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Aww, the memories...or nightmares


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https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/10/04/The-Marine-pilot-and-navigator-of-an-A-6E-jetfighter/9063434088000/

It's amazing what can be found online these days. I witnessed this plane crash up close and personal like as it damned near killed me that day. The plane blew-up to the front of me so closely that my face and body felt the heat from the blast. I would have been killed had the plane's drop tanks been full. Fortunately, they came from El Toro and had been flying enough to empty those tanks. One landed a few feet to my right, and the other a few yards to my front. A piece of circuit board landed right next to my right heel. We were on a training exercise where my unit was playing the Russian aggressors. The plane experienced a FOD (Foreign Object Destruct from a rock or bird strike), as it came off of a bombing run a few miles away. They had blown the canopy to eject聽 about a mile from us, but we who lived it, (and the investigators who interviewed us), believe that they saw us down the road and held off ejecting until they were above us as the momentum would have carried the wreckage beyond us. By that time it was too late as the plane turned on its side, and they ejected into the side of a granite hillside that are so common in 29-Palms, CA.聽 I never mounted a 5-ton as fast as I did that day when the Lieutenant told us to go to the wreckage. When I got to the impact zone I was first struck by the desert being on fire from the fuel. When you kicked it then it just lit your boot on fire. I ran up the mountain where the cockpit was to search for what I don't really know, (bodies, I guess), to find the nose and joystick there. I came back down just to be told by an Army Brigadier General that had been flying in a Huey nearby when the crash occurred to climb up a hill to retrieve the pilot's helmet's to identify them quickly, I had been told that one of the men's head had been mostly cut-off and rolled up in his skin to his groin, and that the other one had his head ground off. When I got to the second helmet I realized that I was walking through the guy's grey matter as I went to pick-up the helmet. Fortunately, the helmet was empty.

For years I have denied having PTSD from this incident. Why? Because many others have dealt with far worse in combat, and I felt like a pu$$y for thinking that I'd have it from something like this: however, my wife pointed out a huge difference: It was peacetime, and聽 because of that I wasn't prepared for such a horrifying experience like I would if I were going into a combat zone. TO this day I do not like planes flying above me. My son lives in the landing path of planes taking off and landing at Nashville airport, and I can only stand being at his house for a short time before I'm telling my wife that we have to leave. I live in an area where the instructors from Murfreesboro airport take their students to practice. Apparently, part of their training is to turn off their engines and then restart them. I can't tell you how much this bothers me.

I finally decided to tell the head-shrinker at the Murfreesboro VA that I think that I have PTSD from the experience. I hope others may read this and decide to take action too if they've suppressed their feelings as well.

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I've seen similar things in my life. I too was a Marine & had a close friend hang himself on NYE while on guard duty at Camp LeJuene. I dealt with all those things, thankfully without alcohol or substances of any sort. Of course, not everyone is made the same or has the same experiences or reactions.

I won't get into the things I've seen as that's not germane to this thread.

Everyone needs peace in their lives. That's why I got divorced........................聽 聽馃槤

Seriously, E4 No More, if you ever want to meet for lunch, coffee or anything, just reach out. I've walked in your shoes many times. Stationed at 29 Stumps too.聽聽馃槈

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Ya know, to echo a lot of the sentiment here.. there is no shame, you feeling like a p____y is BS. After what you described????!!? Man.

I was witness to (along with about 100k others) the Blue Angels having an accident at NFIAB during a show in the 80s. The two chase planes made contact during an overhead maneuver, tailfin from one plane went throught the canopy of the other. Both planes lost, 1 went into a flat spin and landed a couple hundred yards away. Canopy came down about 50 yds from me, pilot safely ejected, other one died instantly.

I _still_ have a hard time watching that stunt, live or recorded. And I was just a spectator in the audience! To have gone through what you did? Man...聽

Thanks for your service!

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Sheesh. Thanks for your service.
Young minds I think suffer the worse. They are like sponges. I have things that pop back into my head when I was 18 working for the squad.
My first sight of a young couple murdered with piano wire and tossed off the side of the road. I tractor trailer driver jack knifing through the windshield and a lot of gray matter on the highway 10 yards from the body. Just to name a few.

When you're young, your mind is more absorbable than as we get older. We get desensitized, probably due to Hollywood but seeing it for real makes for bad memories. There really was no quiet space or support you can go to for help. Ya sucked it up and say nothing or try to tell a friend.

My boy got blown up in the sandbox by an IED. He survived with many surgeries to his lower legs. But that does not stop his story from making me cringe and not sleeping at night without crying.

I don't wish any of these types of memories on anyone. Today you can talk to people. That's a good thing. Back then, talking to your buddies that served with you, if you talked at all was hard because they had their own ghosts.

Stay safe. We are here.... we'll listen.

Edited by BHunted
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A couple of notes from personal experience.

1. Someone told me a long time ago that post traumatic stress is a normal response. 聽That's what's supposed to happen as we process and heal. The 'disorder' part largely comes from the lack of treatment.

2. I don't know if the above is clinically true or not - but it rounds to true. 聽The symptoms I experienced from PTSD have not wholly resolved, but they lessened significantly when I could actually say out loud, "I have PTSD." 聽

3. Recognizing what was causing some of the symptoms I had really gave me permission to actively avoid situations that I know would be triggering. 聽My life is better as a result of it.

Happy to chat anytime.

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1 hour ago, ReeferMac said:

Ya know, to echo a lot of the sentiment here.. there is no shame, you feeling like a p____y is BS. After what you described????!!? Man.

I was witness to (along with about 100k others) the Blue Angels having an accident at NFIAB during a show in the 80s. The two chase planes made contact during an overhead maneuver, tailfin from one plane went throught the canopy of the other. Both planes lost, 1 went into a flat spin and landed a couple hundred yards away. Canopy came down about 50 yds from me, pilot safely ejected, other one died instantly.

I _still_ have a hard time watching that stunt, live or recorded. And I was just a spectator in the audience! To have gone through what you did? Man...聽

Thanks for your service!

When I lived in Lavergne our house was on the flight path of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds when they would do their show in Smyrna. Those planes flew so low over our house that you could differentiate the rivets on the planes, and they must be exempt from the rest of the military's 1,000 foot minimum for a flyover because they were barely above the mature white oaks in my back yard. I would stand on my deck and watch them so that I could keep a better eye on them. I am sooo glad that I did NOT attend the last Blue Angels show were Captain Kuss crashed and died. I think that would've sent me over the edge.

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I feel lower than dirt even commenting in this thread. I have not served in any capacity in our military, and many, many times have felt lesser for not having done so. I was declared basically unfit for service. No need to go into it.

I just want to thank All of you who have posted here for sharing your experiences and feelings. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now..I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to our nation.

I pray for each and every man, woman, and service animal that has done their part in serving. May God Bless and Keep you all in His arms.

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1 hour ago, hipower said:

I feel lower than dirt even commenting in this thread. I have not served in any capacity in our military, and many, many times have felt lesser for not having done so. I was declared basically unfit for service. No need to go into it.

I just want to thank All of you who have posted here for sharing your experiences and feelings. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now..I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service to our nation.

I pray for each and every man, woman, and service animal that has done their part in serving. May God Bless and Keep you all in His arms.

Honestly, you don't have to be military. PTSD can get anyone. My military ambitions ended with me face down in handcuffs in the front yard hoping I wasn't about to be charged with murder. That was 2 days before I was supposed to sign up. It was considered justified and no charges happened. I've seen some really messed up things and it didn't bother me in the least. It was to the point where I worried that something was really wrong with me. I had co-workers that had to deal with the same things and they start wondering as well. Oddly I was dealing with what we thought was a 5 or 6 year old girl that had be rolled up in plastic. The plastic was 4 feet long and had long blonde hair sticking out. I opened it up just enough to find out it was a large dog. I would think about that one some times. What got me is almost losing my youngest Daughter. For about 3 weeks of that is was stone cold. I don't know why. My Wife who is a very unique person had trouble. The other 3 children had trouble. She came out of it and we found out we will out live her. About two weeks later is when I started having trouble. I get up every morning at 4:30 and check my Daughter for a pulse. My Wife can't be the one.聽

The best friend I've ever had is a Lieutenant Colonel. He told me I have PTSD. He is aware of most my life. We've been friends for 38 years. I told him admitting that would dishonor people in uniform. He basically told me I was full of s$#t....the hardest MFers he knew talked to someone once a week or they burned out....and to stop be a b$$%ch about it. Problem is, I'll never talk to anyone. Can't. Won't. So I get s#梅t face drunk with my buddy a couple of times a year and we tell stories. Stories the kids can't listen to, but my Wife always does.

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Damn! That is some really vivid imagery you painted in so few words. It striking how close to death you can come just by circumstances and how a聽few seconds difference in timing of things could have played out.聽I wasn鈥檛 there, but will carry the images for awhile, it鈥檚 impossible to imagine how indelible it is to you. Almost dying and then moments later having to do what you did probably mostly negates any good feeling you could have had from narrowly surviving.

Glad you are talking to someone, hopefully they can help give you some peace after 40 years.聽

Kudos to the bravery and sense of duty the aviators showed in their final moment, sticking with their wounded bird to save others knowing they would likely be making the ultimate sacrifice.聽

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