I first met John in 1998. He was the Supply Sergeant for HQ 143rd FSB. It was one of the bigger units in the state. I saw what he was going through because I was a Supply Sergeant in HQ 192nd FA, another large unit. The army looked at us as nothing more than pack animals and that did not change when we were ordered to war. It got worse. My deployment was 15 months. 3 month train up and 12 months in country. I was relieved to get there, after all it was Afghanistan, not Iraq. I thought nothing was going on there, until my first full day, early morning. A nice mortar attack. I couldn't believe it. It only got worse from there. I know what John is going through because I am going through it as well. I hate to be around people. I have the dreams and I'm on all the meds. I feel sick all the time. I'm always in pain. I smoke way too much, and I find myself sitting in one place for what seems like an hour, but turns out to be 6 hours thinking of all the things I did while I was there. Wondering why everything seemed so normal while I was there, but why it's all so wrong now. What changed? I guess it was because I came home. I think once you go to an upside down world, you can never come back. I have been at the VA for 7 years now. I went to every PTSD program they offered. I see my shrink every week, but it changes nothing. I know now I will never be who I was. That person is still in Afghanistan, and always will be. Me and John laughed alot when we were together. But it seems we don't laugh too much any more. I just live out my remaining days thinking about the one year I wish I could forget. You're not alone John. We all died over there. God bless you brother. Oh, and by the way, you would be much better if you quit drinking. I know that must sound funny coming from me, but when I got home I drank like a fish so I could forget about what I did, and what I saw. But what happens when you drink is you focus in on what hurts the most. You can't self medicate. I haven't had a drink since Oct 07. Trust me on this. It will help. Go easy bro.