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THE WAR TRAIL
CARRIE FINLEY OF ALABAMA
An update to my story, I suppose is in order. My husband and I will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary on June 6, 2013. I think the year was 2008 when we finally found out he had PTSD. He was so close to a breakdown and I was just trying to hold things together. His temperament and depression had gotten so bad that he had to retire at age 62 ..with no benefits except Social Security.
Read the whole story here
Married to a 1st Recon Marine Vietnam Veteran
1967-1969 Marines / I-Corps / Da Nang /1st Recon /
The man is totally insane -- acid tongue, defaming language, angry vapid spewing of epithets one minute and then later in the same day sweet and sugary to the point of nausea to cover the bitterness welling within his victim.
He is one huge narcissistic machine. Manipulating each moment, not recognizing or allowing any response to his narcissism, but ever on the attack nothing is his fault; there is an excuse for EVERYTHING he does and his excuses are vociferated loudly and angrily.
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LIVING WITH MY "COMBAT VET" HUSBAND..
THE WAR THAT IS RAGING IN HIS HEAD-DOES IT EVER END!!!!
NO IT DOESN'T!!
This November will be our 43rd wedding Anniversary, yes, I am still married to the man of my dreams that I met 45 years ago. He was everything I wanted in a man, loving, gentle, romantic, affectionate, caring, the list goes on and on. I saw him off at the airport in 1967 as he was headed to his first tour of Viet Nam. I will never forget the awesome loving hug he gave me.
The man I still love must be in there
I have been married to my husband for 12 years, 8 of which he has spent in the Army. We got together when we were children-just 18 years old. I love this man deeply but he is very sick with PTSD. He came back from his first year long tour from Afghanistan seemingly the same. It was the 2nd, 16 month tour from 2009-2011 that has been the real downfall. Ever since getting into his IED attack, he has not been the same man.
A Marine Widows Battle
I would like to begin by telling you I am a widow, of a Vietnam Veteran. He was a highly decorated Marine. which including purple heart Bronze Star With Valor, and also Marine/navy commendation award with valor. After I received his military records, I knew where it was stationed and saw where Agent Orange had been sprayed heavily in that area. But, I don't think it my lifetime, we will ever get the truth, and the list of presumptive illness is a joke. He had been stationed at Camp LeJeune, after leaving Vietnam Nam after 2 tours. He suffered from PTSD, but both of us didn't understand his anger issues. Although an extremely hard worker, his anger caused him to lose a lot of jobs. His last job, caused him to suffer big time from PTSD. He couldn't get a job, gee sounds familiar, age was probably the issue. The only jobs he found were, picking up bloody dear parts as a garbage collector, or delivering coffins and lining them in the warehouse. Nice jobs for a Veteran with PTSD, he received 100 percent disability because of unemployable because of his PTSD which my then had really become severe. He nightmares would always wake us up. But he never remembered them. I went the route of unemployablity because that was the fastest way. But, afterwards I thought wow, thank god its over I don't have to deal with VA anymore. Well surprise, because of terrible care at the Veterans Medical Center, he did not even have a chance to fight for his own life, he died 4 weeks after being diagnosed with primary liver cancer. My life was pure hell,
As a wife of 41 years, something I never thought about was my health benefits. I am now unable to work myself due to 3 neck surgeries and didnt work long enough to build my own SS, properly. I am the mother of two adult children and two small children, 4 and 7. I am now 59 years old. The abuse got so bad I had to call the cops and get a TOP. My husbands answer to that is to file for divorce rather then get the mental help he needs.
I'm Sorry, I Couldn't Stand By Him
I turned 20 in 1973. From then until 1979, I was married to a Vietnam veteran 6 years older than me. He'd already been in the Navy for 6 years -- 4 years on an aircraft carrier, then 2 years volunteered for river boats.
He never hit me so I never called it "abuse." But sometimes when he was depressed and drunk, he would take one of his guns,a sawed-off twelve gauge or a .30-30 rifle, and say he was going to kill himself, other times he'd say he was going to kill me, too. I probably looked down the barrel of a gun held by a PTSD's Viet vet at least a dozen times.
"Operation Enduring Wife"
I have been married to a Vietnam vet for almost 37 years. The first few years of our marriage were okay, a few flair up's that I did not understand at the time, but bearable. My life changed dramatically in 1996, he became very distant, angry over nothing and began to have panic attacks. We both were employed by the same company and he started to miss a lot of days of work. One day I had gone to work and told him of a happening there, later that day he called the Foreman and told him " HE WAS GOING TO RIP HIS FACE OFF AND FEED IT TO HIM".
DON'T GIVE UP!
By Carrie P. Finley-Alabama
As a veteran's wife for almost 42 years, I can relate to the temptation to give up on your spouse, the system, VA, and the world!
Most of us have heard the phrase" Burned Out!". ALL of us have lived it.
Living in a relationship with a veteran who has numerous health and mental issues, would make it really easy to RUN.....RUN....RUN. I have on several occasions......but I always went back. Why?
Wife of a much loved Combat Recon Marine
For 23 years i have had the blessing of being married to a Vietnam Veteran. It has not been easy. This is hard to write because i doubt and question everything i do. I have watched as a loving caring honest hardworking man has withdrawn more and more until he now only goes to the VA for his appointments (only one of few places he feels ''safe'') it is so hard. I have been so frustrated by the lack of support. I have tried counseling at the VA on several different occasions and have wanted to have the support of other wives who might have better insight and suggestions to help me be the friend and wife my husband needs and have been told by the counselors that i cannot be "in group" unless my husband is receiving counseling too.
We live with them 24/7
By Rhonda E. Walsh Palm Coast, FL
Hello, combat wife of a Purple Heart, CIB, Army Commandation w/Oak leaf Cluster and V for Valor, Distinquished Flying Cross, and he was told that he would have to find people from his unit to support his claim? Huh? What the f .are those medals, all dated, time-stamped, and written up? Duh. But, that was before he met me, and he turned away disappointed again. Finally, at age 50 he told me what they were doing, and within a year I had his total and permanent, 100% up and running.
Adventure in grief
By Catherine de Courcy
I am a Vietnam Veterans widow. My husband, John, served with the Australian army in Vietnam in 1968-69 and killed himself in 2000. For the last two years of his life his extreme reactions to post-traumatic stress dominated our lives and pushed us both to the edge of sanity. Other veteran wives will understand how I could continue to make dinner while John threatened to shoot himself. On a Thursday in December he finally killed himself.
Dealing with the past...wondering about the future.
By Diane R
I am in the process of writing a memoir of my last 37 years living with a Vietnam Vet. I have had feelings that have swung all over the map and at multiple times have felt like throwing in the towel. I just found your web site . Where have you been the past 11 years? As I read through the various stories I immediately had tears flowing down my cheeks and I could so empathize with the feelings of do I still love you? and what am I doing here but the next day, when hes more normal and I see glimpses of that gentle man I married, I know what Im doing here and yes I do still love him.
The war is still raging for Veterans.
The fight for benefits and compensation.
My Vietnam Story
(As told by the Spouse of a Vet)
Today I picked up a book supplied to my husband by the Department of Veteran Affairs. It is a book about Vietnam Vets.
After flipping though the pages of this book, I feel compelled to tell the story my husband can not muster up the strength or ability to admit to himself, his family or mental health professionals. Although he cannot utter the words out loud or express his interior thoughts and fears, in the book I just finished reading, he has underlined them all in RED! The author compiled the words in simple form and lay language which the average reader can understand, and in doing so, has hit the heart and frustrations of the VET DEAD ON! Many answers are in the pages for the family members and the VETS. Answers to questions for those facing the day to day issues of PTSD.
A Caring Wife standing by her "New Man".
The NEW Man I Live With
My husband and I met during high school and married 3 years later (I was 19, he was 22). About two years later, after the attacks on the WTC & Pentagon on Sept 11, 2001, my husband joined the Army. I respected and honored his decision. I was intensely proud that he was willing to step up to defend his country to willingly go to war to protect his homeland.
The man I was married to in 2001 was kind, sweet, and unbelievably tender. Random strangers would stop us in grocery stores and parks to tell us how incredibly in love we looked. They told me how blessed I was to be married to a man that so obviously adored me. I didnt realize at the time how right they were.
Fast forward seven years. My husband has spent a little over 27 months in Iraq, both tours in hot spots as part of an Infantry unit. He has spent days & months on end surrounded by bad guys, trying to determine who was friend and who was foe, doing his best to keep himself and the guys around him alive. His unit stopped taking count of bodies at 684 just about 3 months into their last tour of 12 months.
25 Years by his side
After 40 years, my husband is finally getting the psyche and medical treatment he needs.
Unfortunately it came close to the cost of his life.
After two years of surviving on creative renditions of chicken and beannie weanie dinners, the money from over 25 years, of both of us working over time, was almost gone. Thoughts of living on the street were not encouraging at the age of 60.
STRESS TAKES ITS TOLL ON WIVES
In the /beginning:
Stress comes in all different forms but the stress that comes from PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very near and dear to a veteran wife. We tend to forget what our husbands think is important; we go to the nearest corner put our nose to the wall and cry a lot. Then our spouse comes home and says and what is wrong with you! At this point your about to tell him with words I cant print, but then our short term memory loss kicks into gear and we give the blank stare like who am I? Wasnt like this before I married him, is this PMS? Children growing up syndrome? Middle age I dont know if I love you anymore? I think I need to look to greener pastures, why did I give up my job? Hot flashes in reverse? Hot flashes? Wow a discovery it is PTSD so where do I go for help?
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