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user459
10-21-2008, 01:41 PM
Wow, I didn't know you guys existed! I did a Yahoo! search on the title of a poem I wrote in 1999 called "Goodbye, Viet Nam" so I could forward it to a recent acquaintance, and I found a question about its authorship on this forum. How wierd is that?

I spent three years, one month, five days, twelve hours and seven minutes in the US Army. I started out as a Teletype Repairman and ended up a Signal Corps First Lieutenant. I was in Germany until my assignment to Viet Nam in 1968. I was there until April 1969.

Fast forward thirty years and I found myself in a treatment center in California with problems with drugs and alchohol. Big surprise, huh? In that environment of psychological counseling and self discovery I had a revelation.

During a lecture, one of the couselors made reference to Lt. Dan from the movie, "Forrest Gump". I wigged out. See, my wife made me go to see the movie when it first came out. She had seen it with a friend and thought I would enjoy it. I did, at first; run, Forrest, run: box of chocolates, and all that. Then, sitting in that darkened theater, the scenes from Viet Nam with Bubba came on and I froze in my seat. I gripped the arms of the seat so hard I bet my fingerprints are still there. I couldn't move. The shelling and sights and sounds triggered something in me I thought I had buried long before. I sat still as a corpse for the rest of the movie and was churning inside. When we finally left the theater, I said, "Don't you ever do that to me again!" She had no idea what she had done. She knew I didn't like movies about Viet Nam, but forgot about those scenes.

The reference to Lt. Dan just revived those same feelings in a place where they could surface and be acknowledged. Luckily, there were understanding counselors there and a staff member from nearby Ft. Pendelton who recognized the symptoms. That was the first time I heard about PTSD.

I sat and wrote "Goodbye, Viet Nam" in basically one sitting, with few revisions. I find it easier to express myself in writing. There's a good presentation of it at (I had a link here, but I'm not allowed to reference a link until I have made fifteen posts, so I attached it as a doc). If anyone would like me to send them a copy, email me. I have others, too.

I have been clean and sober since 1999 and have been to my local Vet Center for counseling and to the VA Hospital for evaluation. Still, it took six years to get recognition from the VA of my diagnosis of PTSD. That was a milestone in itself on my road to recovery. I'm a little better now, but it still kicks my ass when I least expect it.

Thank God for the Vet Center and the people there who understand and care. If you have one near you and you feel you need help, don't put it off! Call and get an appointment.

Welcome Home Brothers!

Never Forget!

Terry

DeadlyDaring
10-21-2008, 02:55 PM
Here is the link on this forum of your poem Terry which was started by your Son?
http://www.patriotfiles.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40149&highlight=Goodbye%2C+Viet

DeadlyDaring from DownUnder

user459
10-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the post reference, but I don't have a son. I think the poster there was a little confused, since I didn't write the poem until 1999. It has been widely published on the web and I have gotten a lot of responses to it over the last nine years. I'm just hoping it strikes a familiar chord with some guys and they can benefit from it and seek the help they need.

39mto39g
10-21-2008, 03:48 PM
Terry
What was your address in Vietnam. and welcome.

Ron

Packo
10-21-2008, 06:43 PM
I definately believe your one of us....just find it funny that "Welder" told the story of his dad sending it to him. Bill figured it out. Don't know how I missed all that before. As a former Vet Center Therapist....15 years until burn out....your message is good and we read you 5 by 5. Welcome home LT. What state do you live in...and would you be interested in a visit to Psyco Mountain? It's a great time, 2 times a year. Vets day weekend and the last weekend in April. Ask questions, and give it a thought. There are many pics in the gallery. Oh, yeah...the poems great.

Pack

Doc.2/47
10-22-2008, 10:08 AM
Welcome home, 459. That is indeed a fine poem that does a pretty fine job of describing feelings that most cannot put into words. Thank you.

I've got a short one here:
http://iwvpa.net/keimhe/index.php

You may want to consider submiting your poem to that site if you have not already.
Again, welcome.

b3196
10-22-2008, 01:01 PM
Like Packo says If your anywhere near Psyco Mtn Ellijay Ga. You should join us in our prayer breakfast/choir practice and midget toss

user459
10-23-2008, 05:01 AM
To answer a few of the questions you asked:

I was in Cam Rahn Bay with the 41st Signal Battalion; in Qui Hhon on Vung Chua Mountain with the 362nd Signal Company; and in Dalat at Krause Compound with the 362nd.

I now live in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Psycho Mtn sounds interesting, but a long way from Mass. I spent 13 months at Ft Gordon, GA, in TTY school and OCS.

I read your poem and it was a great one. Thanks. I will investigate that site further and post mine.

Thanks for all the positive comments. I feel like family already.

Terry

Robert Ryan
10-23-2008, 05:02 PM
Vung Chua (Ghost Mountain) My third tour I was with the 61st MP Co. Until I was transferred to the 716th MP's In Saigon. Stood gate gurad, Dec 71 got there transferred to 716th in April 72.

39mto39g
10-23-2008, 05:51 PM
Robert
what is the Armed forces expeditionary metal for, you have on your "Robert Ryan" Icon.
I have one also, For Dominican Republic service with the 82nd. Just wondering?

Ron

QM3steve
10-23-2008, 05:52 PM
Welcome home Terry,
Longmeadow's just a hop skip and a jump from Albany. (Revwardoc) is out there in Mass. Curtis (Seatjerker) is in Latham, a little NE of Albany. Connect with him for the trip to Ga. I may brave the trip next spring. I'm just over an hour west of Albany. I was too young for VN but appreciate the camaraderie here.

MORTARDUDE
10-23-2008, 10:36 PM
Welcome Aboard !!

All the best,

Larry

user459
11-03-2008, 04:38 AM
I found another poem I wrote while at the VA Hospital in Leeds, MA, for an evaluation for PTSD:


Sticker Shock





Feelings out of nowhere,


A tightness in my gut,


Feelings that I'm worthless,


I'm not what I'd have thought.


<O:p></O:p>


A heightened sense of danger,


Real, but undefined,


Sensing eyes upon me,


Or is it just my mind?


<O:p></O:p>


What brought this on,


This mental state?


Is it something I saw?


Was it something I ate?


<O:p></O:p>


I search my mind,


For recent events,


That triggered this,


That made me tense.


<O:p></O:p>


Now I remember,


While driving through town,


I saw a truck,


I think it was brown.


<O:p></O:p>


What caught my eye,


As it went past,


Was a simple sticker


On the window glass.


<O:p></O:p>


It was black and white,


And said "POW/MIA,


You are not forgotten."


Then it drove away.


<O:p></O:p>


It left me in tears,


My eyes started to burn,


Like a mindless robot,


I took the next turn.


<O:p></O:p>


I evaded it this time,


But when would I see,


The next reminder,


Of what troubles me?


<O:p></O:p>


Terry Rushbrook Ward 8, 2/18/05

Gimpy
11-03-2008, 03:28 PM
To answer a few of the questions you asked:

I was in Cam Rahn Bay with the 41st Signal Battalion; in Qui Hhon on Vung Chua Mountain with the 362nd Signal Company; and in Dalat at Krause Compound with the 362nd.

I now live in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Psycho Mtn sounds interesting, but a long way from Mass. I spent 13 months at Ft Gordon, GA, in TTY school and OCS.

I read your poem and it was a great one. Thanks. I will investigate that site further and post mine.

Thanks for all the positive comments. I feel like family already.

Terry



Terry,

Welcome aboard. Your poem brought on some "sandstorms" that caused some watery eyes for sure. I wish I could write like that.

When were you at Ft. Gordon?

I saw where you were in Nam during 68 and 69?

If you ever made over to the old Ft. Gordon Hospital in late 67 or 68 before you shipped out, we may have crossed paths.

I was hospitalized there for 18 months from Dec. 67 thru May 69 after I had a little "run in" with a bunch of little short fellers named Charlie in early November 67. Pretty much saw everything on that base (Ft Gordon) as my condition improved. Be 41 years come this Wednesday, Nov. 5 .....that'll be my "anniversary" of that eventfull evening.

Anyways............, being a "charter member" of the PsycoVets Gang that congregates semi-annually on Psyco Mountain (I can't make it this year because of some doctors appointments) I'd like to extend a hearty invitation to Johns' and Sids' mountain "retreat" this coming spring for the other little "get together" we have up there.

I'm sure John & Sid won't mind one more of our "brethern" on the mountain top next spring! They should be posting info on the days and weekend that little "party" will be taking place pretty soon.

Look forward to seeing you there next spring.

And,................welcome home,

Gimp

user459
11-04-2008, 04:27 AM
Gimp.

Those poems caused a few tears on this side, too.

I was at Fort Gordon in 1966 to 1967. I went to Teletype Repair school as an enlisted man and then to Signal Corps OCS and was commissioned oin May 1967. I got orders for Germany and spent 13 months with the 3rd Armored Division, 43 Signal Batttalion, until I got orders for Viet Nam. I never had to go to the hospital there; sorry you had to.

Terry