Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Marlboro Marine: Post-War

The young Marine that slayed thousands of hearts stateside is home and not doing to well. I have SO much respect for Lance Cpl. Blake Miller -who finished his tour in Iraq then helped down in New Orleans during Katrina. He is speaking out about PTSD...something not many of the troops want to talk about.

"The more and more I talk to (other guys), the more I found out there were a lot of Marines that are going through same or similar emotions. It's tough to deal with. Being in Iraq is something no one wants to talk about."

Truthfully, I'm surprised there are guys/gals that come home without any of these side effects/disorders/flashbacks. There shouldn't be any stigma attached to post traumatic shock --it's real and it's warranted.

"I lost a few of some of my dearest friends. People don't understand how you can be so close to someone that you've only known for such a short time but, when you spend a year-and-a-half with someone, you know some things about them their own family doesn't even know about. People say that the Marine Corps is a brotherhood, and you truly do not realize that until you actually need your brothers, and that's when they're there."

But, like many of his comrades, Miller wasn't able to completely put his time in Iraq behind him.

While on duty during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, Miller suffered from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and was granted an honorable discharge from the Marines in November.

"A lot of guys have had way worse incidents from being in Iraq," he said. "And I guess it just — it troubled me due to the fact that their incidents may have been more severe, and they weren't suffering from the same things I was. I just didn't understand how it could affect me so dramatically and not affect some of these guys. But a lot of them deal with different ways."

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