Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Swords to Plowshares–does it help with PTSD?


An older blog I began in the early days of blogs and websites and boy does this puppy need some attention and updating.  Not holding myself out as knowledgeable about kitchen gardening, this blog was about my efforts, trials and errors and bits of information I learned along the way.   Now I keep a lot of my information on One Note for my personal use.  I blog about gardening less as you can clearly see by the lack of blog posts over the years.  A couple of wars happened somewhere along the way, and I got caught up in activism activities to try to bring to a quick end, but as anyone can see, seven and ten years later there are still the Afghanistan and remnants of the Iraq war.  Would that those returning troops could come home to some sturdy work in the outdoors in the manner of turning swords to plowshares. 

You know there might be something to that to help veterans clear their minds a bit when plagued by memories they don't wish to remember.   An anecdotal story about one of our neighbors bears this out to some degree for me.  He rarely, if ever, talks of his service in Vietnam.  He was badly injured while there, and had what is considered one of the more risky functions, ferreting out tunnels for snipers and explosives.  Upon his return he went to work on the family oyster farm business, and never looked back.  He works early AM till dusk every day.  I often wonder what his inner thoughts are like for him, what pushes him to work so diligently besides the fact that the work he does do is laborious and requires daily attention.  He's in his late 50's now and recently shared a meal with us.  He told us he was diagnosed at VA hospital with ptsd.  He said he never heard of ptsd before, didn't know what it was, didn't know he had it.   I was floored in unbelief, knowing that ptsd had been well covered in the 1970's and not sure how he could have missed that one.

But you know, maybe he could have missed that one.  Maybe because we live in a small village in a rural area, he may have missed hearing about ptsd.  Maybe he buried his head in his work and never looked up to hear about veterans with ptsd, veterans who were/are homeless, veterans who suicide in despair of ever being free of the memories.   He tells us that the work he has been doing all these years farming oysters, and farming the kitchen garden on his property saved his life.  I believe him.


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