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  #61  
Old 13 May 2015, 11:41
Charlie Waite Charlie Waite is offline
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Two years ago, I had a shipmate at the command who decided they had enough. We had talked and I knew that they were having a hard time coping but had lots of support including a new relationship and a child. Looking back now I see some of the signs but at the time I never saw it coming. I'll never forget walking into quarters one day and my head was instantly drawn to where they were sitting, i sawthe darkest cloud over their head. That next morning I found out the individual had taken their life. It was not the first, second, or third person to do that within a short period.

I am getting help now. Mine is non combat related, so I can only imagine. I tried to self treat without getting help and it finally got to the point I couldn't function normally. Luckily I have a COC that recognized things were not going to turn out ok and got me help. I didn't realize how far it had gone until I started talking about it and things started changing.
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  #62  
Old 13 May 2015, 12:47
dbuck1031 dbuck1031 is offline
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Without getting too descriptive, as a Corpsman, being with my Marines for years, plenty was experienced. That being said, I recently had a talk with an EOD Marine I knew back in the day, and he has been struggling with a lot of things. Survivors Guilt is a main stay. He said it best when he mentioned that being in those situations where you live constantly with guilt, and work in an environment where death is looming over almost every action, you become very desensitized to it.

Meaning he no longer has a healthy fear of dying, because he has been in situations where it was almost expected. So, he doesn't fear the unknown behind death, making the thought of suicide an easier alternative to having to keep moving along when he doesn't feel he deserves to be living when others, who were "better men", are no longer here. That, and he says he's tired, just bone tired of dealing with anything. He doesn't want to talk to anyone else about it for fear of being judged a coward, when it's anything BUT that. He isn't scared of dying, he's dealt with that possibility too many times over numerous deployments. It's a tough road, and we are talking daily. He's planning to come visit and possibly stay once he retires in June.

I just wanted to relay his thought process for others to look at, as it really put into perspective why it does seem easier for some to go that route.
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  #63  
Old 14 May 2015, 14:26
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Hung out with a brother today.
Felt better afterwards.I like being around my own tribe.
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  #64  
Old 15 May 2015, 22:34
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I've received a good number of PM's. Many of them quite heartfelt and filled with tales of successfully overcoming things that others have given into.

A few were asking for advice, which is great. I don't have all the answers though.

The fact is there may be dudes who sucked it up and came out fine. By all apearances I was one of them- until I wasn't. That doesn't mean I ended up on the street or screaming through the night. There's plenty of other ways it can manifest itself. Look into the mirror, look at the hurt you may have caused an important person in your life. What about your kids? Friends? Is it worth it to "don"t look weak" or "I can fix myself." To me the answer became evident.
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  #65  
Old 21 May 2015, 21:15
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Follow up- buddy in orginal post came home Tues. Called me today and let me know.

Going to help him get set up with some tests next week.
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  #66  
Old 21 May 2015, 21:19
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Outstanding news!

I wish him the absolute best success with his future and your success with pointing him to the place he needs to be.

I read a poster today that reads: "The worst part of being strong is that no one asks if you are ok."

We simply need to ask more often.

Last edited by Agoge; 21 May 2015 at 21:33.
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  #67  
Old 22 May 2015, 01:08
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The fact is there may be dudes who sucked it up and came out fine. By all apearances I was one of them- until I wasn't. That doesn't mean I ended up on the street or screaming through the night. There's plenty of other ways it can manifest itself. Look into the mirror, look at the hurt you may have caused an important person in your life. What about your kids? Friends? Is it worth it to "don"t look weak" or "I can fix myself." To me the answer became evident.
The mark of a man. Seizing responsibility, ensuring that he is not harming his loved ones.

This takes a combination of confidence that verges on arrogance and deep humility. The overconfidence is easy for dudes in our community. The humility is what evades many of us.

You set a fine example for us all.
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  #68  
Old 22 May 2015, 01:11
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The mark of a man. Seizing responsibility, ensuring that he is not harming his loved ones.

This takes a combination of confidence that verges on arrogance and deep humility. The overconfidence is easy for dudes in our community. The humility is what evades many of us.

You set a fine example for us all.

That is exactly what I found myself being required to, even though I had my head well in the vise of PTSD at the time, looking to snuff it.
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  #69  
Old 24 May 2015, 03:27
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Thumbs up

This is an awesome thread, full of heartfelt truth and advice. Great advice SB, and as you all know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for this exact kind of leadership, brotherhood, and follow through. And with the next few days being a relatively somber time for most of us, this is more important now than ever.

Something that keeps guys from reaching out is that stigma as mentioned. Its fucking hard to say you need help, and those who try to shame the ones who do tend to be the ones who have yet to stumble. Some of it can be the fault of an individual's actions, sometimes it isnt. Neither matters, as long as destructive behavior stops, and assigning blame doesn't really do much. Identify a problem, sure. Blame and shame however do little for someone who is likely tearing themselves apart inside in ways no words could compare to anyway.

A significant point I would like to add, not that it has been ignored or anything, just that it warrants being said; the "whole prescription" analogy is spot on. It can be crucial to help one identify the problem, or to show support when it's been found, or to assist in the picking back up phase. But it's a long ride and we have to commit to staying the course every time. For guys coming from a background where you don't quit, you don't stop, you don't lose, it takes a lot to get to the point where the futility of the situation is so much to burden that taking one's own life seems the most controllable way to decide the outcome. That's not a decision made after a bad day at the office, or a high school breakup, or any of the seemingly minor things that most people find a major obstacle. We live to overcome obstacles. Its when the totality of defeat is so exhausting, that continuing to fall any further is a fate worse than death, that our type need The Brotherhood.

It won't be a quick fix. It isn't something that gets better overnight, or in a week, or even a month. It may be a struggle for the rest of their life. What matters is that they/we know we aren't alone.

I have a few numbers in my phone of members here who have played a big role in my recovery. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at some of the texts I've gotten when things seemed hopeless, and then pushed on reassured. Knowing that if I absolutely cannot continue on my own, my brothers are a phone call away, is what gives me a ledge to grab before I start sinking too far back down. And while I don't have many material resources to offer at the moment, I can think of a few times recently I was able to do the same for my brothers across the country. Just this week, some other 03 Marines and I had to orchestrate with a small town sheriff's department to conduct a welfare check on one of our own who had chosen to take his own life. We got to him in time, if only barely, and are working with his father to make sure he can start moving forward when the time comes.

I miss my good friend Mark, and I miss Crawlspace/Trig. If anyone here ever needs to talk, PM me and you'll have my number instantly. As long as my phone is on, which hopefully will be more reliable now that the GI Bill is kicking in. If anything I can listen, I'm pretty good at that.

Cheers, Gents. Thank you SB, TFG, Always Jolly, SOTB, KidA, GPC, MixedLoad, and everyone else.
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  #70  
Old 24 May 2015, 09:42
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Originally Posted by SOW_0331 View Post
Your Post
Look who it is.... Welcome home little brother...

I fucking hate Memorial Day. My survivors guilt kicks into turbo charge mode. I try to spend it alone when I cannot be with my Brothers, it helps me deal with the excellent advice from my wife, like "just don't think about it..."

As do most of us, I have too many funerals to list, too important are the lives to ever forget.

Every day I ask God why not me. But one of my Brothers told me once that we the spared, must live our lives gloriously, simply because they cannot.

I give that advice to each of you during these somber times.

DOL
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  #71  
Old 24 May 2015, 10:13
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RIP Marshall Edgerton, 82nd SIG, KIA in Ramadi on 11 December 2003 by a VBIED that got into the camp itself.
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  #72  
Old 24 May 2015, 10:51
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Originally Posted by SOW_0331 View Post
Your Post

A group of people on this board immediately pulled together to formulate a plan to assist you when you popped smoke. They wanted nothing in return other than wishing to know that you would be alright. Those individuals shared one purpose, helping a brother. I hope their their mission is successful.

Stay safe.
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  #73  
Old 24 May 2015, 11:06
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Originally Posted by The Fat Guy View Post
Look who it is.... Welcome home little brother...

I fucking hate Memorial Day. My survivors guilt kicks into turbo charge mode. I try to spend it alone when I cannot be with my Brothers, it helps me deal with the excellent advice from my wife, like "just don't think about it..."

As do most of us, I have too many funerals to list, too important are the lives to ever forget.

Every day I ask God why not me. But one of my Brothers told me once that we the spared, must live our lives gloriously, simply because they cannot.

I give that advice to each of you during these somber times.

DOL
RLTW
It sure feels like I'm more home here than I am anywhere else I go, physically or otherwise. Glad I have Internet and a working phone again, Christ you don't realize how much you use that shit at home until it's not there anymore.

I wish I could say I lost count of my friends who are buried over the years but like you said, each of them is unforgettable. 29 in total, but who's counting. I have no shame in admitting I cried earlier today explaining to my oldest daughter what this weekend is all about, and she remembers some of her "Uncles" that never came home. Now she knows why.

My ex wife called me today and asked if she could take the girls home a few days early and then I'll see them throughout the week. She said she knows how hard this time is and wanted me to be able to deal with all the feelings I'm going to get slammed by without trying to chase the kids around. She's still an awesome girl, and I didn't realize until she called how snappy and nasty I had been this week with them. I'm physically here, but I checked out a few days ago.

I'm planning to take my mom's kayak (I don't know why the fuck my mom has a kayak) and cruising down the river today and tomorrow. I would like to say I'll do something manly like punch trees in half to vent my anger. Most likely I'll splash around and find a quiet place to cry out everything I've been holding back. For the first time since I can remember, I have so much hope for the future. But that guilt you talk about, it's there today and every day. But today I get to see a thousand reminders that I should be making my fallen brothers proud, but all I can think about is how much I wish they were here.
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  #74  
Old 24 May 2015, 11:10
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Originally Posted by SOW_0331 View Post
Your Post

A group of people on this board immediately pulled together to formulate a plan to assist you when you popped smoke. They wanted nothing in return other than wishing to know that you would be alright. Those individuals shared one purpose, helping a brother. I hope their their mission is successful.

Stay safe.
Yes Sir, GPC showed up while I was getting the kids ready for a hike and put the fear in me. I imagine that's what they talk about in the bible, when someone would get visited by Angels that warned them of impending destruction and doom. Only GPC is too ugly to be an angel, and it was a good kind of fear.

Through all the outreach I have gotten over the last year, the only thing anyone ever asked me to do was pay it forward when I got the chance. I have been and will continue to do so, and that's no bullshit.
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  #75  
Old 24 May 2015, 11:14
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Yes Sir, GPC showed up while I was getting the kids ready for a hike and put the fear in me. I imagine that's what they talk about in the bible, when someone would get visited by Angels that warned them of impending destruction and doom. Only GPC is too ugly to be an angel, and it was a good kind of fear.

Through all the outreach I have gotten over the last year, the only thing anyone ever asked me to do was pay it forward when I got the chance. I have been and will continue to do so, and that's no bullshit.
Beautiful! I'll sleep a little better knowing you have your head on straight. "and that's no bullshit".[/QUOTE]
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  #76  
Old 24 May 2015, 11:58
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Had to chase those midget clowns away.

I was looking forward to ML and TFG showing up to have breaching class.

Like I told you brother we have to take care of our own.We are the only ones who can do it right.
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  #77  
Old 24 May 2015, 13:08
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My way of dealing with things may not be the right way for others (especially when I'm not even sure it works for me), but when I look back -- I see three categories of people that have died in my life.
  • Those that I am either glad are dead, or have no emotions one way or the other, including if I had something to do with said deaths.
  • Those whom I cared about that died doing what they loved.
  • Those whom I cared about that died not really doing anything that should have gotten them dead, and in a few cases, I had either something to do with not keeping them alive or I wasn't able to make things right before they left.
The first group -- if I am an honorable person, why should I have any remorse over them, right?

The second group -- I may miss them -- but do I even have a right to mourn their leaving -- if they were merely doing the same thing that many of us volunteered for? I may have misunderstood his post, but I believe that Magician stated this best -- that we should celebrate their being badasses, not grieve because they chose to stand on the edge (paraphrased, I think).

The final category -- well, I can't do anything about that one except deal with it. Some of those in this category didn't have to die and I could have maybe done something to prevent it. Maybe the answer is to pay it forward, try to not make the same mistake again, try to make amends. I don't know. There is a little girl in my past whose face I never even saw, whose passing is squarely on my shoulders -- due to my making a mission decision that allowed the mission to succeed, even though I had a nagging feeling there was something amiss (I never dreamed that someone a hundred miles away, and with no normal connection to the mission in the slightest, would die -- life has a funny way of letting you know that you are not near as smart as you think you are). I don't remember her every day, but I never go more than a couple of weeks without remembering. I think that is never going to stop -- no matter what I try. I'm not sure I ever want to get over her -- doing so would probably be the last straw in my having any redeemable qualities to offer the planet.

In short -- the last category is the only one I have found I have issues with. I now try to be a good person, doing what I know to be good -- not what society or religion tells me is good. For those that went before I could make things right -- I spend a great amount of energy now making sure I don't repeat that error. For those that I could have prevented their passing, I can only apologize -- not just to them, and their friends and family -- but to the rest of the world -- since I may have robbed us all of the person who would have invented the cure for cancer or found the way to get us to the stars. Thankfully, my ability to do things/fail to do things that in turn harm others, doesn't represent a frequent problem -- so hopefully the number in this category doesn't continue to climb.

When I think of Memorial Day -- I NEVER have issues with guilt of my being here and their not. Especially for SOF. We fought our asses off to be there -- knowing the risks. I miss them, but I don't grieve -- I celebrate having been in their company and being able to tell their tales to people who've no idea of what types of men they were....
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  #78  
Old 24 May 2015, 16:37
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To me there's a difference btwn grieving for loss and survivors guilt.

Asking "why them and not me" is understandable and normal if you are sharing the same battlespace with someone who was killed.

People mourn and feel grief in a number of different ways. The key, IMO, is having a helping hand who is willing to be there for that person. Sometimes just listening. The worse thing is to be alone. My technique was to bury things deep. That worked for a long time. Problem was to accomplish it a lot of other things had to be turned off too. I used to be proud of people telling me " nothing bothers you". Deep down I knew there were a number of festering wounds, yet stuck with suck it up. My earlier posts here show where that got me.
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  #79  
Old 24 May 2015, 17:40
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Thank you SB, for the courage to be honest. Respect.
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  #80  
Old 26 May 2015, 10:12
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There is a little girl in my past whose face I never even saw, whose passing is squarely on my shoulders -- due to my making a mission decision that allowed the mission to succeed, even though I had a nagging feeling there was something amiss (I never dreamed that someone a hundred miles away, and with no normal connection to the mission in the slightest, would die -- life has a funny way of letting you know that you are not near as smart as you think you are). I don't remember her every day, but I never go more than a couple of weeks without remembering. I think that is never going to stop -- no matter what I try. I'm not sure I ever want to get over her -- doing so would probably be the last straw in my having any redeemable qualities to offer the planet.
I was just exchanging an email with a brother about a very similar situation. The patrol we were on was more important (or so we thought) than a little girl's life and we made a really difficult choice to choose the mission over her life. Current day - I can't remember even what the patrol was about, but how could I ever forget that little girl? The ones that didn't belong in the game are the toughest.

For me, paying it forward does help. I do a little bit of veteran mentorship and I'd recommend it (or any veteran volunteer opportunity) to some of the guys that figured out how to deal/manage with this stuff. When you are going through this crap its hard to see past it, but if you've learned to live with it you can help show a brother there is a way through and a way to manage it. Also, I am betting most of us are wired to serve each other. We fight for our brothers. This does not have to stop and making yourself available to them for the battle they are going through at home is beneficial for both you and them.

I think its great there are guys on this Board that are available for other brothers. Perhaps the best thread on this site.
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