About This Site – Read this First
November 09, 2013
You can read a little about me in the article “About The Author – Brian Wilson”.
Over the next few weeks/months I plan to get down on paper/screen? the nagging, untold adventures that sometimes, over the past 45 years, have kept me awake at night…and also overshadowed every aspect of my life since I put aside the things of war and tried to make a “normal” life.
I realise now that I seem to have managed my demons a little better than some of my soldier friends. Many of us turned to drink. Many of us “dropped out” of life. Most of us are dead.
As a small group of survivors, we live quite strange lives. Our dress jackets hang in our wardrobes cleaned, medals up, badges of personal meaning pinned on, poppies in pocket ready for burials.
As a demographic group of men, we are dying 200% faster than our peers. For the past five years we average four-five deaths per month.
Many of us are not that sorry to go.
And yet, our short adventure as fighting infantry soldiers was a searing, brilliant highlight of our lives. No aspect of our personality, behaviour or achievement is unaffected by that tour of Vietnam in 1967.
We avoided each other for about 20 years when we first came home. We don’t tell each other many true stories about how we felt, what happened to us, what we want from life.
Some of us have talked to official groups such as the Agent Orange Commission, The Oral History Project, War pensions, etc, etc and we are a little tired of it. Many of us have been interviewed by psychiatrists. That was a long time ago, when I thought that my dreams, behaviours and attitudes were unique to me. I now know that many, most, of us suffer from various conditions of the mind that make us very different to our fellow men…labelled as PTSD. You won’t read accounts of my nightmares in these stories – I am deliberately keeping to what I know is true and actual. I don’t want to breathe any life into the horrors of that dark world. But my wife had to deal with them.
I have the huge advantage of having the girl I met when we were 16 years old. Despite the very strange state I was in when I came home, she married me in 1969 and is still with me, having built walls of love and understanding around me, given me two beautiful daughters and now a wonderful grand-daughter.
So I am now trying to write my personal stories that affected just me. Only the ones that I featured in. Through my eyes only.
Before my contribution to our monthly headcount comes up.
The stories, I suspect, may be of little interest to most people..
But I’ve never told them to anybody. And I need to.
It’s hard work. Do I use real names? Do I describe the reality of blood, torn flesh, fear, screaming?
I think I will, in some stories. Some of them are horrifying.
But naming young men who went too far in handling captives, fragging their own mates, trying to blow up their Officers…no. I need to tell the stories…but the names add nothing. No one wants to punish anyone. We have been punished enough.
Shot and shell and Agent Orange have punished us enough. Sleepless nights and hyper-alert reactions to everyday things have punished our loved ones enough.
So any names (but mine) are false. Many are dead anyway.
But the stories are all true. They happened just as I saw them, did them, lived through them.
I hope you will read them. It will help.
Click on stories in horizontal bar above, or click on BLOG to see full list of stories – and to write comments to the me (Brian Wilson).
Thanks for visiting my site.
THE ROLE OF THE INFANTRY
…is to seek out and close with the enemy
To kill or capture him
To seize and hold ground
To repel attack by day and night
Regardless of weather or terrain