Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Soldier Returns Home From War


You would think my posting this was a result of this past weekend, Memorial Day weekend. In actuality it was a very brief argument between my eldest (ManSon) and my youngest (Snow White) regarding what most would deem a small noise. The need to know of what made any noise in the house.

ManSon: “What is that noise? Snow White are you wearing your shoes in the house?”

Snow White: [shouts from another room] “No, I have just my socks on. ”

It was then I realized why ManSon is so sensitive to the noises in the house. It is the same reason I am sensitive to noises in the house. Simple explanation, my father served in the Vietnam War. Long, explanation below…

I was very little when my father went off to Vietnam with the US Navy as a Radar man. Sorry, I do not know what his rank was at the time or the proper name of his “job title” MOS?

The need for quiet. My Mother needed quite in the house after dinner to listen to the news and then to loose her reality in off the wall shows like Twilit Zone afterwards. When Dad home he need the quiet to distinguish the noises he heard as friend or foe. Simple little clackers (metal fish or other shape pinched together to make a clicking or metal snap noise) were forbidden at our house. I found out how intolerable they were for him after my elementary end of year fair. The clackers were given out as a prize for one of the games. So many children here and there all clicking, clacking, and snapping those metal toys sent my Dad home in a hurry. Apparently, a device similar to this toy was used by the soldiers to communicate to each other but not alert the foe who maybe near by.

I remember in the summer of 1975, my Mother screaming at my Dad when he would swerve around a soda can or any object (big or small) on the road. His focus was on that object and not the domestic road ways and surrounding object (other cars, buildings, ditches, etc). He had to avoid that can/object at all costs. When we were all clam after a scary swerve Mom explained why Dad was so “afraid” of the “can“. In Vietnam a simple item in the roadway was always a potential bomb or detonator. It may not be something that explodes in the road way. It could be a wire or something that triggers an explosion in the huts or anything near

I remember when Dad was home Mom told us to be extra quiet. When he was sleeping she would have us play outside or at a friend’s house as much as possible. Keeping three children under the age of 6 years old and a baby quiet is a great feat to accomplish on a daily basis! This need for quiet around the house at my very young age was practiced all through my adolescence. It was still present when I was a teenager. When I was out on my own in my 20s I remembered the rules of quiet in the house. When I became a Mother myself the rules of quiet became unconscious but evident today when ManSon was annoyed by the noise of Snow White running through the house.

1 comment:

The Curmudgeon said...

Interesting story. I wonder if today that might not be considered some form of PTSD?