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back in nam last night

cavman 69cavman 69 Member Posts: 654 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 2011 in US Military Veteran Forum
i had the strangest dream last night. i was in nam again. sometimes hard to believe after 40+ years this still happens. does this happen to any of you other guys?


  • StingSting Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, and I like it. I just finished sending some pics out to a former Marine friend who was on Hill 55 with me. So it's like I was just there. It's never a problem with me to "see" the guys again.
  • Old-ColtsOld-Colts Member Posts: 22,702 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I can't remember having a dream about those days in a very long time. However, I do find myself thinking about particular events frequently.

    If you can't feel the music; it's only pink noise!

  • kimikimi Member Posts: 44,741 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't think any of us can ever cut it loose completely. however, I am very fortunate that I do not have nightmares or flashback issues like so many of the Nam vets suffer. I had one buddy served three tours with Marine artillery in the Nam, and he had it pretty bad the last I knew of him.
    What's next?
  • flapjackflapjack Member Posts: 58 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Dreams with reocuring themes are a significant symptom of PTSD, I was told. I used to have one of these where, no matter what was going on, I was out numbered, out gunned, often alone and being pursued, until I was finally overtaken or came to a place where I could no longer flee, at which point I would face these pursuers and attempt to expend whatever feeble defences I had. Although these were always "guns" they were anemic at best, usually small hand guns, and more often than not, they would just fall to pieces in my hand when I tried to fire them, or the buletts came out like a string of peas falling out of the barrel, a couple of feet away. The setting could be different, but the circumstances were always along the same theme. Thank The Lord, and the therapy he lead me to, I hardly experience these anymore. I would always be startled out of the dream just as I would have been killed. Often, these things were so "real" that it would take me a while to get my bearings, and figure out where I was and what was up. Unfortunately, I sat up screaming and soaked with sweat many times, and the worst part of that was the affect it had on my Wife. I still dream, but I have a better handle on how to deal with them. Snake dreams have been the most persistant, with just those lovely "startle affect" honeys commin in behind them. To my knowledge, I don't remember dreaming about "good" times, and of course, there were many of those too, but I sense that I don't remember many of my dreams, and that's probably a good thing. The important thing is what these things were the symptoms of can be helped, but you gotta ask. Flapjack
  • ChuckWBIVChuckWBIV Member Posts: 351 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When I was younger, I had those dreams frequently. Always VC, never NVA. [?] [?] [?]

    Strange? Yep - because I was never there. My dad was.
  • bumpkin44bumpkin44 Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I began to have a lot of trouble when the Iraq war was on every night during the Bush years. I had to quit watching after the nightmares of being nearly captured or overrun started back up. I would yell out, my wife tells me, "Gooks in the wire, kill 'em, kill 'em" and other little tidbits like "Hand me my submachine gun". Odd, because I never had a machine gun, just a shotgun. Oh well, it's just part of the price all combat veterans pay for their service to the country. It took me over 25 years to sleep thru the night, once it got hot in the summers and I had to check the perimeter while the family slept. It's much better now that I'm old.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 12,882 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have only recently realized that I probably suffered from PTSD for 30 years. Two things finally fixed my sometimes self-destructive behavior: my wife dragged me in and got me on an anti-depressant - and I wrote my two novels.

    I was only on the drug for a few months, and then I wrote the books (the first one at my wife's insistence, also). Since then, I'm a much better and nicer person, have few if any dreams about 'Nam and none of them are nightmares. I owe my recovery to her.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • River RatRiver Rat Member Posts: 9,022
    edited November -1
    Had occasional bad dreams, but they faded after my marriage in '92. Eventually, we focus on the things of this life. That is good.

    About once every year or so, I have a pleasant dream with VN images. Nothing threatening.
  • River RatRiver Rat Member Posts: 9,022
    edited November -1
    Rocky, I agree that the novels were a catharsis that helped you more than the drug.

    I had some very real anger issues. Not violent, just mad. Eating disorders, but fortunately I was a young man and burned off all the calories. Six years in the reserves helped me, because I was serving in a similar unit (Special Boat Unit) and among understanding people. Lost my marriage, job, etc. but got my head back out into the sunlight.

    And that was after only seven weeks in-country! I can't imagine the baggage someone can collect after several tours. Lost two boats during that time, however. [:)]

    Then I returned to my ship, an ancient carrier in the South China Sea. Came to realize that work was no less dangerous than cruising the waterways at night.

    May the peace of God descend upon all those who were there, and may they awaken to the realization that it's over. They are Home, and at peace.

    Still check behind doors, though. And still have an exit strategy when I walk into a restaurant.
  • Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, just more infrequently these years.

    Had visited with my cousin earlier this year ... he had been there the same time as me.

    Found that enough of a jolt or shock or stimulus that I dreamed dreams and experienced nightmares too of many of the things that were important and significant at the time.

    In fact I recalled many things that I had not thought much or at all about for many years. All in all, it was good to experience, but sometimes rather disconcerting.

    My new wife had never been with me and witnessed me experiencing those nightmares previously, but she knew exactly what was happening with me.
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