Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Decoration Day (Memorial Day) is the most beautiful of our national holidays…. The grim cannon have turned into palm branches, and the shell and shrapnel into peach blossoms. — Thomas Bailey Aldrich

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. — General George S. Patton

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. — Francis A. Walker

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

It is yet another Memorial Day. Time to remember the ones we lost in combat. I lost a lot of friends in Nam and I think about them everyday of my life. Guess that is part of survivor guilt but I never want those men to be forgotten. I hope everyone can get out to a parade this weekend and truly remember the real reason for this holiday. I really like the words in Lee Greenwood's song.

Guess I should update everyone on my motorcycle adventures. My adventure is over as fast as it began. The technical aspects of riding were not really my problem. The mental was the big road block. It was taking me out of my “safe zone” and it raised the anxiety level just as it did when my PTSD first started. With the help of my therapist I probably could have gotten past that point. My pinned hip was giving me problems with support at stops and mentally it was creating problems on right hand turns. I did not want to fall on the hip again. But I did.

Nothing was hurt except my pride and when I got back from that ride I decided right then and there that at 65 it was not a good idea to try and ride again. The bike is going up for sale this week and I did enjoy it for a short period of time. If I could just ride without stopping and turning corners then it would be great. Or if I just rode counter clockwise all the time and only made left hand turns it would be okay.

I know a lot of guys with PTSD ride motorcycles but they have been riding for years and it probably has little effect on them. Guess I have passed the thrill stage in my life cycle. I raced cars after Nam and loved the thrill of high speed. I had a 57 Porsche Speedster and raced E Production in SCCA. I loved that and it was mentally relaxing after a busy workweek. Guess at 65 the same thrills are no longer there. Or we know what real pain is like and don't want to go through it again.

Be sure and shake the hand of a Veteran this weekend and thank him for his service to our country. Or visit a Veterans grave and leave flowers, or take the kids to a Memorial Day parade and let them know the real reason for Memorial Day. It is not just a holiday for hot dogs and beer. Remember our Veterans from all wars and again thank them for keeping us free. God Bless You All.