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RS6405
08-15-2014, 11:47 PM
This is not really a vent, but I want to throw out here to better process my thoughts on it.

It almost feel like it is serendipity at work.

I went on vacation 2 weeks ago and visited a local book shop, which I bought several books. One was the last signed copy at the store of "The Handyman" by Christopher Watson. I did not start reading it until this past week as I consumed other books during my trip.

With my work schedule, I rarely get to read for pleasure anymore, but I mentioned how I bought a signed copy of the book to one of my friends. When they asked how the book was, I admitted I had not started it. So that night, when I got home, I picked it up intending maybe read a page or two then save it for a weekend that I was off to finish it. Well, I fell right in.

Actually, midway, I thought about posting a review of it on MTF. It's a well written murder mystery with the supernatural aspects thrown in. While it has nothing to do with the military, the main character suffers from PTSD. Frankly, I was impressed on how well the book could described the PTSD experiance from the perspective of the sufferer. It reminded me of my friend/ex who has PTSD and had been medically discharged from the Army.

Anyways, as I am reading this book this past week, my friend/ex and I have been playing phone tag. He'll call every so often and we try to keep in touch. About 30 mins after I finish the book, he calls me back and we can talk. He is catching me up on the problems he is having post military separation. Then he mentions how he is thinking of joining the IVA or IDA ??? (The Israel Army).

Since he is not of the Jewish faith, I'm honestly floored about his idea. Here is this guy who has served most of his adult life, but had to leave the service because he got injured. Although he has other options, he wants to go back into any military service because it is one thing he knows he can do well at.

It also seems like he is looking to get back in military service not only to do something he knows, but if he cannot do it well there, then it an opportunity for him to die with honor. -- See this is where I need perspective. I kept my response neutral, and shared my thoughts on why he would want to, which he confirmed in a general way.

I don't think it is the same situation when I had thought he was suicidal in the past, but it saddens me nonetheless. (I will check up on him and he has a live-in girlfriend, which means he is not alone).

So if someone has some other in-sight or other perspective, I'm all eyes.

UncaRastus
08-16-2014, 12:37 AM
It is the IDF.

TJMAC77SP
08-16-2014, 03:19 AM
For what it's worth, I think he has fallen prey to the IDF's "ten-foot superman" syndrome. As a non-Jew he can expect less than complete acceptance. He really needs more information prior to making this decision but unfortunately I can't think of a place he will get it since non-Jewish IDF members are very hard to find and American-Jews who serve in the IDF (still can't figure out why we seem to think THAT is ok) have a completely different perspective. One that they have been indoctrinated with almost since birth.

I wish I had an alternative to offer you friend but all you can do in the end is advise him and for what it is worth, I think it is a bad decision.

Stalwart
08-16-2014, 12:31 PM
Honestly, I don't know if he was medically discharged from the U.S. Army due to PTSD if the IDF would let him join. There are some things that disqualify for service in the U.S. military that they or the French Foreign Legion will waive ... I just don't know if PTSD is one of them. Also, if he doesn't speak Hebrew he will have to learn before joining, I do know that for a fact.

When I am running my knees and back don't really hurt that much, but when I have not run in 3 or 4 days they ache and going out and running even just 2 miles makes them feel better ... so like it or not I find myself running a few times a week. I don't know how long exactly he was in the Army, what he did etc., but it could be that the 'normalcy' of a structured military life is what he thinks will give him what he needs to deal with what he has going on, especially if he spent a while in, loved what he did and can now no longer do it.

If you think he is suicidal or at least trying to find a way to "die with honor" (a la Lt Dan), depending on how good of a friend he is, you may want to bring it up directly and discuss what you are observing with him. If not you, there are several Veteran's Peer Support Groups for PTSD out there where he can talk to someone who has walked in his boots.