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 Post subject: He never talked about it
Post Posted: May 28, 2016 5:32 pm 
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Years ago Brock Thompson was my husband, but due to the demons he could not escape, our time together was not what we thought. I knew he had lost his left arm and had a badly and permanently damaged leg from "a grenade" in Viet Nam but he never shared any of the details. None. But life went on. He was honored as the Colorado Handicapped Worker of the Year as he learned to become a Mechanical Draftsman, even though before his loss he was left handed---the arm he lost. But things were building up in him. We divorced.

Years passed, and we ran into each other. We agreed to go to dinner.It seemed he wanted to make peace with our past, but still had little to say. We parted friends with a hug.

He passed away four years ago. Last week his military history was brought to my attention by my daughter, who found him on a military site. She said "I see him differently now". She was seeing him as an adult, not through the eyes of a child. I saw him differently too.

I am posting a copy of but one of the awards he received, which truly helped us to understand how the demons of alcohol and drugs took over his life. Tomorrow, my daughter has asked a friend to stand at his grave at Ft. Logan to play Taps in his memory. "Mom", she said, "he really deserves it." Yes, he does. RIP Brock, you are free.

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 Post subject: Re: He never talked about it
Post Posted: May 29, 2016 7:49 am 
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My father was in Vietnam from 67-68 as well, as an older soldier. He never talked about any of his experiences either until six years ago when I got my orders to go to Afghanistan. Then the flood gates opened. So many of these guys, like your husband, were very silent heroes just doing their duty. But "their duty" was far more than many of us could imagine and very few back home were supporting them. I am so grateful that our current service members have better resources and support networks. It made my year (and return) so much easier than what these men went through.

May you remember the good times you had with your silent hero...

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 Post subject: Re: He never talked about it
Post Posted: May 29, 2016 8:06 am 
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Thanks for sharing this. I married a Vet and he too was possessed by PTSD demons as well. In addition he was bi-polar and self-medicated. He was also very abusive. Our marriage was a complete failure with the exception of the beautiful children we shared. His demons got to him 4 years ago and he killed himself. I was sorry for the loss of this troubled man, but even more upset for my daughter. She had a rough relationship with him and they were finally making some headway.

After he was gone, my daughter went through his email and emailed those people who he appeared to maintain a friendship to let them know of his passing.


Through these emails, she learned the real source of his PTSD. While in the Phillipines, he had seen a school bus go off a bridge. He managed with dive in and save one of the boys, but when he went back for another, the boy had slipped below the surface and passed. He apparently never forgave himself for not getting that boy.

While this does not eradicate the horror that we lived with, it did help her to come to peace with his death.

For me, it has encouraged me to fight for those vets who, through no fault of their own, suffer from PTSD and do not receive adequate care. My ex-husband was a VA patient and when he was in his final crisis, he tried to see his doctor but the earliest they could get him in to see him was 2 months later.

Some war time scars don't show.


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 Post subject: Re: He never talked about it
Post Posted: May 30, 2016 9:49 pm 
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"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - George S Patton

And I do give thanks every day for such men, and these days, women. We are fortunate, indeed, they lived.

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 Post subject: Re: He never talked about it
Post Posted: May 31, 2016 9:17 am 
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Garner, my first late was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. When President Carter pardoned all the Vietnam draft dodgers, Garner threw all his medals away stating, “They no longer meant a thing anymore.” This included his purple heart with which he was presented. He never talked about how he earned his purple heart; nor did he talk about what he did in the Navy as he explained his work was confidential. Although he loved being in the Navy and was very patriotic, during the time we were married he suffered night mares about his service during the Vietnam war. When we’d go to restaurants or go out dancing, he always needed to face the entrance of the establishment; he never sat with his back to the door. He passed away July 4, 1998 from cancer. I can only hope and pray that when he passed away his nightmares ended and he found peace. I feel it ironic he gained freedom his cancer on Independence Day. I miss him every moment of every day: and, “No” it does not get any easier as time passes (as people would have you believe). I always told Garner I was proud of what he did in the Navy and that I always appreciated him.

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