So now we’ve decided to go live with Nomad Adventure Therapy and on-line wellness program, we are in unchartered territory. It’s pretty unnerving not having a regular wage, well any wage at the moment but you have to have faith. If we’re doing the right thing, then surely things will fall into place. In a previous post I talked about synchronicity where seemingly coincidental things happen when you need them to. Well that is still occurring but today something else happened too. We decided to get a few guys together and go for a walk in the hills near Manchester so we could talk about our experiences and similarities as well as feelings. It was incredible, everything others felt, I felt, and vice versa. It completely proved the concept that if you open up to others who’ve been through the same things as you, they’ll just ‘get it’!

We walked for several hours sharing stories and found ourselves nodding along, understanding not only the military terminology and obscure place names but also the feelings when things happened. I mean, if you said to most people that you’d held your best friend as he died from a blast injury, most people would run in horror. Or if you said you’d become so immune to death that when back in the UK and a family member dies, you just…..’felt nothing’!

I thought I was weird when several of my family members including my dad and grandma died and I just sat there impassively. Others were disgusted that I was so cold, that perhaps I was a psychopath. I wasn’t and here today I discovered it had happened to others. We loved these people and just didn’t know how to show emotion. Well apart from anger.

We’d become changed men, inhuman with dead souls, unable to re-join society. I remember a great scene in the film ‘Hamburger Hill’ – about The Vietnam War, when the character Motown imagines going home on leave, ‘I smile at my Mamma. Great meal, Ma. Would you please pass the fucking potatoes.’

That pretty much sums it up. A great part of you stays on operations and it’s hard for many to recover it. That’s why regardless of the harshness of warzones, many yearn to go back.

But we can come back. It takes a lot of work but it’s possible. Me and one guy were sat on a tree stump chatting watching some kids playing soldiers in the woods. I recalled to him that a couple of years ago when this really got bad for me, I’d gone to watch my own kids in their nativity play. I mean these are pretty special. Listening to a group of children singing hymns at Christmas is exquisite. But this day I sat there and felt nothing. I walked out feeling sick. I knew this was not good. It was soon after that my decline started. But that’s not the case now. I lost them for a year due to being an unfit parent. But that’s over now. The bond is back and week by week my relationship with them, their mum and her partner, builds. I am returning to civil society.

I’m still not comfortable with certain things, but most are returning to ‘normal’. But I know I’ll never be a normal citizen. Having lived through what I’ve lived through, I won’t waste my life. It has to have meaning. I can’t take it for granted. And I guess my niche is this, Nomad. I’ve always been a leader and I’ve got men to lead still, just in a different battle. So whilst it’s scary not having much money right now, I am a very lucky man and have so much compared to others. I have material possessions but I also have a mission. Today confirmed it’s a good one and so now the focus will be on building the army. Come join us, it’s a war worth fighting!!

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