- June 26, 2007, 3:51 PM from Esquire article by Brian Mockenhaupt http://www.esquire.com/features/essay/ESQ0307ESSAY-3
McCarthy misses the war just the same. He saved Wells’s life, pressing a bandage over the hole in his head. Now he’s delivering construction materials to big hotel projects along the beach in South Carolina, waiting for a police department to process his application. “The monotony is killing me,” he told me, en route to deliver some re-bar. “I want to go on a raid. I want something to blow up. I want something to change today.” He wants the unknown. “Anything can happen, and it does happen. And all of the sudden your world is shattered, and everything has changed. It’s living dangerously. You’re living on the edge. And you’re the baddest motherfucker around.”
I was fascinated by this article, a must read. In my view, it represents a symptomatic condition that is very normal for anyone who lives with passion for a job they love. The sense of accomplishment and making a difference along with the adrenalin rush one gets in professions i.e., military combat in this case. Professionals have a huge challenge in transitioning from a high intensity and professionally rewarding career. If the energy is channeled effectively into a new high intensity line of work that matches the challenges and rewards of military combat, a potentially new healthy life after the war will ensue.
Those who return from war diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD will have a tougher time in the transition. But what is clear is the need to help a combat veteran and encourage them to find the right balance in civilian life. I believe we have an opportunity to be proactive and to minimize risk by becoming more aware of the feelings and needs of veterans returning from war and help facilitate healing and a healthy transition back to civilian life.
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story