Tuesday, October 4, 2016

PTSD: Residual War of Finding Something Worth Living For

PTSD: Residual War
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 4, 2016

I haven't been doing much posting lately because I was working on my new book. A real switch for me since this is a work of fiction but within the pages is a lot of truth that few want to talk about. Hey, why should they bother when some many of gone bonkers over what is easy? How the hell they think raising awareness is going to help anyone is beyond even my understanding of human nature. To borrow a line from Dr. Phil someone should ask them "how's that working for you so far" because it has only gotten worse for the veterans.

So, it begins.

A young woman, Mary Walker, grieves for the brother she lost to suicide in Afghanistan while she blames him for being weak and selfish. Her other brother is confined to a wheelchair after being blown up by an IED. After yet another day playing caregiver to him at the Lake Nona VA hospital, she finds a script written by someone with the name Mary Edwards Walker and the words Medal of Honor.

She has a couple of hours sitting by the memorials to the fallen and reads every word.

The script starts at Fort Christmas where there is one of the strangest military funerals she ever heard of.

Then she begins to read about Colonel Amanda Leverage serving as a Chaplain in Afghanistan, cold, distracted and detached, Mary has already made up her mind she should not be in any position to tend to the spiritual needs of anyone.

Leverage is demoted and sent to Fort Christmas by someone protecting her so that she can at least fill out her days until she can retire with some kind of dignity. She is in charge of a bunch of misfits just like her, only they are all males. 

After reading the script, Mary finds a better understanding that having PTSD is far from being weak, but more the strength of their love that makes them grieve so much.

RESIDUAL WAR Something Worth Living For, is about finding something worth staying alive for since they are all too ready to risk their lives for the sake of others in combat, but seem to find something worth staying alive for when everyone is out of danger, but them.

It is the one thing they all have in common. When it comes to laying down their own lives for someone else, they were worth it. When it comes to seeing that same worth within themselves, that, that they find impossible to find. Yet, when they do, when they understand that it is the strength of their love that enabled them to do it, they use the same love to heal and then help others to find something worth living for within themselves.

There is a female hero in Leverage, plus one in a Black Hawk Pilot who wanted to die when she became an amputee and was told she couldn't fly anymore. She managed to not only live, but fly the General who gave her back something to live for as well.

The women and men in this book are not perfect but none of them are weak. All of them are dealing with PTSD, survivor guilt and in Amanda's case, savior's remorse on top of it. 

After over three decades of spending this much time with veterans, the last thing any of the are is weak. Ya, I know, perfect timing considering what hit the news about one more ignorant person using "not strong" and "can't take it" to explain why so many take their own lives.

This is nothing more than passing judgement on what we may think instead of what we actually learn about people.  It is about finding redemption among your peers and learning what it is to be a simple human within the complexity of military life. There are many part within these pages that are based on true stories stung together.

Homeless veterans abandoned and used as lab rats by ruthless, greedy fools who saw them as a way to get rich while pretending to care. The veterans actually believed no one would ever care about them, until Leverage arrived and taught them that they also have something worth living for after being betrayed by the Army in 2013 when 11,000 of them were kicked out of the only like they ever wanted.