by Jill Dalton
I’m an Army Brat, born in Tokyo, Japan and raised on military bases in Germany and throughout the South. We brats are the unseen causalities of war, the unsung heroes of the battlefield. For the most part you cannot see our scars. We are left behind to fend for ourselves and when the warrior returns from battle we’re left to pick up the pieces; if we could only find them hidden so deep beneath the shrapnel of their psyche.
What happens to a warrior without a war? Many times they continue the fight on the battlefield of their own living rooms and against the newly perceived enemy, their family.
When my father returned from Vietnam our family divided along political lines from which we never fully recovered. I held my father personally responsible for the war. I believed he had a choice. I know now he didn’t.
The ghosts of Vietnam have haunted me since I was 18 years old. I’ve spent my life grappling with the pain and guilt, trying to make sense of it all. Are the sins of the father visited on the children? And is duty to country and family more important than living your own code of honor?
Although I’ve never fought in a war or been on an active battlefield I see everything through the lens of war. And all these years later the apparitions continue to stalk me. This blog is a way for me to process these demons and atone for our sins.
And I’ve come to realize my father and I were actually fighting for the same things just from a different perspective.
Peace, Truth, and Liberty and Justice for all.