Memoirs of a Soldier

I am currently reading a book in the process of being written by a very dear friend of mine. A friend I met after he spent a year in the Army deployed in Afghanistan during the war  and who decided that one way of dealing with all the trauma and the concurrent nightmares that he was having was by writing his memories down in the hopes of giving himself some perspective and distancing himself from the same memories that were toxic and poisoning his dreams.

I understand that. Most of us have trouble dealing with things in a way that is not destructive. Writing is a great way of dealing with those issues. Whether you blog or you write about those issues and your feelings in a leather-bound book, I believe it is a great and constructive way of dealing with traumas that have rooted themselves deep into you and changed who you are. Because I believe that the one thing capable of helping us heal the damage that has been caused to our soul is by consciously thinking about it and observing the change it has caused in us. As long as you can step out of your life and see from a third-person perspective, change your frame-of-reference, life has a funny way of opening events to interpretations you didn’t expect that can help you cope with incidences. Being conscious of yourself and the things that have happened in our life allow our will to take control of our lives and fix things.

His book, although untitled, is one that I would want him to one day publish. It is a form of catharsis for him and I believe it will help many others deal with the same issues they are facing and need someone they can relate to. There are so many soldiers out there that in dire need of help. Of someone who will just listen, even though most of us are not capable of understanding the events these men had to endure when they were part of this war. Dealing with things that happened and the stress they were under when the shit was hitting the fan. Most of us are already so distanced from the idea of war and are pretty insensitive when it comes to war, we don’t realize what a harrowing experience it is for the people who were right in the crux of it. People who had to take lives, people who lost friends, people who were witnesses to seemingly senseless cruelties, people who had to make tough decisions because someone had to make them, people who were bystanders as violence took place around them, people who did things that by any moral code would be considered reprehensible but seemed justified, and people who did things that would be considered justified but seemed reprehensible in the moment.

His book gives context to a lot of things most of us take to the internet to complain about. Things that seem appalling but when taken in context, make you think that the things that happened were in a way reasonable. Things that make you angry but set the scene and give you a bigger picture to make you look at things from a soldier’s perspective.

His book made me laugh and it made me cry. It gave me some things to think about and provided some fodder for my brain to chew on because I belong to the country which this man invaded to kill people. After reading the book, I feel like I have seen the other side of the story because just the way a coin has two sides, no one side is perfect with faultless stories. Once he publishes, I am hoping people will read this book with an open mind. I am hoping it will help him and others like him deal with the events that overshadow their lives.

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