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5 Minutes of Heaven-PTSD

January 3, 2012

First of all I want to wish everyone a prosperous but more importantly healthy New Year.  After all what does money mean when you are feeling miserable?  Welcome home to the troops from Iraq.  Of course this is a bit of a hollow congratulations since many of these same troops will go over to Afghanistan and serve additional tours of duty.  But we have to take our pleasures where we can and let’s all work for bringing everyone home.

To this degree I must say that I am alarmed at some of the foreign policy ideas from the Republicans who are debating.  It seems that they are trying to make brownie points with their “Red meat” constituents.  The only person of the group not rattling the sword is Ron Paul who is a complete isolationist.  I would hope that there must be a position somewhere between the two poles that would be acceptable.  After all, haven’t we learned the lesson yet that nothing is gained by war accept loss of money and lives?    The losses extend for years even when the wars have ended.  Look at the financial mess we are dealing with because neither of these wars were ever paid for.

Enough of the soapbox.  I am always on the lookout for something that has hit a chord with me about PTSD and when I see or hear of something I want to pass it on.  I have been asked by several writers at this site, “I don’t know what to say”.  This is not unusual and I can say had I started out with trying to be precise about what I wrote in my diary, I probably would never have written.  I simply wrote whatever I was feeling at the time.  It simply evolved over time and became more of a tool that I used to try and get better.  But sometimes, when you see or hear someone else talk about something, it stimulates your own brain cells.  You may have experienced something similar or feel that this insn’t exactly right for you but you understand it.

That was the case for the movie that I recently watched on Netflix.  The movie was caledl “5 Minute of Heaven” starring Liam Nieson in one of the primary roles.  I had never heard of it but I would recommend it whole-heartedly.  Without giving out the entire plot I will say that for me it hit some of the feelings that I had experienced and was dealing with when I first came home from Vietnam.  In this movie there is an opening portion which reenacts a shooting by a young Irish Republican Army Protestant boy (the Liam Nieson character as a 17 year old) against a Catholic boy from his neighborhood.  The shooting is witnessed by the younger brother of the assassinated boy. 

Fast forward to 30 years later and both parties have struggled dealing with the PTSD incident throughout their lives. As adults both boys, now men, they are reunited through a TV talk show and thus the basic plot.    What most outsiders don’t realize is that PTSD can affect both sides equally and the feelings on both sides of the incident were just as intense and their lives forever altered.

I would like to hear any feedback from anyone that decides to watch this movie.  Feel free to write at our site Military PTSD Forum and we will post your comments.