PTSD: a soldier’s distress

A veteran peacekeeper shares some of his writings from a diary he has written as he has dealt with the suffering of PTSD. BONNIE

Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial (Photo credit: inge87)


I’ve been gone a long time, I know. How can I make you understand? It’s not your fault, nor is it mine. I went away to fight that war. I went away to stop that war. The fact is I went away to war.

The truth is I may be here in body, but I still have not come back, that war is in my mind. I’m still there. I am a prisoner of that war, it won’t let me go. It’s not for a lack of trying; it just won’t let me go.

I’ve been trying to reach out to you. But I cannot find the words. I know you’re trying to hear me, but you just don’t seem to understand. It is that I want to come home, but I do not know my way.

It’s not your fault, it’s not my fault. Oh this bloody war! It just won’t go away. I pray each day to God for peace in my life, but it hasn’t come my way.

I may have freed a country, but I’m not free. I may have been a Peacekeeper, but I have no peace in my life. Oh that bloody war! I wish it would go away.

My journey has been long, and I am weary. Still my road is long, so my journey continues on. Home to peace is where I want to be.

I know that I sometimes drink too much, or will not tell you the things you need to know. I’m angry at times. But it’s not your fault, it’s not my fault too. Oh that bloody war!

There are times when I want to end it all, but I will not go that way. Still I wonder if at all if I can still fight. It’s lonely here in this bloody war. I just want to come home again.


Someone is hurting out there. Do you know us? We are your sons, your daughters, your brothers, your sisters, your mothers, and fathers, aunts, uncles, husbands, or wives. We are serving soldiers, and ex-soldiers. We went away to fight a war, to stop a war, to free a country, to stop someone from taking a country. We’ve fought in two World Wars, the Korean War and Afghanistan; we stopped wars in such places as Cyprus, The Congo, and the Middle East, or we tried to prevent war in places like Rwanda, and Bosnia.

We’ve seen and done terrible things. We all hurt in our different ways. Like the General who in Rwanda could not stop the murdering of his men, or the innocent civilians. Like the Reservist who still thinks of the children in Bosnia who have no roof to sleep under, no food, and no heat, while he stands with his daughter watching a parade. Like the man who almost shot a child in Cyprus, who remembers everyday how he saw his son through a sight picture of his FN C1 rifle, until his son died trying to save a friend who fell through the ice. Like the man who endured Human Wave Attacks in Korea at night, and would dream of them at home and scream out at night. We are the brave who have fought with honour for our country, the doctors and nurses who tried to save the wounded. There are so many of us.

We have killed, seen friends, and innocent people killed, children, and old people suffer needlessly. We all hurt because of what we’ve seen, or did. Now we may drink too much, be mad for what seems no reason, cry, and won’t talk to you. In many ways it’s because we don’t know how to tell you. We cannot find the words, or we still don’t understand why this had to happen.

We wander lost in our memories trying to make sense of it. Please don’t judge us, but try to understand. Unless you have been there with us you really can’t know what we have been through. We are trying to reach out to you. But we’re not always sure how.

Robert Simpson
Ex 8th Canadian Hussars
3rd Special Service Force
Served in Cyprus October 1978 to April 1979

About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Peacekeepers, federal government, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, veterans' affairs, veterans' assistance programs, VRAB and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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