Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On the road again: a long trip, day 8
Silicon Valley, day 3

Today was work, work, and more work. Not much I can say about it.

My health continues to improve, though at a snail's pace. I'm fighting the coughing fits and slowly gaining ground, though tonight's minimal sleep will not help. (I hate getting up at four a.m.)

Because I have so little on which I can report aside from this blasted sickness, and because I'm bored to tears of that, I'm going to talk briefly again about PTSD sufferers in general and Dave in particular.

I've written many times before--and will no doubt write many times again--about the huge cost that trauma of certain types exacts from its victims. Veterans and abused kids are the particular groups I cover most often, because of my personal ties to and strong feelings about them--and because I am one of them.

At the risk of detracting from its mention in Dave's upcoming newsletter, the latest issue of which he was kind enough to let me read in advance of its general mailing, check out this photo of Dave, here a few years back from Viet Nam and slowly rebuilding himself from the rubble that experience made of him. I've known Dave since around 1982 and been his close friend since about 1985, and I can tell you that he looked better when I met him and has continued to improve.

This photo, though, is not of a man who fell apart. It's not of someone who committed acts of violence, or who fell into a bottle. The man in this picture had graduated from Duke Law School, was still married, was recently a father and an Assistant Town Attorney for Chapel Hill. He was writing.

This man was succeeding.

Still is.

This picture, though, captures in a perfect and wrenching instant the huge price Dave paid.

We cannot pay back Dave or any vet for his or her service; it doesn't work that way. We can, however, treat returning vets better, treat PTSD sufferers of all stripes better, and work diligently to avoid the need to subject more men and women to those experiences.

That, we can do, and we should.


Karen Z said...

Thank you for your eloquent statements.

Mark said...

My pleasure.


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