Facing the Wall: A
Mission - by Mary S King
Mary has written a sensitive
story of her husband’s round trip, from Vietnam, to home, and then
back to Vietnam again, and again, and again daily, nightly.
Her husband Jim fought in
Vietnam as a marine. Today he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder with many active symptoms. He is a prisoner of his own
mind, unable to hold a job, unable to forget the past, unable to end
the endless war in his mind.
Mary tells us the story of PTSD
as seen through her eyes, the eyes of someone who loves the person
suffering this horrible disease and can do nothing to help. She
tells us how hard it was for Jim to admit he’d had a problem, how
hard it is for him to sleep at night, and, most poignantly, how hard
it was, finally, to face The Wall.
Her story is a journey. It leads
us from their marriage, to Vietnam, and then the long, slow journey
of healing that arrives at The Wall—the most visited landmark in
The book brought back a lot of
memories for me.
I remember returning from my
first visit to The Wall. It had taken me years to get there. On my
way home, I stopped along the way to visit friends and family. My
brother, who’d been to see the wall a number of times, related to me
his trips to The Wall, “Every time I’m there, I see some old vet,
wearing camouflage and a jungle hat leaning up against the wall
crying. Did you see that? Did you see that too?”
I shook my head, “No. I didn’t
see that.” As I drove the final leg home that night, I thought about
what he’d said and the why I hadn’t seen what he’d seen. I hadn’t
seen the guy in the camo and the jungle hat leaning up against the
wall crying, because when I was at The Wall, I was that guy.
In Mary’s story, it was Jim’s
turn to visit The Wall. It is a long and painful journey. It’s a
journey that both rips the scabs off old wounds and starts a healing
process at the same time.
Anyone with a family member who
suffers from this terrible disorder should read this book. The book
is like a support group, echoing your feelings that you thought were
unique to you alone.
With our soldiers coming home
from Iraq changed forever, many young brides, brothers and sisters
and mothers, should read this book.
Mary ends her book with an
appropriate, anonymous quotation: When the power of love overcomes
the love of power, then, and only then, shall we have peace.
You won’t be able to get Mary
and Jim out of your hearts.