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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

From Afghanistan about PTSD

Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 8:32 AM

Just wanted to share a letter from my brother, SFC Brent Juelfs stationed in Afghanistan. This letter speaks to the trauma of PTSD.

Hello from the Stan, 1 October 2012

Well it's been about a month and a half now and I'm getting used to being here already. I pretty much know most of the base now and where everything and everyone is located that I need to do business with. I've got a total of five soldiers I'm in charge of here. Two are mechanics and three are supply. Two are on their second deployment and one is on his fourth, like me. The other two are on their first deployment. First time for me having a female soldier while deployed and she is married to another soldier in the unit. Yes while deployed they get to sleep in the same quarters. Earning their respect and confidence is always hard to do but I've found it is harder keeping it than earning it. All but one has been here for six months and are trying to stay motivated for the last six. One is from Coralville, Iowa and is of course a Hawkeye Fan.

On a different note this war is the longest war in the history of the United States and is taking its toll on the soldiers. Just the other day one of the officers in my unit, on his third deployment, went to the Battalion commander and said he needs to talk to someone about the nightmares he's having. Before I left for this place my son called me up and told me one of his buddies he served with here killed himself. The room I now sleep in used to be a guy in the unit who killed himself while here. Suicides in the military are at an all-time high. Many, many veterans are suffering from PTSD and are doing nothing to treat it. It is a treatable problem and everyone handles it differently. My son called me and asked me how I handle it and I told him day, by day and I pray a lot, which I learned from my wife. I depend on my wife so much and truly couldn't have done any of these deployments without her. The things that we have done, seen, and experienced are not a normal thing, and we must push ourselves to do them so it makes sense that we will remember them in times of stress and when we sleep. Smells, sounds, anything can bring the memories back. I hope and pray all veterans seek help when they need it and pass it on to others.

I've received cards and letters and care packages since arriving here. I thank you all for your support and I appreciate all of it. I will close this letter with a poem I found that is called The Final Inspection (Author Unknown).

The soldier stood and faced God,

Which must always come to pass,

He hoped his shoes were shining,

Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and

said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,

Because those of us who carry guns,

Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep...

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here,

They never wanted me around,

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,

It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,

Where the saints had often trod,

As the soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,

You've borne your burdens well,

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

Author Unknown

Take care and God bless,

SFC Brent Juelfs


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

"War is over, if you want it."

-- Posted by Cookster on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 8:20 AM

Thank you and your family for your heroic service; you are a hero to all. Stay strong and know that many are praying for you.

p.s. Go Hawks! Be especially nice to this person....hahaha. Repeated thanks for all you and yours sacrifice.

-- Posted by patience4383 on Thu, Oct 4, 2012, at 10:28 PM

My son came home from the Army having served 1 1/2 continuous years in Afghanistan. He reports they were shot at daily, he saw and heard many other bad things. He had major problems with loud noises after he came home. He said he didn't deserve to have PTSD, because he wasn't on the front lines. It took him a while to realize he had PTSD, and when he did, he did go for some help. Many people do not realize the help needs to be an ongoing process. He has gotten better, but still tenses up when he hears loud noises, 2 1/2 years later.

These experiences do not go away just because you want it to. People need to understand there are many horrible things that happen to our service people that affect them for many years, perhaps the rest of their lives. PLEASE do not ever tell them to just get over it. These experiences are now part of them.

-- Posted by army-mom on Sun, Oct 21, 2012, at 12:15 AM


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M.O.M.: My Opinionated Mouth
Leah Cauthron
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My name is Leah Cauthron. I was born and raised on a farm near Cushing, Iowa. My parents still live there. I am a conservative Catholic. I have been married to Randy for 22 years and we have six children. I received my degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Wyoming College and as a mother of six and a daycare mom, I have used probable cause, reasonable doubt, search and seizure, Miranda rights, submission, arrest and interrogation technique as a part of my daily life. I can also shoot a .357 magnum with deadly accuracy. I have lots of opinions on lots of things. I am not an expert on anything but I read a lot and will gladly share that information if I find it accurate. I have a sarcastic nature and for the most part I have pretty thick skin and most things don't bother me for long. I don't like mudslinging or name calling so keep negativity of the personal nature to yourself. Enjoy and welcome to my opinion.
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