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Profile James Sotherden
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Message 1464933 - Posted: 16 Jan 2014, 8:30:15 UTC

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In WW1 it was called Shell Shock, In WW2 they called it Battle fatique. Its mostly applied to veterans who have seen combat, And rightly so. But it also affects others who have been in a situation where things have gone terribley wrong.

The purpose on my starting this is not to define what PTSD is, Or argue who has it or who dosent. Its to tell your story. I have found that most people dont talk about it because of shame. And when they do the other person cant relate because they havent been there or done that. I believe that the American legion after WW1 was formed for and by Vets just so they could talk to other Vets.

So this thread is for all those who suffer who need to finally get it out in the open.

I enlisted in 1972 in the Air Force. My AFSC was 57170. Fire protection specialist. A fancy word for I was a crash and rescue fireman. I got out in 1980.

I am not a Veit Nam vet Nor have I ever seen combat. Im just an era vet.

But we had a T33 trainer crash in 1976 at At Tyndall AFB in Fla. That I cannot get out on my memory. One pilot died when he ejected in the wrong direction. the other lived long enough to try to get away from the burning wreckage by crawling on his elbows with no leggs. And the smell was well if you have ever smelled burnt flesh you will never forget it.

I was also a volunteer fireman for close to 20 years. I have many more things Id rather not think about.
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Message 1464941 - Posted: 16 Jan 2014, 9:47:28 UTC

Thanx for opening this thread James:) Except from the accident i've had some difficulties when I was 6 years old with my second stephfather. I even don't want to name the word right now. Still difficult to talk about it now but maybe this thread might help.
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Message 1465005 - Posted: 16 Jan 2014, 13:23:23 UTC

Thank you for opining this thread James.
First let's have a short prayer for those
who are not here to read this and be helped.
PTSD has been afflicting more than just servicemen
over the years. It is a big concern in the
protective services industry as well.
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Message 1465191 - Posted: 16 Jan 2014, 21:17:27 UTC - in response to Message 1464933.
Last modified: 16 Jan 2014, 21:17:41 UTC

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In WW1 it was called Shell Shock, In WW2 they called it Battle fatique.

Frank Burns called a patient with it a slugnutty.

Humor aside, MASH did deal with the subject on a few occasions. I suppose I'm lucky that's about all I know about it.

Well, that's not entirely true. I think the entire United States had it after 9/11/2001. School shootings also cause small reactions, because I work in a school, but the reactions seem to be smaller every time.
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Message 1465248 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 0:42:45 UTC

I can relate to what James went through with the plane crash. I've been the first on scene for a couple of car wrecks with friends and shipmates injured - thank God no one died. Also had a few close calls with 500 VAC, and an episode on my first boat at deep depth, but that is still classified.

Couple years ago, we had a special event for local veterans awarded the Silver Star and other medals of Valor. The Guest Speaker was Col Richard Crandall, USA Retired, Medal of Honor Awardee from Viet Nam (Ia Drang Valley, read We Were Soldiers Once, and Young). His wife had died several years earlier, and he noted that anyone who had lost a loved one probably had a touch of PTS. Having been present when both my parents departed, I agree.
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Message 1465300 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 4:32:08 UTC

Since I left the Air Force in 1979 I have from time to time
helped former servicemen and people from the law enforcement
side of things. I know some of what they are dealing
with, and helping them helps me with my demons.
We all experience life in our own way, and we all deal with
it in our own way. I think it is right to help others if you
can.....
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Message 1465311 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 5:46:58 UTC

I have found that talking to others that have had the same expierance Is a big help. After that crash we had all the guys to talk things over. Plus we had the civilians who had been thru what we had seen numerous times. They we great at telling us what we were feeling is normal. Not nice by any means but a normal response to terrible things. we had quite a few who were Korean combat vets. Same goes for when I was a volunteer fire fighter. We had a house fire, When we got to the scene fire was coming out of every window. There were still two kids inside. I saw guys run in trying to save them only to come back out with there gear smoking it was so hot. I found the 5 year old girl on our second entry. She was the same age as my youngets daughter at the time. As we were going in another team was coming out. We had to hug the wall. Thats when I stepped on something that didnt feel right. Visibilty was so bad you could barley see your hand a foot away from your face mask. I dropped to my knees and shinned a light and knew I found a body. Im just glad she was face down. I dont think I could have handled it if I has seen her face. I had vivid nightmares for two weeks, And coulnt sleep very well for another month. And I still feel guilty for stepping on her. But beacuse she was tight up to the wall, And the other team coming out that was why she was found.
Her and her older brother died in that fire. They were long gone before we even got to the scene. The first floor hallway where she was, Was shooting flames out the front door. I cant even think about the horror she must have felt.
And I dont want to die in a fire. But I was a fire fighter anyway so I could stop that from happening to others.
Sorry for the long post. This is the one I needed to tell.
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Message 1465390 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 14:43:47 UTC - in response to Message 1465311.

And I dont want to die in a fire. But I was a fire fighter anyway so I could stop that from happening to others.
Sorry for the long post. This is the one I needed to tell.

Wow. Fire was one of my biggest fears as a kid. They showed us a movie about it in school and it scared me for years, gave me nightmares. I suppose that's PTSD too, but nothing like yours. I'll be lucky if I don't have a bad dream or two after reading your story.

(And yet, despite all that fear of fire, I didn't understand why my mother reacted the way she did when I started my mattress smoldering with a hot light bulb, reading in bed under the covers. She dragged it out of the house before the fire department even got there.) (At least I learned how hot light bulbs get.)
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Message 1465491 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 18:48:35 UTC
Last modified: 17 Jan 2014, 18:51:40 UTC

I have no right to be on this thread...
never faced anything ironic...
never went through a trauma...
no nervous breakdowns ever...
never broke a bone...
not a single stitch on my body...
never been mistreated...

cannot be more than happy for myself n thank god for it...

but when I see meet talk to others suffering through something like this,

all my happiness withers away in moments,
n instead of thanking god, I protest n complain..

it is just unfair that a few souls have to go through all the distress,
why is it that I was given all the happiness, and others had to bear all the pain...

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Message 1465494 - Posted: 17 Jan 2014, 18:52:27 UTC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqDc83CBQUQ
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Profile James Sotherden
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Message 1465633 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 6:35:37 UTC - in response to Message 1465491.
Last modified: 18 Jan 2014, 6:36:45 UTC

I have no right to be on this thread...
never faced anything ironic...
never went through a trauma...
no nervous breakdowns ever...
never broke a bone...
not a single stitch on my body...
never been mistreated...

cannot be more than happy for myself n thank god for it...

but when I see meet talk to others suffering through something like this,

all my happiness withers away in moments,
n instead of thanking god, I protest n complain..

it is just unfair that a few souls have to go through all the distress,
why is it that I was given all the happiness, and others had to bear all the pain...

Its not all gloom. I am very happy with my life. Sure Ive had some ups and downs in the personal side of my life. And what ive seen on the first responder side wasnt all bad either. I cant say how good it feels when somebody your givng CPR to who comes back.Or finding a lost kid in the woods. Or a home owner whos house you just saved from total destruction comes up to you and says thank you, But you guys were crazy for going in there. There have also been some funny as hell moments to. At my first AF base. Otis AFB on Cape Cod. We had a peson who was pulling fire alarms. One day the guy we sent to the chowhall in a 4 wheel drive truck we used for standing by when aircraft were being refuled. Well he had just picked up our chow, And it was in metal canisters to keep it hot, When the call came in. He was right next to the building when he saw the guy run out and head into the golf couse that was right next to the barracks he pulled the alarm in. Well the guy we sent for chow followed him onto the guld course. It had just rained so it was slippery as all get out. He tore the hell out of one of the greens and a good portion of the fairway, But he got his man. needless to say are food went flying and was a mess when he got back. But as he was telling us he was laughing his ass off. He said he never had so much fun in his life. He was worried that he might get a re[rimand for tearing the course up,But in fact the base commander gave him a commendation. That was in 1973 and I still get a chuckle when I think of that.
The good far outways the bad things.

As I look back on my life. Id say so far its pretty darn good.
____________

Old James

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Message 1465752 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 13:18:21 UTC

Very nice to see a pragmatic and positive attitude. Sadly not all people can manage that. I think that anyone that is prepared to open up about things are survivors by nature, and they will be OK.

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Message 1465847 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 17:42:35 UTC - in response to Message 1465491.
Last modified: 18 Jan 2014, 18:01:18 UTC

I have no right to be in this thread.....

Sure you do. You may not have had things hapen to you, but when you hear the stories of others, you react, in ways that are not necessarily helpful. Perhaps you will learn something about dealing with those reactions.

it is just unfair that a few souls have to go through all the distress,
why is it that I was given all the happiness, and others had to bear all the pain...

But life, by definition, is NOT FAIR. And no matter how hard we try, we cannot make it fair. Bad things happen to everybody, but some seem to get more than others. That's the way it is, and we deal with it the best we can.

I can't cite chapter and verse, but there are several places in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures where God promises he will never burden us with more difficulty than we can handle. I sometimes joke that there are days I wish HE didn't have so much faith in ME, which usually gets a laugh from the person I'm trying to cheer up.

But HE also provides help when we need it, we just have to ask. Sometimes that help comes directly from Him, sometimes he uses others. There are times when I get this tingling feeling at the back of my neck, and then a thought pops into my mind, and I reach for the phone or go see somebody and ......

Or I'm sitting in the bar at the FRA or VFW Club, or the Vets hall, and somebody near me needs to talk about something, so I listen. And ask questions. And maybe tell some of my stories, and how I coped. And when we're done, we both feel better, or at least a little less bad. That's one of the reasons Veterans Service Organizations like the American Legion and the VFW were formed - to give war vets a place to go and be with people who had Been There and Done That, too. We helped each other survive the battle, we help each other survive after the battle.
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Donald
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Profile James Sotherden
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Message 1466006 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 1:36:49 UTC

Donalds post is correct. Vets have helped each other. Ive have been lucky to have know a few WW1 vets and quite a few WW2 vets. As I enlisted in 72 Of course Ive know many Viet Nam vets. A few Gulf war 1 vets, And a few Iraq war vets.( My youngest daughter is one of them along with a cousin of mine who was a combat medic )
A common theme between all of them they rarely talk about seeing the elephant with outsiders. And that just doesnt happen with veterans. We have a guy at work whos really disliked a lot. I dont even care for him. But being a former volunteer myself when he talks about something bad hes seen I can relate 100%. Ive been in his shoes,And its my duty to a brother to listen and then give him my thoughts. By listening maybe it can help me also.

Maybe its me, But I do notice that when folks talk about what they have seen to another person who has seen the same. Its like a code. A combination of emotion, voice inflection, hand gestures and innuendo. I know that dosent make any sense at all. My wife has asked me a few times, What were you talking about with your friend.
____________

Old James

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Message 1466062 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 4:19:39 UTC - in response to Message 1465633.

I have no right to be on this thread...
never faced anything ironic...
never went through a trauma...
no nervous breakdowns ever...
never broke a bone...
not a single stitch on my body...
never been mistreated...

cannot be more than happy for myself n thank god for it...

but when I see meet talk to others suffering through something like this,

all my happiness withers away in moments,
n instead of thanking god, I protest n complain..

it is just unfair that a few souls have to go through all the distress,
why is it that I was given all the happiness, and others had to bear all the pain...

Its not all gloom. I am very happy with my life. Sure Ive had some ups and downs in the personal side of my life. And what ive seen on the first responder side wasnt all bad either. I cant say how good it feels when somebody your givng CPR to who comes back.Or finding a lost kid in the woods. Or a home owner whos house you just saved from total destruction comes up to you and says thank you, But you guys were crazy for going in there. There have also been some funny as hell moments to. At my first AF base. Otis AFB on Cape Cod. We had a peson who was pulling fire alarms. One day the guy we sent to the chowhall in a 4 wheel drive truck we used for standing by when aircraft were being refuled. Well he had just picked up our chow, And it was in metal canisters to keep it hot, When the call came in. He was right next to the building when he saw the guy run out and head into the golf couse that was right next to the barracks he pulled the alarm in. Well the guy we sent for chow followed him onto the guld course. It had just rained so it was slippery as all get out. He tore the hell out of one of the greens and a good portion of the fairway, But he got his man. needless to say are food went flying and was a mess when he got back. But as he was telling us he was laughing his ass off. He said he never had so much fun in his life. He was worried that he might get a re[rimand for tearing the course up,But in fact the base commander gave him a commendation. That was in 1973 and I still get a chuckle when I think of that.
The good far outways the bad things.

As I look back on my life. Id say so far its pretty darn good.

When I was in Junior High, we discovered that the Fire Department could get to the school faster than one of could run from the Gym to the front office. The fire alarm pulls were of the sort that had the little glass rod with a wire in it. We were playing basketball in gym class when one shot at the basket was blocked, bounced off the backboard, and the next stop was the glass rod in the fire alarm pull, leaving all of us standing around like idiots for a half a minute or so until the coach told one of us to run to the front office to tell what happened. The fire trucks were there first. The next week, the fire alarm pulls in the gym were replaced with the sort that you had to pull a door out of the way, then break a glass rod...
____________


BOINC WIKI

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Message 1466101 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 7:00:04 UTC - in response to Message 1466006.

Maybe its me, But I do notice that when folks talk about what they have seen to another person who has seen the same. Its like a code. A combination of emotion, voice inflection, hand gestures and innuendo. I know that doesn't make any sense at all. My wife has asked me a few times, What were you talking about with your friend.

No, James, it's not just you. Having shared the experience, we share similar emotions and reactions, and describe them using similar language. I've seen it with my fellow vets, and I've also seen it with police and firefighters, too. Each group has their own slang and code phrases, but the message still comes through when talking about similar experiences. At first it can seem like a foreign language, but if you listen, you pick up the key phrases, and then it makes sense.
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Donald
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Profile Donald L. Johnson
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Message 1466105 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 7:11:15 UTC - in response to Message 1466006.

Donalds post is correct. Vets have helped each other. Ive have been lucky to have know a few WW1 vets and quite a few WW2 vets. As I enlisted in 72 Of course Ive know many Viet Nam vets. A few Gulf war 1 vets, And a few Iraq war vets. (My youngest daughter is one of them, along with a cousin of mine who was a combat medic)

A common theme between all of them they rarely talk about seeing the elephant with outsiders. And that just doesnt happen with veterans. We have a guy at work whos really disliked a lot. I dont even care for him. But being a former volunteer myself when he talks about something bad hes seen I can relate 100%. Ive been in his shoes,And its my duty to a brother to listen and then give him my thoughts. By listening maybe it can help me also.


Glad your daughter and cousin made it home. Hope they are doing well.

When I was a youngster, my Dad just about never talked about his WWII service. I didn't even know the names of the ships he was on until after I retired from teh Navy. He never joined a VSO, but some of his friends were also WWII and Korea vets. Once I'd been in the Navy for a few years, been to sea, and had a few stories of my own to tell, it became easier for Dad, and his friends, to talk about their experiences. I had joined the club, as it were.
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Message 1466165 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 11:31:16 UTC
Last modified: 19 Jan 2014, 11:39:39 UTC

My parents became good friends with a couple in the early 1950's in South London through their joint interest in English Country Dancing, and our two families regularly met up socially. The other chap had been a WWII rear gunner in Bombers over Germany, a "tail end charlie". I asked him a couple of times (aged 8) what it must have been like but he would never ever talk about it, and dad said not to ask him any more. I didn't understand then, I do now.

I don't know if this will be of any help but I'll offer it anyway PTSD

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Message 1466241 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 15:22:47 UTC

he would never ever talk about it,


That's normal. I first started talking about it after long sessions of therapy at a psychiatrist that ended up in me, breaking a few of the poor mans chairs and his cupboard. I was 22, 16 years after the facts. This shows how long it can take. Even my mom didn't really know for all those years because I hadn't told her. I always think she had a suspicion though. It's still is very hard to talk about it, but I gave it a place as I'm still trying to give Oonah's death a place.
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Message 1466244 - Posted: 19 Jan 2014, 15:29:41 UTC

Sounds something like the way it is dealt with here in Canada,
not well enough at all. If you listen to our politicians you
will come away with the idea that there is really no problem.
It is hurtful to see how the Vets are given the run around and
in the end not well served at all.
PTSD is a problem no one seems to want to pay for or even admit
that it exists.
____________

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