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It’s Been Too Long
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 Posted: Sun Mar 29th, 2020 01:28 am
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cmaja
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March 29th is Vietnam Veterans’ Day. I wrote this after talking to a fellow combat veteran who was seriously PTSD. CMA

It’s Been Too Long
______________Verse/Refrain

Verse 1:
We talked on the phone the other day
We talked about battles half a world away
The conflicts in your heart escalate your pain
But we won’t fight in Vietnam again
In our minds the combat never ends
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

Refrain:
The nightmares come on strong
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

Verse 2:
Why’d you say, someday you’ll make ‘em pay   
Why’d you let the bottle take your life away
You like to curse aloud to relieve the pain
But venom words will drive us more insane
Someday, I pray, we will see amends
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

Refrain:
The nightmares come on strong
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

Bridge:
The shimmered land, heat and sun took away our breath
Our aching feet, sweaty clothes, battles to the death
Days and nights, strangely dark, though somehow we could see
To pen our hope to the world in letters mailed for free

Verse 3:
In dreams we fight in wars we despise
It seems you haven’t dealt with your own demise
Your soul may be lost in battles hard to fight
But through dreams of war we will see the light
I’ll be with you, brother, till the end
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

Refrain:
The nightmares come on strong
And, we know, it’s been too long, my friend

© 1995 Charles M Anderson



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 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2020 12:10 am
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Motorist Sketchbook
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Thanks for doing that.
I see it is dated to 1995. Have you shown it to anyone before this?

I watched a whole series (most of it) on YouTube of Vet stories.
It was sponsored and produced by the Billings Gazette, I believe.
The interviews were really great.

Man, those guys really went through it.
Gave me a new appreciation for what PTSD was about.

I did not go, but I did have a draft card.

- Sketch



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 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2020 01:49 am
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cmaja
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Hey, Sketch... This is this lyric’s first debut. I wrote it right after taking to this troop. He was looking for a different veteran by the same name to go to meetings to deal with PTSD. He was doing it for the VA. But I could tell after a few minutes that he was seriously PTSD himself. Our conversation lasted about an hour. The lyric is a result of that phone call. I can’t remember what unit he was in, but I was in C/2/503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade.

I checked the Billings Gazette stories to see if I recognize any names. No luck. I graduated from MSU in Bozeman.

Thanks for checking out the lyric.

Charles



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 Posted: Tue Apr 7th, 2020 07:05 pm
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Andrea
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Hi Charles, these are passionate words - they gave me a chill as I read them. I know that the only way to really understand, is have lived through the Vietnam war, and/or to have PTSD, but your lyrics give a vivid glimpse. Thanks for sharing.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 7th, 2020 09:05 pm
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RainbowKeeper
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Hey charles,

These lyrics are very meaningful and honest. I like that! I have the greatest respect for ppl who have to deal with ptsd (had to look it up cause here it’s ptss) I had it as a teenager after facing my mum having a terrible accident right infront of my eyes....and forgive me I don’t want to imagine what you ppl must have seen....

Yours
RK

Last edited on Tue Apr 7th, 2020 09:06 pm by RainbowKeeper



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 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2020 07:06 am
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cmaja
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Andrea wrote:
Hi Charles, these are passionate words - they gave me a chill as I read them. I know that the only way to really understand, is have lived through the Vietnam war, and/or to have PTSD, but your lyrics give a vivid glimpse. Thanks for sharing.

Hey, Andrea... I was talking to the other machine gunner in my platoon, I was in ‘Nam with, just last month and we were discussing how we were so use to doing what we did there. We did jungle training in Okinawa before we went to ‘Nam, so it wasn’t too foreign to us —save for being engaged in real warfare with real bullets and death and destruction. We kinda enjoyed the tour of duty. We used to say it was the best game hunting in the world —the only game that shoots back at you. Kinda dopey. We were young, strong, and well trained to a point where we were quite effective in doing our job. The biggest thing, that negatively affected us, was dealing with the dead. But, strangely, it never bothered me like it did the others. I talked with a lot of my brothers-in-arms and that is the number one thing that bothers them to a PTSD point. I have a few weird behaviors as a result though. The big one is... I beat up on people who sneak behind me and, God forbid, touch me. It’s a subconscious thing I can’t control. But that’s life in the fast lane...

Charles

Last edited on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 07:15 am by cmaja



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 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2020 09:43 pm
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cmaja
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RainbowKeeper wrote:
Hey charles,

These lyrics are very meaningful and honest. I like that! I have the greatest respect for ppl who have to deal with ptsd (had to look it up cause here it’s ptss) I had it as a teenager after facing my mum having a terrible accident right infront of my eyes....and forgive me I don’t want to imagine what you ppl must have seen....

Yours
RK


Hey, RK... Did your mum make it through okay? My son, God bless him, was killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street. He was 13. It’s a tough thing to go through. We must rely on our Lord, the Merciful, the Compassionate, for comfort through times like these. Please read above what I wrote to Andrea regarding the war. Thanks for your review and comments.

Charles



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 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2020 10:01 pm
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RainbowKeeper
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Hey charles,
I‘m so sorry to hear about your son! This is unspeakable woe and something words can not explain! I’m really sorry!!
Yes, in fact my mum is sitting right next to me on the sofa watching tv.
It was on mum‘s 51st birthday and she dad and me made the house ready for the party that was planned for the evening. I was just back from a class trip to north Italy and Monaco, where I had to face hard bulling.
Anyway we were preparing the garden and dad took off the grille of a barred window on the ground, you know one of these that helps bringing air and a bit of light into your basement. This thing is right behind our back door. And while dad was cleaning it I was preparing the tables and stuff when mum walked out the door, she wanted to get rid of the trash from inside. She wasn’t able to see that the grille had been removed and fell in. It only took seconds, but right infront of my eyes it seemed as if my mother was torn apart in two pieces....one half outside of this hole in the ground and the other one inside of it. To see her like that, to hear her scream and cry .....I tell you I saw it every time I closed my eyes. I had to run to my brothers flat and ring him out of bed...mum was on her way to the hospital and I ....well just „functioned“ yes we had a party that night with mum in the middle on her throne, unable to move her leg and with broken toes and all that, but the image of seeing her falling....it haunts me still!

But anyway charles, you know God speaks in the silence of our hearts, all we have to do is listen!

Yours
RK

Last edited on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 10:02 pm by RainbowKeeper



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 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2020 10:58 pm
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Andrea
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cmaja wrote:
Andrea wrote:
Hi Charles, these are passionate words - they gave me a chill as I read them. I know that the only way to really understand, is have lived through the Vietnam war, and/or to have PTSD, but your lyrics give a vivid glimpse. Thanks for sharing.

Hey, Andrea... I was talking to the other machine gunner in my platoon, I was in ‘Nam with, just last month and we were discussing how we were so use to doing what we did there. We did jungle training in Okinawa before we went to ‘Nam, so it wasn’t too foreign to us —save for being engaged in real warfare with real bullets and death and destruction. We kinda enjoyed the tour of duty. We used to say it was the best game hunting in the world —the only game that shoots back at you. Kinda dopey. We were young, strong, and well trained to a point where we were quite effective in doing our job. The biggest thing, that negatively affected us, was dealing with the dead. But, strangely, it never bothered me like it did the others. I talked with a lot of my brothers-in-arms and that is the number one thing that bothers them to a PTSD point. I have a few weird behaviors as a result though. The big one is... I beat up on people who sneak behind me and, God forbid, touch me. It’s a subconscious thing I can’t control. But that’s life in the fast lane...

Charles


Your training and combat sounds very impressive. It is a blessing that you do not have PTSD as your brothers-in-arms. Sneaky people deserve a beating - lol. Here is my 'funny' story. My husband and my kids think it is funny to hide and jump out at me when I come through the door. One time my husband did this and I jumped on his back, ready to attack. Another time I actually hit my son in the face. I told him to never scare me again. So is life...



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 Posted: Wed Apr 8th, 2020 11:01 pm
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Ooookey do we now have to fear all closed doors and dark places, cause Andrea might jump out of it? 😅😂



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 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2020 01:00 am
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Andrea
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RainbowKeeper wrote:
Ooookey do we now have to fear all closed doors and dark places, cause Andrea might jump out of it? 😅😂

Not from me. I don't hide and jump out (except on the rare, I mean rare, occasion to get back at someone). I do not like this tactic. If you get beat up, you serve it (jokes on him I guess) :(



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 Posted: Fri Apr 10th, 2020 02:48 am
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cmaja
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Andrea wrote:
RainbowKeeper wrote:
Ooookey do we now have to fear all closed doors and dark places, cause Andrea might jump out of it? 😅😂

Not from me. I don't hide and jump out (except on the rare, I mean rare, occasion to get back at someone). I do not like this tactic. If you get beat up, you serve it (jokes on him I guess) :(


Oh, you guys! When I was a USAF Lieutenant, I had this smart-ass Lt. Col. come up behind me and touch the back of my hair —apparently it was too long for him. My next conscious moment was me about to punch his lights out after manhandling him across a 25ft. atrium up against a wall. I told him, I was in the war and subconsciously susceptible to violence, when people sneak up behind me and especially touch me. He was lucky. Another troop I completely knocked unconscious, totally unaware of my actions. And don’t ever awaken me from a deep sleep. My wife knows better. Fun with PTSD! The other machine gunner in my platoon is almost as crazy as me. He’s 100% PTSD, I’m 50%.

Charles



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 Posted: Fri Apr 10th, 2020 08:24 pm
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Andrea
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I would think twice about sneaking up on you. Even when I hit my son out of reaction, I didn't hurt him much. But, he was quite shocked. He just kept saying to me "I can't believe you hit me". Since he wasn't hurt, I didn't feel bad. He still does the hide and scare to me sometimes. They love to scare me because I scream really loud - lol.



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 Posted: Sat Apr 11th, 2020 05:25 am
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cmaja
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Andrea wrote:
I would think twice about sneaking up on you. Even when I hit my son out of reaction, I didn't hurt him much. But, he was quite shocked. He just kept saying to me "I can't believe you hit me". Since he wasn't hurt, I didn't feel bad. He still does the hide and scare to me sometimes. They love to scare me because I scream really loud - lol.

Loud screams make for good rock songs! Haha...

When I taught high school, I warned the kids ahead of time... But some didn’t think it was for real. They unfortunately found out differently. Kids! But I mostly didn’t beat up on people, just almost. It’s been more than a decade since I had an incident. So maybe I’m better.

Charles



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