All of my PTSD
All of my PTSD comes from casualty notifications.
The opening of the door.
The big smiles.
The “come on in” and the obvious nervousness of disbelief.
The pretending that this isnt happening.
The deadpan face.
“Last night your son was…”
“Yesterday your daughter was…”
The collected family members in shock.
The panicked ones screaming.
The little ones confused.
A few days later you’re holding some grown man in your dress blues while he watches a casket come out of a plane.
You cant sleep that night, either.
The next morning you are back in your Blues, a blur of words from some cookie-cutter religious person in front of a crowd, a few you recognize.
It’s hot and you are sweating and just want to go home.
March, pivot, kneel, here is your flag for your dead kid.
“On behalf of the president of the United States and the commandant of the Marine Corps, please accept this…”
Stand around on display.
A little girl recognizes me from her house when I told them her brother died and wants to know why I killed him.
I didnt even know your brother.
They tell me he was my brother.
I think about my kids.
The drive home is quiet.
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