Veteran Tears

I finally got some sleep.  I took a double dosage of Benadryl.  I watched a show on a new channel called Viceland.  It was Weediquette, and the story was about veterans using cannabis to treat PTSD.  I probably should have changed the channel, as this is a touchy topic for me.  Fortunately, it was done well, and they didn’t include any graphic war scenes.  The show still got to me, though.  PTSD sucks so much.  It’s such a horrible thief.  It tries to rob you of everything, and is unrelenting.  It’s invisible, and it has only one goal:  To end you.  It’s as if the traumas that lead to PTSD were meant to kill you, and your survival was a fluke that left you in a tortured limbo.  It holds you there and attacks you from every direction until you somehow find a way exist despite your new status, or you take your own life.

It sucks.  But the worst part is that PTSD has existed forever. It’s had other names, but it hasn’t changed since the first war or life threatening trauma.  But in 2016, they still don’t know how to treat it successfully.  That’s not wholly true.  They know cannabis helps us survive PTSD.  They being the government.  The government doesn’t care that 22 veterans commit suicide every single day.  The VA doesn’t care that 22 veterans commit suicide every single day.  But the price of oil is down, and some rich people got a lot richer from government war contracts.  We are expendable.

I wrote a poem after watching the show.

The March of Tears

They say you will adapt to this radical lifestyle.
Freedom is at stake. You won’t see home for a while.
Shoot the targets. Throw the grenades.
Learn new skills. March in parades.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. America is at war.

Travel to your new duty station.
Make some friends in this new location.
Run PT. Eat some chow. Press your uniform. Shine your boots.
Bivouac. Requalify. Go on leave. Revisit your roots.
Left, 2, 3 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Now it’s time to go to war.

POM board, shots. Phone home and make a will.
Verify equipment. This time it’s not a drill.
You volunteered to fight, and you may even die.
Try not to remember that you’re fighting for a lie.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. It’s your duty to fight this war.

Your friends are dead! Your friends are dead!
Your truck blew up! Then the enemy fled.
You’re injured and can fight no longer.
What didn’t kill you did not make you stronger.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. What the hell are we fighting for?

Your body heals but leaves some scars.
You spend most nights looking up at the stars.
You’re finally home, but nothing goes right.
You’re constantly triggered into fight or flight.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. PTSD forevermore.

Here’s a pill, there’s a pill. Will these bring your life back?
The sacrifice is over, but in your mind you’re still under attack!
You’re still a soldier in your heart. You have the desire to survive.
But the nightmares and flashbacks make it impossible to thrive.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. PTSD is the invisible scar in your core.

Take some pills. Go to support group.
Try not to think about how you were duped.
Make the effort to adjust to civilian life.
Get a job or go to school. Just ignore the strife.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Life isn’t worth the pain anymore.

The VA treats you like a naughty child.
You’re not crazy! Fuck off! PTSD isn’t mild!
You want dignity, and you’re on your last thread.
These pills make things worse. You’d rather be dead.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Suicide would end this internal war.

Fuck the VA! They don’t care about you.
The number of suicides per day is twenty-two!
You’d like to try using cannabis for PTSD medication.
But your country won’t repair it’s misclassification.
Left, 2, 3, 4. Terrorists are at the door.
Left, 2, 3, 4. No one cares about the real cost of war.

Military

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