Dragon was all Humbug about Christmas. Rude people, bad traffic and too many shoppers. Too much work for him. He didn't complain about the over time, just people. So I called him The Grinch.
I didn't realize what was wrong. It was that old PTSD thing biting him in the backside again. On Christmas day, a few years ago, he was in Afghanistan. When I spoke to him on the phone I heard soft, muffled booms. That was the incoming stuff that really didn't hit anything. The louder booms were the more efficient out going bombs that did what they were intended to do.
There were no lives lost on the FOB where Dragon was but several people died at a FOB near by. Every year he hurts for those soldiers that went home in a box. When Dragon was scheduled to return home several days latter, his plane was no longer available. That plane was taking someone else home. Dragon didn't complain. He stepped aside quietly and waited two weeks for the next plane and for the snow to quit. No landing a plane in a blizzard.
Last night we were out driving around, looking for the prettiest lights in town. Dragon got very quiet and distant. Flying in the distance, he saw 3 planes flying in formation. A trigger.
It breaks my heart that he can't even enjoy the simple things in life without remembering the worst. I hate this.
Good news though. When I called him The Grinch, he realized what was happening and turned it all over to God in prayer. He is doing better, not perfect but better.
He wrote the name of a local Catholic church down and two contact numbers. We may finally be moving forward with finding a few church.