Oct 152012
 

This work attempts to describe the world as seen thru the eyes of a combat veteran.

It is a world virtually unknown to civilians and unknown even within the Warrior culture because few veterans can talk about it.   My purpose in writing the Warrior’s Code is three-fold:

  1. To let my fellow combat veterans know why they feel like they do so they can better understand their PTSD, and that they are not alone in this world because there are many others who feel the same way they do.
  2. To explain to the loved ones of combat vets and civilians why veterans are like they are;
  3. To show how to connect with a combat veteran.

The first two purposes are hopefully fulfilled by the Code itself.   I will attempt to fulfill the third purpose as follows:

People who are trying to make meaningful contact with a combat veteran can do so if they keep one thing in mind – the most important thing in his life is keeping his word of honor, as proven by the fact that he is willing to die to do so.   Therefore to connect with him you must demonstrate/prove to him out in the open in front of God and everybody that you too have a Code of Honor – that is, you also keep your word – no matter what!

Do it and your twin Codes of Honor will twine around each other in double helix and bond you together.   Do it not and you will not.   This goes for everyone – especially wives and children – repeat: wives.   End of story.   Case closed. (Wives are invited to see Writer’s Note (2) for a full discussion of this topic.)

I offer these poor, inadequate words – bought not taught – in the hope that they and the Code may shed some small light on why combat veterans are like they are, how they can fix it and earn serenity.

It is my life desire that this tortured work, despite its many defects, may yet still provide some tiny sliver of understanding which may blossom into tolerance – nay, acceptance – of a Warrior’s perhaps unconventional way of being due to combat-damaged emotions from doing his duty under fire.

Signed, Paul R. Allen
Life Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) member number L63550
Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) member number 1702312888106

 

© 2013 by Paul Allen. All rights reserved

Aug 162012
 

A Coming Crisis

I am writing this note in an attempt to alert the American people about a coming catastrophe that is one of the most predictable crises in our Nation’s history, yet nobody talks about it.

It concerns our PTSD caregivers.   They are overwhelmed now by their current caseload.   What will happen when over 300,000 new returning combat veterans swamp our caregivers already overpowered systems?   Add to that the fact that redeployment rotation back into combat can be shameful, five or six times more, spinning families into confusion and turmoil, resulting in a 50% increase in children dependents seeking psychological treatment.   Thus our PTSD problem is not only combat warriors but also their families which when added together create a PTSD tidal wave.

This tidal wave of PTSD is gathering strength and is just now starting to crash down upon our caregivers.   Yet the “Powers That Be” stick their heads in the sand and play “ostrich” to it instead of preparing for it.   This govermental dereliction of duty is nothing less than a betrayal of our heroic Veterans and their families.   No surprise here, this is what Putrid Politicians do.

This official betrayal means that vets suffering from un-treated PTSD will soon skyrocket to the highest levels this nation has ever known.   We will have heartbreaking hordes of homeless veterans, veterans suffering from substance abuse and suicide in stunning, mind-boggling numbers.

Code of Honor

This coming American tragedy is one of the reasons I wrote the following passage in Writer’s Note (1): “Towards Accepting a Combat Vet’s Way of Being (Why combat vets are like they are, and how to connect with them).”

“To connect with a combat vet you must demonstrate/prove to him out in the open, in front of God and everybody that you too have a Code of Honor – that is, you also keep your word – no matter what!  Do it and your twin Codes of Honor will twine around each other in double helix and bond you together.   Do it not and you will not.  This goes for everyone – especially wives and children – repeat: wives”.

I wrote those words in an attempt to show all people in general how to connect with combat vets at the present time and especially in the near future when vets suffering from un-treated PTSD will wander the streets dazed, dispirited and suicidal.   They will need the help and understanding of ALL patriotic citizens.   If you are one of those and wish to help out, I respectfully suggest that you start by rigorously keeping your word to him/her in small things and as opportunity serves, keep your word in bigger things and hopefully progress to a helpful bond.

The vet’s woman can take a little step that helps her man big time

That was in general.   In particular I am attempting to speak to the combat vet’s woman at home regarding a very touchy subject that is taboo to talk about:  her perceived fidelity in his eyes.   Before battle he may have been a dignified, courtly gentleman who of course believed in her fidelity.   After combat however, that guy is no more.   He marched into battle and is gone forever, consumed in the flames of war.

Who came back may look like the guy who left, but inside is probably a secret savage beast from doing what he had to do to survive.   This hidden beast part naturally has beastly thoughts and suspicions about everything under the sun because that is the mind-set you must have to survive war.   Thus his suspicion will most likely include his woman’s fidelity.

It works like this.   In all wars since the dawn of wars when a man discovers that his woman has been unfaithful back home, in a close-knit group such as a combat unit his buddies usually find out about it.   It is only natural that they wonder about their own woman’s fidelity.   They wonder about it but once:  and that is continuously.

Question 1:  How many men do not come home suspicious after living in the suspicion soup known as “combat?”

Answer:  Few and none.

Question 2:  How many men come home knowing they are suspicious?  Are aware of it so they can watch out for it and control it?

Answer:  Few and none because suspicion is part of PTSD and most combat veterans suffer from PTSD, do not know it, deny they have it, and thus deny their suspicion

The bad news is that this un-awareness/denial makes suspicion like an invisible snake coiled under the table, waiting to strike discord and disharmony in the home.

The good news is that the vet’s woman can take a little step that helps her man big time by ostentatiously demonstrating that she keeps her word in each and every little thing around the house.   Seeing her rigorously keeping her word in all things goes a long way in reassuring his suspicious hidden beast part that this includes keeping her word of fidelity.

On the other hand if she is sloppy about keeping her word around the house, his hidden beast part may think this failing includes her fidelity, causing his suspicion snake to strike strife and sorrow – almost always not as suspicion but disguised as something else, some little thing, anything.

So woman why take this chance?   Why not tighten your word up to lighten him up?   Does he need such reassurance because he is a bad man, a weak man?   No he is not; he needs it because he came home not bad or weak but hurt and suffering from war wounds – perhaps not on the outside but inside because, in timeless words of Jose Narosky:

“In war, there are no un-wounded soldiers.”

Understand The Warrior’s Mind

A word of warning.   When your man comes home do not be fooled by his outside “Warriors Swagger.”   Inside most combat vets come back tottering trying to tie the shattered and scattered pieces of themselves back together that were blown apart by battle.   So to help your man, disregard his denial of PTSD and know that he needs you to keep on keeping on with the kids, house, school, etc. mostly by yourself for a while longer.

In closing dear long-suffering woman, can you find the compassion within yourself to give him the time he needs to re-assemble?   I respectfully invite you to think on it.

Signed, Paul R. Allen
 

© 2013 by Paul Allen. All rights reserved

Jun 162012
 

WRITER’S NOTE (3)

PART ONE: A COMBAT VETERAN’S EXPLANATION OF PTSD
(how to prevent veteran suicides: explain why the vet is like he is, save the vet)

(1) Experience is not the best teacher, it is the only teacher

The explanation of PTSD offered by caregivers and other would-be experts who have never been in combat would fill a library but has done little good. This is because they view PTSD thru a college/university professor’s eyes or from a medical person’s eyes.

Some supposed “Wise man” once said “Experience is the best teacher.” He lied. Experience is the only teacher.
This writer has experience and views PTSD thru the eyes of a combat infantry soldier who was wounded while struggling and fighting in deadly earnest amidst bodies, blood, pain, and violent death. This unspeakable, indescribable, life-changing experience was burned into my brain forever and put me in a VA hospital suffering from severe PTSD, which I overcame. I am writing this Note in the hope that my bought — not taught — experience overcoming PTSD may help other combat vets do the same.

(2) PTSD is forever

The bad news is that PTSD can never be cured (cured = no issues ever).
The good news is that it can be overcome (overcome = overpowered/surmounted/managed).

PTSD is acquired in an instant and lasts forever. Some combat veterans feel that their PTSD was acquired from being in combat a long time, and that “Short-time” combat vets and support troops out of the direct line of fire who claim to be suffering from PTSD are phony “wannabe” combat vets who do not suffer from PTSD.
They are wrong.
One rocket or one mortar or the mere threat of danger can create a lifetime of PTSD.

(3) Troubled Mind and PTSD Are the Same Thing

What civilian caregivers and other so-called “experts” who have never seen combat do not know is that there is no difference between having a troubled mind and suffering from PTSD. Both terms describe the same thing. To say that they are not the same is to make a distinction without a difference. Therefore for the rest of this Note this writer will combine the two terms into one as follows: troubled mind/PTSD.

(4) Vets come home with troubled mind/PTSD and do not know it

Most combat vets come home with troubled minds because battle automatically makes your mind troubled (if you are fighting alongside me and your mind is NOT troubled you are too stupid to be safe so get out of here before you get me killed!).

Having a troubled mind in combat 24/7, day after day, month after month becomes the “New Normal” and you do not think anything is wrong being that way because it is not un-usual but the usual, common, everyday condition your mind is in when fighting for your life.

The problem is that for many combat vets — including this writer – you cannot tell any difference in your head from High School to combat to back home again.
To say this another way, when you try to look at the state of your mind historically, chronologically – from back then till now – many if not most people cannot see any change, everything looks the same, it seems like your head has always been the way it is, you cannot remember it ever being any other way.

This is why you deny that you are suffering from troubled mind/PTSD. You are not dishonest, you are not a liar trying to fool somebody — you sincerely/genuinely do not know that you are.

(5) Being instantly angry over not much is a dead-giveaway you have troubled mind/PTSD

There is, however, a tell-tale indication that you are suffering from troubled mind/PTSD.
If before combat you were pretty much contented, even-tempered, not hot-tempered but maybe sort of cool — but now after combat:
you are discontented, super-quick to be impatient, annoyed, displeased, vexed;
you are intensely roused to fits of anger at the slightest irritation,

your new pattern of instant-anger is a dead giveaway that you are suffering from troubled mind/PTSD.

Do you see this negative change in yourself? Probably not because it seems to be the Human Condition not to be able to see a negative change in yourself that is quite obvious to others. Thus you are very likely not to know that you have changed in the head. Consequently when a loved one (or a stranger) respectfully suggests that maybe you have changed — and perhaps not for the better — very often you may deeply resent it and perceive them as The Enemy.

(6) “THE BLIND SEARCH: “Vets Search for Something They Know Not What (Peace of Mind)

(A) Many if not most vets think their troubled mind way of being is normal and spend the rest of their lives searching for something they know not what, something that is missing in their lives.

That “something” is peace of mind/serenity but they cannot name it, cannot describe what they are looking for because they do not know that their minds are troubled and long for peace of mind in the first place.

(B) The problem is: how can you be content to stay at home with wife and kids?
How can you hold and grow a job?
How can you lead a happy/satisfied life?

if you are possessed/driven by an un-conscious, restless urge; a nameless, faceless, family disrupting, relationship shattering compulsion to go out and search for “something” you know not what, cannot name, but feel deep down inside that is missing in your life? (Hereinafter called “The Blind Search.”)

(C) You can’t of course, so what often happens? You are discontented; get restless, bored and irritated super easy; abuse alcohol; abuse drugs; cheat on your wife; have multiple failed relationships/marriages; and various other behaviors that one may look back on as regrettable.

  1. It is only natural for you to think ill of yourself for being caught up in these kinds of behaviors;
  2. You keep wandering endlessly in a fog of confusion wondering what is “wrong” with you for being like you are;
  3. You come to the conclusion that you are a NOT OK person; which causes feelings of un-worthiness, feelings of being alone in this world, and so on;
  4. If these negative feelings about yourself spiral down into a self-hatred so virulent that life becomes a living hell, then thoughts of “ending it all” to obtain blessed relief from this poisonous self-loathing start to seem reasonable. (This is a description of someone who is a suicide risk).
  5. This troubled-state-of-mind can managed, however. How? The answer is quite simple and is only eleven words long:
    “Explain why the vet is like he is, save the vet.”


(7) Explain why the vet is like he is, save the vet

A) Once you know why you are like you are — that most of your troubles stem from, and are caused by, “The Blind Search” for the peace of mind/serenity that you lost in the military — and are NOT caused by some defect in you, are NOT caused by some flaw in your character;

B) A light goes on in your head and you realize that you are OK — NORMAL for what you
have been thru, repeat: OK and NORMAL (This is a description of someone who is no longer a suicide risk;

C) This happy realization lifts the heavy iron manhole cover of confusion and self-accusation from atop your head, thereby allowing you to climb out of the darkness of self-doubt about your worthiness as a human being
and in to the bright sunlight of OKness and NORMALCY, which empowers you to manage your PTSD instead of it managing you.

(8) TOWARDS EXPLAINING THE SILENCE OF VETERANS

In war, it is understood that you give your word of honor to dance with Death instead of running away from
it. This suicidal waltz is known as “Doing your duty.”

When you do your duty despite desperately desiring to flee the screaming hell all around, you earn honor.

Earning honor under fire is an unspeakable, indescribable, life-changing experience because your dance
partner Death picks you up and hurls you with hurricane force to a different world.
This brave new world is so far from home that when you came back you feel like a stranger in your own
home town, alone in a crowd of those you once knew, a visitor from another planet.
You are, the Warrior’s World, far beyond the sun.

Although you did your duty, survived the dance, and returned home — not all of you came back. Your heart
and mind are still in the Warrior’s World. They will always be in the Warrior’s World, far away as Mars.
They will never leave; they are laying in a junk yard there – bent and twisted forever into “Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder” (PTSD). The sameness, the commonality of this invisible, bloodless wound is why veterans
mostly think and do the same things.

While earning honor under fire damaged you beyond repair, it also welded you and other veterans into a
“Band of Brothers” — that is, Men of Honor worthy of respect who instantly feel warm camaraderie when we
meet. We easily talk to each other — never about struggling and fighting in deadly earnest amidst bodies,
blood, pain, and violent death — only about the wild and wacky things that happened during our military
service. (In social settings vets virtually never talk about actual combat, but in therapy sessions they may
open up about it if there is someone in the room they can trust, respect, and relate to who will understand and
not judge them).

Although we are able to talk to other veterans, many if not most of us vets have a hard time thinking of
something to say to civilians.

Why? Because they are standing here on Planet Earth while our hearts and minds lay in a junk yard on planet
Mars.

QUESTION TO VETERANS: What are you able to say after you say “hello” to someone who is not even
standing on the same planet you are?
ANSWER: Not much

End of Writer’s Note (3) Part One

WRITER’S NOTE (3) PART TWO: THE SUICIDE ICEBERG – ONLY 10% OF VET SUICIDES
ARE REPORTED

It is my experience that troubled mind/PTSD seems to fall into two categories:
Non-Lethal
Lethal

(1) Non-Lethal troubled mind/PTSD

A – Non-thrill seeking examples: Waking up screaming back in battle; feeling guilty for living while friends died; feeling naked and vulnerable without a gun close to hand; never entering a store, restaurant, movie theater or bar without compulsively scoping out something to hide behind if bullets start flying… always the “if” there might be a threat; must sit with back to wall or skin on back will crawl with fear; automatically duck, hide head in arms at unexpected sounds; and so on.

B – Thrill-seeking examples: Being discontented, getting restless, bored and irritated super-easy; drinking to excess; drugging; doing dangerous but thrilling sports and other thrilling non-sport activities; have thrilling hobbies; live a thrilling life style; cheat on your wife; have multiple failed marriages; various other behaviors that one may look back on as regrettable; and so on.

(2) Lethal troubled mind/PTSD – The Hidden, Super-Sneaky Death Wish

This writer calls lethal troubled mind/PTSD the “Death wish.”
The question naturally arises: how many veterans suffering from troubled mind/ PTSD have a death wish? It is my opinion/guess/hunch that many do and are not aware of it. If they don’t know that they are driven by an un-conscious, restless, compulsive search for serenity/peace of mind, how likely is it that they would know they have a hidden “death wish”? Not very.

Vets drink and drug to excess, drive cars like Hollywood stunt-car drivers, ride motorcycles like mad maniacs, etc., and think they are doing it for the “thrill” of it all. This is true; they are doing it for the thrill because virtually all combat vets come home basically “thrill-crazy” as discussed in the Code. This is the light-side of the thrill-seeking coin.

It has another side however, the dark-side where a hidden death wish may be piggybacking on top of the light-side “thrill” thing. To illustrate/offer proof of why I say this I quote a man who is very knowledgeable on this subject.

(3) Most Death Wishes Are Disguised As So-Called “Accidents”

“Dear writer of the Warrior’s Code of Honor. I have just finished my first reading of the Code. I say first because I knew, after reading it the first time, that it would require subsequent readings and thoughtful analysis. I am a retired 26 year veteran. I wrote to thank you for this great insight into the combat veteran.

I work as a civilian safety manager for Army Forces Command and see on a daily basis the struggles that combat vets are succumbing to. Yes, the adrenaline rush that leads to the fast bikes, high speed driving, substance abuse and ultimately – very, very sadly – the so-called “accidental” death of those warriors.

Please know that I will spread these words of the Code for I feel they are what we need to stop, or at least slow down, the loss of our heroes. Remember, just because an “accident” hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it isn’t about to. Thank you very much.
Mario Gabriel Jr.
Aviation Safety Program Manager, Safety Awards Manager.
U.S. Army Forces Command – Ft. Bragg.”

(4) Writer’s Questions To Vets: Is The Moment Of Death A Surprise?

A) Do you think that the vets who had the fatal “accidents” Mr. Gabriel mentioned above knew they were going to die that day?

B) Or were they in denial that they had a death wish and at the moment of death were surprised?

C) I invite the vet reader to think on it – if you’re thrill-crazy adrenaline junky behaviors are inching ever-more dangerous, you may be in for a “surprise” orchestrated by your hidden, super-sneaky death wish.

(5) The Suicide Iceberg – Only 10% Of Vet Suicides Are Reported

The sad truth is that the combat vet death wish is acted out far more often than is commonly known. To clarify this rather murky situation, it may be helpful to think of suicide as an iceberg. At the tiny 10% top of the iceberg sticking out of the water are the death wishes acted out without disguise, like doing yourself in with a gun, etc. These are visible, thus are “news” and reported as such.

But out of sight in the 90% of the iceberg down below the waterline are all the death wishes disguised as fatal “accidents.” Since these suicides are not visible they are not “news” and go un-reported.

This under-reporting is why the American people have no idea just how bad the vet suicide situation is now, and how bad it soon will be when the huge tidal wave of PTSD hovering over America blocking out the sun fully crashes down upon this un-suspecting and totally un-prepared nation.

This brings us to the purpose of this website — I am doing my best to help out.

(6) The truth about the severity of the Writer’s PTSD – what one man can do another can do

A) In the interests of full disclosure I hereby revise and extend my remarks regarding my personal PTSD experience. At the beginning of this Writer’s note I stated that I was once in a VA hospital with severe PTSD. I sort of left out that it was the Psycho Ward of the hospital; I was locked down behind bars and kept heavily sedated 24/7 for a long time because I was a high suicide risk.

B) From that dark bottom of the PTSD hole in the ground I clawed my way up and out into the bright sunlight of recovery to write the Warrior’s Code of Honor. (See Writer’s Note (4): How and why the Warrior’s Code was written — a step-by-step guide how to get out of PTSD and in to serenity) for a full discussion of this topic.

C) I close this note with a universal truth as old as mankind. In modern times it was expressed in the famous Kill the Bear scene from the American movie “The Edge” starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin:

“WHAT ONE MAN CAN DO ANOTHER CAN DO”

Signed,
Paul R. Allen

© 2013 by Paul Allen. All rights reserved

May 182012
 

PUBLISHER’S EMAIL TO WRITER:
“Dear writer of the Warrior’s Code of Honor, I thought it very well done and would like to know more about you and your experience.  We might be interested in giving this far greater exposure.  Thank you,

Tobias Naegele  mailto:tnaegele@atpco.com

Tobias Naegele, Editor in Chief, Army Times Publishing Co.
(Army Times,  Navy Times,  Air Force Times,  Marine Corps Times, Defense News,  Federal Times,  Armed Forces Journal, Training & Simulation Journal,  C4ISR Journal )
Office: (703) 750-8620  Fax: (703) 750-8683

WRITER’S REPLY TO PUBLISHER:
Thank you Mr. Naegele for your kind words about The Warrior’s Code.   The following information may answer your question about me and my experience.   My experiences as an 18 year-old combat infantryman and my disastrous coming home experiences led me to write the Code.

In general I wrote it in the hope that I could shed some small light on why combat veterans are like they are so they can better understand their PTSD, how they can fix it and earn serenity.

In particular I wrote it to forewarn my fellow combat veterans about the dangers of coming home with un-realistic expectations and denied PTSD.   My coming home expectations were not only wrong but upside down and backwards too.   I expected that things would be much the same as when I left for war, and expected to resume my life pretty much as before.   These expectations were based on my ignorance of what struggling and fighting in deadly earnest amidst bodies, blood, pain, and violent death does to those who do the fighting.   I now know that I was also wounded in a secret, bloodless way called PTSD but did not realize it at the time.

When I came home I had no idea that combat had aged me far beyond my years, changing me from an immature teenager into a man old enough in the head to be my own father.   This is why I was so surprised and disappointed to discover that I had nothing in common with the High School friends I expected to resume hanging out with.   It was if I had become their responsible, trustworthy parent and they were still irresponsible, untrustworthy adolescents.   After friends died in combat keeping their word to me, they seemed too un-tested to be trusted and were now mere acquaintances to be avoided.

I had no idea that I came home thrill-crazy, which made me consider those who were not willing to engage in dangerous but thrilling activities not OK people.   For example, going “blast fishing” to see who could hold a burning stick of dynamite in their hand the longest before throwing it into the water to “blast” fish to the surface.   I always won those contests, holding the dynamite longer than anyone else so that when I finally did throw it into the water it only sank an inch or so before exploding, wetting everyone in the boat plus scaring the bleep out of them.   As a result nobody wanted to go “fishing” with me anymore.

This is just one example of my thrill-crazy, adrenaline junky behaviors.   There are others, like driving cars like a Hollywood stunt-car driver, riding motorcycles like a mad maniac, etc.   I always won these events in such a dangerous, scary way that nobody wanted to do these things with me either.   As a result I felt lonely and alone, a stranger in my own home town.   I of course thought myself blameless for this separation/isolation from everyone I once knew – muttering to myself some such as, “I’m OK, it’s them who are not OK.”  One crashed expectation followed another in a long line of disappointments.   Consequently coming home was hell for me — not because of the people God bless them they were all OK — but because of my un-realistic expectations and denied PTSD.   Broken, dispirited, and heart-busted, I left town and never went back.

PRA- Leader of Juke Joint Wolf Pack

PRA- Leader of Juke Joint Wolf Pack

Thanks to the G.I. Bill and multiple, simultaneous part-time jobs, I graduated from university and became a successful professional by day, and a thrill-crazy alcoholic and junkie by night.   I was so happy being a “cool dude” slyly getting away with burning the candle of my life at both ends that it was a real shock to discover – in a rare moment of self-honesty/self-awareness – that despite my surface success, deep down I was desperately unhappy.   I could not figure out why this was so.   Everyone I knew wished they were me.

But something was wrong, something was missing in my life I knew not what (I realized years later that my mind was troubled from combat and the “something” missing was peace of mind/serenity.   I could not name this idea; I could not describe what I was looking for because I did not know that my mind was troubled and hungered for peace of mind in the first place).

The only thing I knew was that the more successful I was on the outside the more desperately unhappy I became on the inside and the more I needed help for something I knew not what.   The more I kept putting off seeking help the more desperate I got and the more unmanageable my life became. It is said that desperate men do desperate things.   I can testify from personal experience the truth of this saying.   Eventually I got so desperately unhappy that I managed to flog Macho-Man me to the Veterans Administration, my desperation overcoming my humiliation and shame for betraying the Macho Warriors Way and admitting that I needed help (“a real man don’t need no help!”).   I was covertly diagnosed as suicidal and overtly advised to wind up my affairs and check myself in to the Psycho Ward.   I did so, was locked down behind bars and kept heavily sedated 24/7.

Paul R. Allen in Honey Island Swamp

Paul R. Allen in Honey Island Swamp

After a long time groggy and sleeping 16 hours a day I woke up enough to check myself out AMA (Against Medical Advice) and checked myself in to the wilderness of Honey Island Swamp.   I stayed there alone for a year, living off the land.   I gave my word of honor to myself to stop stumbling thru life thrill-crazy, stop drinking and drugging to numb my guilt for living while friends died, and stop all my other PTSD caused self-destructive behaviors.

I have kept my word to this day.  I kicked “cold turkey” alcohol, drugs, tobacco and came out clean as a whistle.   I have been that way ever since.I emerged from the wilderness a different person; still searching for something I knew not what.   I moved far away out-of-state and started my professional practice all over again.  I remain to this day a successful self-employed nobody hiding out in the weeds of anonymity for reasons no civilian will ever understand but bloodied, battle-rattled combat vets will.  No one but my wife knows I was even in the military much less wrote The Warrior’s Code of Honor.

Over the years I often wished that I had read something like the Warrior’s Code to forewarn me about the dangers of coming home with un-realistic expectations and denied PTSD.   It would have saved me immense pain and suffering.   I gave my word of honor to myself to write a warning to my fellow combat veterans what coming home might really be like, why this was so, and what they could do to fix it and earn serenity.

So I sat down and deliberately allowed repressed painful coming home disappointments, and repressed terrible combat memories hiding in the darkness of my gut to come out into the sunlight of awareness and be re-lived and suffered thru so I could write about them.

The first time I did this I wound up crouched in a corner, head in arms, crying my heart out.   The second time I repeated this dreaded but necessary act I was able to remain seated at my desk, head in arms, sobbing uncontrollably for a long time.   The third time I was able to sit with head up, tears flowing down my cheeks, shorter than before.   The fourth time I cried even less.   And so on and on and on.   Each time the tears and pain were less than the time before.   This is how I was able to write The Warrior’s Code of Honor.   It took months and months.

Meanwhile something wondrous was slowly, imperceptibly happening to me inside.   The more I deliberately brought up remembrances about  my time in the screaming hell of combat, the more calmness and tranquility I felt after the awful pain and tears went away.   To say this another way, the more pain I deliberately suffered thru thereby disappearing it, the less pain remained, making more room for the infilling of more blessed serenity, the “something” I had been searching for all those years but could not name.

PA

PRA after writing Warriors Code

In sum, my self-inflicted pain and suffering not only enabled me to write the Code, but also earned me ever-increasing peace of mind.   I am no longer searching.   I found what I was looking for.   I wrote The Warrior’s Code of Honor to help others but wound up helping myself.   There must be a lesson in this somewhere. It is my life desire that my words will forewarn my fellow combat veterans that if they come home with realistic expectations and admitted PTSD, all will be well, but if they do not they will be in hell.

Ancient wisdom teaches that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.   I came home un-forewarned, was thus unarmed, in hell, and bleeding – shot thru the heart by un-realistic expectations and denied PTSD.   And on that bloody hook, thereby hangs this tale.

Signed,
Paul R. Allen

 

© 2013 by Paul Allen. All rights reserved

© 2012 Warriors Code of Honor Warriors Code Theme By: Mister Jim Design