Tara Copp, author of Warbird, gives a literary rendering to a very non-literary time in her life as an embedded journalist in the Kuwait war zone. https://www.amazon.com/Warbird-Three-Heroes-Wars-Story/dp/0998061417
The author has little fear, some natural intensity of purpose, a desire to be a team, and a unique opportunity as most of the embedded journalists were male. But later returning home she has a hard time adjusting to what happened to her – the shock of real bullets, the process of working with the soldiers without getting in their way, the close calls, their inexperience, the dust, the heat, the political fracas, and of course the enemy. The men, all of them real heroes, seemed to adjust better than she did. But many of them did not.
Trying to make sense of her experiences she investigated her grandfather’s life in World War II with his brother. It is an interesting story which she doggedly researched in military and other records. Military men will enjoy this lively picture into the past. But even after she makes peace with her grandfather’s reckless but productive life she is still uneasy. Her contacts from the war filter in and out of her life.
She wandered through a series of disappointing boyfriends, a failed marriage, job moves and restlessness. For some of the soldiers she worked with had very much the same pattern of rootlessness and discontents. The full time soldiers fared better, but that did not negate their separation from their past lives. They just dumped them.
Missionaries tell the story of one of their fellows who headed into the African bush country leading a long caravan of supplies, food and personnel. The first day he was overjoyed over their progress: nine miles on day one, and seven miles the second day. But the morning of the third day the whole caravan stopped cold and refused to move. When the distraught missionary asked why, the Native Guide replied, “We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”
“We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”
Theologians think PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a crisis of image for those with an underdeveloped or damaged sense of self; they will be more negatively impacted by war. Her’s may be a clearer description of PTSD without the extremes of reaction. The military experience was so dislodging to their personalities that their souls did not catch up.
A level of trauma for everyone
Apparently war slams a trauma so severe it cannot be healed, merely absorbed into one’s personality and embraced as an asset rather than a curse. What you became in the battlefield will change you forever. You must deliberately move forward or not survive at all.
Essayist Cornelia Scott Cree writes on Applied Christianity, Dream Interpretation and Biblical Symbolism. She invites questions at her website https:WouldYouConsider.net.
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