. After she got back to Cincinnati she moved out of her parents’ house, found an apartment, furnished it and enrolled him at the community college; got him a good, high-paying job working for her father; and then sent him a First Class airplane ticket (she was wealthy). So what did the Army guy do? Went to the airport and cashed in the ticket. Never wrote or talked to her. Just turned his back on her, which is typical behavior of the PTSD-afflicted.
“In the last chapter of your book you write about the social cost of PTSD.”
“The cost is lost lives, and not just for those affected directly with PTSD. The cost extends to drug use, lost productivity, wasted effort and time, and broken families; divorces; children raised without fathers. It affects us all; there’s no way that any American has not been affected directly by someone with PTSD.”
“Well, it sounds as if you wrote another well-researched and popular textbook. Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Roving.”
“And that does it for this episode and so, on behalf of the crew, I would like to wish all of you a goodnight: Goodnight.
“Good show. Hey, Zork, join us for burgers: my treat.”
“Like to get to Know You” 3:09