July 24, 2015


There was a story on the news about a study that found a high percentage of Vietnam vets still suffering some degree of aftershocks from the war, otherwise known as PTSD. If you are wondering how that could be, let me give you a small example of how this works. A few years after I was married, my wife pointed out an irritating habit I had -- all you husbands out there, don’t say it -- of putting away the milk that she had just put out to use in a recipe. I said I was unaware that I was doing so, but I started paying attention and sure enough, whenever the milk was on the counter, I put it away. If I had to wait, it made me uneasy. I thought about it and realized that it went back to Vietnam, where milk left out in the tropical heat would go sour very quickly. It took me thirty years before I could truthfully say that milk out of the fridge didn’t bother me so much. A little chickenshit thing like that, and it took me thirty years to get over it. So when I hear a lot of guys are still suffering PTSD decades after the fact, you don’t have to tell me twice.

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