It's taken me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that Bob and I have been together for a decade and that I am the wife of a combat veteran with PTSD.
There are a ton of quirks that go along with this scenario and, I believe, it is different for each and every single one of our military veterans who have seen combat.
Bob is a Vietnam veteran.
The Fourth of July was my most favorite holiday. Key word = Was. Not any longer.
I'll explain why.
I am not about to begrudge anyone for celebrating our Independence Day. I think it is a necessary and integral part of being an American. I wouldn't have it any other way. The firecrackers represent a hard fought war, in which many early Americans willingly sacrificed their lives for our newly founded country. We showed up to kick ass and chew bubblegum and we were all out of bubblegum!
I love how diversely all of us celebrate the Fourth of July. The cookouts, camping trips, just good, quality family time.
Lately, in the past several years, I have come to hate the celebrations. I hate them with a purple passion. I have no right to tell anyone that they can't celebrate our holiday using fireworks. I don't have that right. But, I wish that each and every single person who thinks it's funny to light off illegal, booming fireworks...or fire their weapons...would read this blog post and try to put themselves in the shoes of my husband.
My husband volunteered to serve. It was a case of that he either volunteer and choose the branch of the military that he served in or he would have been drafted into the Army. Bob chose to go into the Navy. He did not sit out in the sea on a big aircraft carrier for the entire war. Bob was a swift boat pilot (I hope I got that right...I'm not sure if I did). Bob transported troops up and down the rivers in Vietnam. Bob has been shot at. Bob has seen many, many, many of his friends killed.
I'm not sure how many of you sit and watch someone you love on edge for a week or better each year, but that's what I do. I watch him. I watch every single time someone lights off a cannon or whatever the hell they light off. I watch when military choppers fly overhead. I see someone that I care for go back to a dark place in his mind and I get frustrated because there is not one damn thing that I can do about it.
Bob has been through a PTSD treatment clinic. It did him a world of good...but, one thing that no amount of counseling or medication is going to take away are the memories of what he went through in Vietnam. Hell, I can barely get him to go into a Vietnamese restaurant. I don't ask about it. I don't ever ask him about it. Sometimes, he tells me things...but I don't ask.
One good thing that came with Bob's disability rating through the VA is that he was entitled to a disabled veteran lifetime state park pass where he can book campsites for up to 3 weeks at no cost. I was racking my brain trying to figure out if I could get a rumwhiskeyvaliumweedlatte somewhere because, between having two big dogs that are terrified of fireworks (and, yes, we have xanax for them...it doesn't work) and a husband with PTSD, I just really do not care for the Fourth of July any longer. It's not my favorite holiday anymore.
I could put a sign outside that says: "Combat Veteran Lives Here...Please Be Respectful With Fireworks" but, inevitably, some asshole is going to throw one in our yard if I do that.
Respect is fastly becoming an endangered species in these parts. Everyone is out there, doing what they do because it is their right to do so. Fine, great, dandy, groovy. I just wish you would remember and show some respect for those who have put their lives on line for you to have those rights.
Happy Independence Day, everyone...we're off to camp in a state park because we cannot stay in our home for this! Peace!
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Monday, May 25, 2015
|Celeriac...I planted this last year and it's still growing.|
|Jazzy lettuces and spinach.|
|Red Orach...very edible.|
|Corn Salad or Mache|
|I can't remember, off hand, this lettuce variety.|
|Prickly Pear Cacti...starting to flower.|
|My first mini rose...still going strong!|
|My potato box|
|Peas and a jalapeno pepper plant|
|Comfrey. I steep the leaves of this to make a tea that I feed to the tomatoes.|
|Asparagus. I'm going to move all the asparagus to the middle raised bed after this growing season.|
|Red Veined Sorrel or Bloody Dock|
|Blueberries...Pink Lemonade Blueberries.|
|My rose garden|
|Calendula...from saved seeds from last year.|
|Bob picked out the flowers in this pot. Not bad, Bob...not bad at all!|
|Egyptian Walking Onions...these are starting to bulb out.|
|Pretty little tomatoes, all in a row!|