Friday, September 11, 2009

Patriot Day - 9/11 Ponderings and Looking Forward

Just today I met a tremendous fellow who writes about his experiences suffering with PTSD, which he got as a result of putting his ass in the line of fire in Iraq so that my ass can enjoy pursuing my cozy life here at home, out of the line of fire: Sgt. Patrick McNally, U.S. Army Retired. He found me on - he seemed to enjoy my music tastes, so I looked up his profile where he has his blog linked to.

I went to go read his blog. Boy did I get a lesson in PTSD from his writings. We've all heard how miserable it is for many of the soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Hospital; Sgt. McNally details his experience there, and how unhappy it made him and other soldiers (to say the least). It was a terrible experience; it continues to be a terrible experience for him now. He talks about the high rate of suicide there, and at the hospital he was medivac-ed to in Germany directly from combat in the war. His blog is better than any report you'll hear on the evening news because, well, he was there. You get the experience firsthand.

Is it hard to read? Yes, but imagine how much harder it is for him - he's the one that has to live with the reality.

Today, I ask you dear readers to go spend some time reading what Sgt. McNally has to say, and maybe say 'thank you' to him today for all he did, and all he's suffering with now. As a blogger, I can tell you receiving comments from people just makes my day. Feedback is the elixir of a blogger's life. If nothing else, leave him a comment saying 'Thank You'.

Where do we go from here? I believe if we use 9/11 to not only look back and remember, but also to re-evaluate so that we can move forward, perhaps that's how we can make things better for Sgt. McNally and other soldiers like him.

Postscript: I know the sight of George W. Bush's face upsets many of my readers; it is my hope you'll look past your emotional reaction to focus on the other man in the picture, Sgt. McNally. It was the best picture of him I could find on his blog.

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