By Jim Regan

Recently I wrote about PTSD??? NOT ME!!! Well, after extensive and almost exhausting sessions with the Social Workers and Shrinks at the VA Hospital, we have reached a conclusion. Yes, I still harbor a lot of feelings about my tours in the 'Nam. I am reminded on a daily basis of experiences while serving in the Army for 32 years. Thoughts are triggered by things I see; Members from our Armed Forces in uniform, Old Glory waving in the breeze, TV programs, books I read, and the list of "triggers" goes on and on. Do I have dreams about my experiences, somewhat. I dream that I'm in charge of something and helpless to get the things I need to do the job and support my troops.

The folks at the VA helped me realize that all the; woulda, coulda, shoudas, can't happen. It's too late to change things or do better. The past is the past, and I have to stop thinking about "what if?"

You may be expecting a long story here. Wrong! It's short and sweet. As the sessions progressed and I spilled my guts, along with tears, I realized that I was fortunate and probably did not have PTSD. There was a self diagnosis of; PTSM! The shrink agreed. Offered me any further help I thought I might need. She left the door open for me to return, sit and chat with her if I needed to. I shared many of my written TALES with all the folks who sat for literally hours and listened to me. The questions that they had were too the point and no holds barred. What is PTSM? I saw this as Post Traumatic Stress Memories! Agree with me or not, we all have some degree of PTSM. If I do anything with this TALE, I hope to encourage folks, if they feel the need, to drop in at their local VA and take time to chat with the folks at Mental Health. It worked for me and hopefully it may be a worthwhile visit for you. Stay professional, Keep chargin' hard, and have some fun once in a while!


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