The Conversation About War and Our Veterans We Refuse to Have
Benjamin Sledge

Benjamine, I served in the USAF as a pararescueman. I have maintained that PTSD has to do with what you describe, the disconnect between the duties of the soldier and the personal ethics of that individual. Hearing it from you confirms what I have thought for quite some time. I was lucky, in that our mission, “These things we do, that others may live,” fit perfectly with my personal ethics. I therefore came back without the types of PTSD that others silently suffered. Saying that, my coming home was not pleasant. No one wanted to hear what I and we had accomplished in Vietnam, and so after leaving the service there was no one to talk to. Going back to college was interesting, as I was usually the only one with service experience, and it showed when I re-enlisted in the USAF Reserves to continue my rescue work, but in keeping my hair rather short. So even those who have no PTSD from their experiences, have a difficult time re-entering normal life in the USA. These are some of the things we need to work on.

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