Friday, October 15, 2010 | By: Christopher Dumouchel

Damaged Goods

In my humble opinion, all war is wrong. However, I am proud of the soldiers who defend us in those wars. All the soldiers lost to war also are wrong. Soldiers are lost in many ways not just by death. Sometimes they return from war damaged goods like my dad. My dad for instance proudly served in the US Army and had been in Vietnam. He was a sergeant and was honorably discharged after having had a nervous breakdown. Allow me to explain what happened. One day, during the war, my dad went into a bar that also had a massage parlor in the back separated by a brick wall. Suddenly there was a large explosion. You see a little boy brought a shoe box with a bomb inside in to the bar. My dad discovered his platoon in pieces with no arms or legs screaming to him for help. There was nothing he could do. That is what greatly triggered his underlying mental illness. From that point on he suffered from paranoid Schizophrenia. My childhood was spent in the Stratton VA Medical Center – Albany, NY and the VA day treatment center Jast to visit and spend time with him. When I was four years old he was supposed to take me to nursery school and instead he took me to a cemetery. He then took me to a statue of the Virgin Mary and told me that he was GOD, I was Jesus, and my mom was dead. He then pointed to the statue and said she was my mother now. I told him I was hungry so he bought a candy bar and ate it in front of me. When we got home the police and FBI were waiting for us along with my mother. They were trying to find me. I know my dad loved me; he was just sick. I remember before he would leave to go to the VA Hospital he would say to me, ”Chris, you are the man of the house now take care of your brother and mom for me.” So that is what I did. My brother was 10 years younger than me. I babysat all the time while my mom was at work. My dad tried to commit suicide many times over the years to try to kill the thoughts. The last time he took three bottles of two month supply of pills. He overdosed on haldol,lithium,xanax. He died three times and they revived him each time. He was in a coma for eighteen months. He was never the same again. When he came out he was in a semi-vegetative state and spent the next 12 years in a wheel chair in Barnwell nursing home in Valatie, NY.  in that nursing home when the nurses refused to give him a cigarette and he threw himself out of his wheel chair. When he fell he cracked his head open. He had done this many times before but this time there were complications. He developed pneumonia and died. He was not only my father; he was also my best friend. But also he was damaged goods. He may not have died in Vietnam but in my opinion war killed him.

MENTAL ILLNESS tears families apart and ruins lives. i know this because my father suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression be for his pasing in 06, now my little Brother Suffers from it as well..


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Pandora Poikilos said...

I like that choice of words - all war is wrong.
Came across your blog. Enjoyed reading it.
Cheers - Dora

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