#PTSDDaddy Memorial Day Weekend

I wanted to take a moment and recognize this weekend for what it is and how I was raised with it. I know not everything I post is necessarily specifically on PTSD, but this weekend is a big cause for some folks PTSD. I’m not looking to grab all those civilians with no experience in sacrifice for something bigger than oneself.  I do not believe that by me telling anyone to not party or treat this as an extra day off will change any opinions. Those who treat this weekend as a holiday and not a remembrance will likely never be swayed by my words on a blog somewhere on the internet having no personal knowledge of who I am.

I was raised a patriot by my father James H. Brock. His middle name was Howard after his father’s first name. My father served in the Marine Corps during the Viet Nam era, and luckily every time he was spun up to deploy, his unit got a change in orders. My grandfather on my dad’s side, Howard Brock, wanted to help out during WWII and tried to join the U.S. Navy. He liked navy beans and figured the Navy would be the way to go. They told him, “go away old man”, he was in his early 40’s and the Navy did not feel he was fit for the job. Two weeks Later he was drafted by the Army and was given the rank E-5 SGT straight out of boot camp (an entire two weeks) because he was so old. My grandfather on my mother’s side Tom Bugler (I cannot remember if he was the Jr. the II or the III but the name carried on for generations, just ask my uncle Tom) as well served in the Army during WWII or as he would say “Dubba ya Dubba ya…” as he would put up two fingers on one hand.

I have lost many friends during the nearly 10 years I was in the Army myself. I look at my cell phone and often see several names of friends whom I will never talk to again. Still I cannot find it in me to delete their numbers. I am one of many with this story. These friends who served, the people who have protected mine and your freedom and paid with their lives have many friends and many family members feeling the same way about losing them. There are people out there who do have PTSD because of being present while losing their friend/family member. There are people who have “survivors remorse” for not being dead themselves.

My father, every memorial day weekend, would take us to go see grandpa’s grave. We would traditionally check to make sure he had his flag, letting the whole world know he served with honor. Dad would always bring a 6 pack of beer with him. We would always pull a beer out, pop the top, and poor it on grandpa’s grave. Dad would tell us about our grandpa and him serving. We knew grandpa because of the stories dad told, and we spent the rest of the day with grandma relaxing, having family time, sharing stories, and cooking food on the grill with our own flag flying high from the front of the house.

I want those of you out there who know what this weekend is about to know that you are not alone. Many of us are taking this time to remember. Many of us are having a beer for those who cannot and grilling out to celebrate what those people mean to us. Enjoying the freedoms we have because of the men and women who gave up everything is in essence, remembering those who gave it all. Do not waste your time being angry with people who do not understand this. For ultimately, I sacrificed and know things so that the majority do not have to. Lack of understanding is not lack of caring (not always), most of the time if you talk to someone about it, turns out they just were not raised right.

Semper Fi Pop!

 

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