Psychological Warfare

Before I let Gill take over and talk about her great uncle, I just want to say thank you to everyone who fought and died on behalf of our country, and I’m sorry that our various governments haven’t always had your back. Many of you did and saw things that no person should ever have to do and see, and there is no excuse for you having to keep fighting once you get back home for the help you need and deserve. If we’re going to hold you up as heroes, we should be treating you that way.

Just because the war ended doesn’t mean the nightmares stop.  Referred to as shell shock after WW 1, what we now know as PTSD was never spoken of. 

Dark Shadows Looming

Sargent Robert {Budd} Hewgill was my great-uncle, and I have spoken of his contributions to making the world a safer place many times, but did you know the war took a psychological toll on him?  He was older than many of the men in his unit, and developed a rapport with these young men fresh off the farm or just out of high school.  Though in his early thirties, the men under his command referred to him as “dad.”  Sadly many of the young men would not make it home.

Aftermath

When my great-uncle marched home to a hero’s welcome in January of 1946, he had that post war hope.  So what did he do?  He did the prescribed things of the era. Marry his sweetheart, start both a business and a family, and live the prosperous post war dream.  Unfortunately, the war had changed him. Once lively and up for a good laugh, now quiet and somber.  I can only speculate that he carried with him the thousand nightmares of young men wounded or never to return.

Thank You Note

I didn’t get the chance to really know you, but from what mom has told me you were a wonderful person.  I hope you found rest somehow.  God bless you Uncle Budd.

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