those who are…HAUNTED… by MEMORIES.

“The Dude”

This morning, I was driving up a mountain road to go for a hike. Then, I saw this dude (pictured above) just strolling along merrily next to my car.

I had to stop. And just stare at this magnificent creature for a moment.

We briefly locked eyes. I have no idea what he was thinking. (Maybe – “why is this human eyeballing me?”) But…who knows.

A few hours later, I met a new blogger friend.  He served as a Marine in the Vietnam War. I told him that I was grateful for his sacrifice, and that he is appreciated. He thanked me, and told me that he is still haunted by the memories of that horrible experience.

That got me thinking of how many people have had to endure such painful experiences…. that the memories still haunt them… daily … decades later.

My heart dropped when I heard him say that. I truly felt sorry for him – that he has had to carry around that emotional and psychological baggage for so long.

All at once…Our world can be a beautiful and brutal place.

And, I think to keep our sense of wellness and sanity, it is probably a good idea to treasure those special moments in life. Those tender moments.

And to also recognize that some people have had to endure hardships that we could not possibly imagine. These people have been pushed to the edge of what humans can sustain. Their psyches have been deeply scarred.

I hope one day we can finally put an end to this horrible thing called…war.

Life is not a video game. Real life actions have real life consequences. These veterans have survived the war, but the battle inside rages on. I salute these people. For they have endured something that is not meant to happen…they suffered through a man-made method of destruction.

Going forward, I hope future generations are not going to be haunted by memories.


39 replies »

  1. “For they have endured something that is not meant to happen…they suffered through a man-made method of destruction.
    Going forward, I hope future generations are not going to be haunted by memories.” A huge amen to that!

    All these many eons and for all that we have learned, we have yet to learn that we can not war our way to peace.
    My appreciation of the soldiers is without bounds, but we do not have the right to ask anybody to do what they have
    done. The strategists play a game with people for pawns. I dream of peace…

    The photograph and the text touches the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true… I speak with veterans on a daily basis and am always so amazed at how resilient they are. The ones I’m fortunate enough to speak with have such amazing attitudes. They’re funny, patient, a little sassy, and they say it like it is, lol. Where I work, we provide training, but ironically it’s them who have taught me a lot. 🙂 I loved this post. Have a nice day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree completely. I don’t think war will end until people simply refuse to fight because their governments tells them to, until we face the fact that war is profitable and that’s one of the main reasons for it. Until the people stand together and tell those in power to go fight by themselves because we are no longer willing to give them our children and those we love…and after we say a collective no, we can have a world wide party in the street because we will no longer kill on command for the greedy rich. Until then…people will die, be haunted by night/daymares and suffer. We have to say NO.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “why is this human eyeballing me?” XD
    ohhhmaaaaguuash! Why can’t this thing let me press “like” a thousand times! Why not!?
    You blended the gloomy and sober things with humour and fun so well! Sorry to say – this almost had the effect of digital drugs! XD
    Is that a term? I’m laughing and crying all at once! XD

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for liking “Night Beauty,” “Spring Canopy,” and “Seeking the Divine.” Nice post! 🙂 I also sympathize with veterans who have suffered physical and psychological damage for their service. I once read a post by a WordPress blogger doing a doctoral dissertation on military veterans. According to him, what can also cause some veterans to commit suicide besides battlefield trauma are feelings of isolation and depression after they arrive home.

    There is so much suffering in this world. I think about people who survived the Holocaust in World War 2 or even cases like the three women held as sex slaves in Cleveland by Ariel Castro. It can be frustrating to try to figure out why things like this have to happen. It can also make you feel helpless that, knowing human nature, these things will happen again.

    One thing that gives me hope is seeing how amazingly resilient some people are after suffering a traumatic experience. They somehow manage to move on with their lives in spite of what happened to them. While they may be haunted by bad memories of their experiences, they are not bitter and in some cases have tried to forgive those who wronged them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Memories can be beautiful but some really haunt us bad.
    I have the same experience!! That one house and lane in the street has got so many memories that it haunts terribly. I don’t visit past places, I let them haunt in my memories. Maybe with time maturity will flood in and such things won’t affect!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I share your sentiment that hopefully one day peace will fill our world. Some people do have to bear horrible memories and letting you know you care might not take them away but may give them a pleasant memory even if it is just for a short while. If we all did this and combined a bit of tolerance I’m sure we’d all live happier lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin, you reached deeply into your heart with this blog. I always pray that there will be an end to war, an end to painful memories, and an end to the now terrorist attacks. Yes, we should always offer our thanks to these men and woman but it never seems like enough. Your blog expresses it so well. Thank you for writing what many of us feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s a series on PBS called Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler. I saw the episode on Lourdes that featured a pilgrimage of war veterans around the world. It’s a very moving documentary and reminds me about your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a wonderful post Kevin. It is great that you indicate these destinies and problems these brave people have to deal with on a daily base. A war that continues inside. Also I love your statement that the world is horrible and brutal at once. We should never forget that there are both sides most of all when we just experience the brutal one.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I see a VA therapist several times a month. Been doing that since the mid 1980s when they first came out with Vet Centers which were originally set up for Vietnam Vets. I also go to group meetings. The two keep me grounded. Anyway, such is life. I am a United States Marine, just no longer in uniform. You go to war one way and come home another. See if you can get a copy of The Elder’s Thoughts from I Can Fight No More Forever…by Chief Joseph of the Nez Pearce in the late 1890s. Another interesting thought comes from Thoughts on War, Deng Ming-Dao, a Taoist Monk about 4,000 years ago in China.


  12. Kevin, thank you for your thoughts. Sadly, there are approximately 22 veterans who end their lives every day. In terms of Vietnam Vets, there are over three times the number of the names on the memorial wall in DC who have taken their lives over the yaars.


  13. Great post Kevin, several years ago I dated a woman whom had a son recently back from the middle east, arriving back in Michigan, he was not the same young man who left home.

    He needed psychiatric care. We always say thank you to our service men and women in Vegas as we have Nellis AFB on the edge of town and see them in there fatigues frequently.

    Great buck there, looks like a six point.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks John. Yeah, it is a quite a predicament. We send men and women to fight a war, and then we expect them to fully assimilate back into “normal” life. Our brains do not work that way….There were two bucks. This one just happened to look at me.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautifully expressed! Maybe one of your best to date..Thank you, will never suffice for those who have kept all our American dreams possible. But I will say just that. Thank You to all who have and are serving. You Kevin, have given us food for thought . Nice going.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your comment, and kind words. You are right – a simple thank you is not enough. But, that is usually all we have to give. And it is certainly better than no acknowledgement at all.


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