"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Saturday, November 6, 2010

David Westfall: The Anger

As you know, I am not a Vietnam Era Vet, but I thought maybe some of your followers could relate to this. I spent a lot of time with Vets that served time in Vietnam while I was getting help at the VA. I can only guess at the things they experienced. Regardless whether in a jungle or the desert, all combat Vets have experienced similar feelings and horrors.

Although I was never spit upon or called a baby killer, I did encounter more than one protest during the first Gulf War. Talk about a kick in the gut. Fellow Americans attacking ME for protecting THEM! Then you have to deal with our government. Little things, like maybe some compensation for your service-connected disabilities. The following ("The Anger") is something I wrote while dealing with the VA. Many years later, my case is still being reviewed in D.C.

I was a Navy AW. AW stands for Aviation Airborne Weapons Systems Operator. We operated RADAR, FLIR, SONAR and Magnetic Anomaly Dectection gear. I was also a Rescue Swimmer. My junior crewman and I were the first crewman ever in our helicopter to go to Combat Search and Rescue and M-60 Door Gunner training. This was in preparation for a deployment to the Gulf in 1987 when things were heating up with Iran. I started out flying in the SH-2F SeaSprite and later transitioned into the newer SH-60B SeaHawk.

I made two deployments to the Gulf and one to Somalia. We also flew numerous Law Enforcement Operations in Central America trying to ebb the flow of drugs heading North. Like I said before, we did a lot of special things in our helicopters. :) The picture is of me in the cabin door of my helicopter aboard a Navy Knox class frigate, the USS Holt. The USS Stark had just been hit and we were preparing to launch.

by David Westfall

We all have one thing in common. We served in the United States Military. Some went in as volunteers, others had no choice.  We were taught to march, shoot, crawl, jump, fly, build, destroy, repair, think, improvise, kill and survive. Most of all we were taught loyalty. Loyalty to our country, its government, our superiors and our comrades. We took an oath to follow all lawful orders. We went where we were told. We did what we had been trained to do. We put others and "the mission" ahead of ourselves. We buried friends, sometimes even when there was nothing left to bury. We did and saw things that no human in their right mind should have to endure.  Now, we have to live with these things for the rest of our lives. One should never have to feel lifelong regret for doing his job.

The kicker is, much of our anger comes thanks to our government. The government that trained us, ordered us, sent us there, and told us that anything we do is O.K. as long as it is for God and country. Now, here we are. Asking the country we served with so much self-sacrifice to help us. What we get is a turned back. It feels the same as if you were asking an old friend if you could stay at his house for a couple of weeks until you can get back on your feet, and the friend replies "Why don't you just ask me if you can screw my wife?"  No matter that you saved his life in combat. No matter that you are now crippled for life because you chose to help him. No matter what this friend says or does in the future, nothing will change. That one punch in the gut. That one instance of disloyalty is the core of your future existence. Your whole life will now be based on distrust, disloyalty, fear and anger.

We aren't asking for handouts or charity. We are only asking for what we deserve and have earned. They say that all gave some, some gave all. I don't know which is worse ...

Thank you again, CJ. I appreciate the outlet.

[Thank YOU, David.  I hope your case gets resolved with the VA soon.  Welcome Home, my friend.  With my warmest regards and respect, CJ]

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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  1. (From Facebook Page)

    Jan Hoffman ‎
    I have said this since the late 60's & I'm STILL saying it -- Our Government should be ASHAMED of itself for the way they treat our Military. Where would this Great Country be without them? Heaven forbid, but one of these days -- if they keep it up, our citizens are going to STOP voluntarily joining the differant branches of the Military and then where will we be?


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