Only Veterans know.
My ex's father was a Vietnam War photographer and has been an alcoholic (not violent or anything) ever since. One day we found boxes of slides and went through scanning them. Terrifying stuff.
Such a dignity - I am amazed by people that can absorb that kind of experience and come through the other side mostly intact. I always knew that I could never be a police officer or any role that required immersion in the cynical, callous, cruel or depraved side of our natures. I am certain it would ruin me.
If anybody knows where the rest of that interview can be seen - please post.
Watching the horrors while documenting them as an assignment, must be absolute torture. I guess it was a choice he made knowing well that he would never be the same.
Ah, nice - thank you sir. I think you are right about having to make that decision. I have a related, though maybe not particularly germane to this post, discussion in my head if you care to have it.
I have one of his landscape/still life books and they are amazing photographs. He is a very humble human being and I can remember a TV interview with him when I lived back in the UK. They showed the making of a good number of his war prints (Actual darkroom scenes showing printing) and some of his later still life/landscape work. I truly believe he has been ever changed by his experiences and it must be a hell of a thing to have experienced what he did, come home alive, and then try and continue on carrying such demons.
Survivors guilt and flashbacks are very common in combat veterans in my own case I still suffer sometimes even after more than forty years and quite often the things you have experienced are so terrible that the mind rejects them and you have no recollection of what happened only of the noise and the fear.
Hang in there, and use the resources that have finally been made available to our vets. Even though they don't always work as well as we wish, bottling them up inside doesn't seem to work as well.
Having been boots on the ground in Nam and many other "conflicts" his words paint one hell of picture of what it is like. My heart goes out to all of those who served in any manner.