Long Way Home

Traveling to war, used to be a major part of the entire time spent away from home. It would take months to get to the battle field, as technology increased the speed picked up. By WWII it would take only 3 weeks to make it back from war, riding on transport ships. Fast forward to today, troopers can be boots in the dirt to boots in the house in under a day.

The travel time was once, decompression time. It gave troopers time to think and process, develop answers to questions, or decide best how to approach coming home. With the new ways of coming home, troopers lose that time. All of this is nothing new, but the perspective I have is a bit different.

So when they would travel home on those long treks, their physical body as well as their minds traveled on the same path. Now our physical body is rocketed home while all the trauma is left to wander its way back. It is not taken care of in the same way anymore. The minds of the troopers are left to fend for themselves they are not given that time and dedicated focus that it takes to start the healing process. Instead they are met with distractions and honeymoon situations and the wounds tend to fester.

The mind of the new trooper takes the long route home, winding through the dark forests and treading water in the ocean. It can take years for the troopers mind to actually find its way home. What I mean by that is, when you see a trooper “vacate” or do the “1000 yard stare”, they aren’t thinking about killing, they are just a thousand miles away where their memories and what was left of their humanity suddenly slam into each other. This train wreck leaves little if not any capability for other faculties. Its a product of the troopers mind having not made it home yet. I feel that troopers should be better trained in self-mental-aid. They should get armed with the tools to take on their own healing process. It should start in kuwait or kyrgzstan when they are waiting for a bird out. They should find ways to focus on the trauma and realize potential issues for later. I know this an ideal thought in a not so ideal system, but with the suicide rate and all that is going on with mental health, maintaining the status quo isn’t an option.

The feeling of not being solid or whole, its like waiting for your mind to catch up, for it come home. Its not where any trooper wants to be.


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