The weekend was coming to a close, and it was obvious that there had developed a profound sense of brotherhood amongst the vets. Youngest to oldest, it was almost like the obvious age difference was non existent. We had all served in different decades, in different wars, in different parts of the world, and under different circumstances, yet we all somehow knew and understood what each other had been thru.
A combat vet can never fully assimilate back into society. War, and especially combat, changes a person forever. Try as he might, he will never be the same as before he left. Personally, I have always felt “different” because of what I have seen and experienced …there has always been a certain “sadness” which never seems to go away. Combat always leaves scars …quite often physical, but always the emotional scars of PTSD. Things do get better, but it takes a long, long time
Today’s combat soldiers are asked by us, the American people, to perform an incredible task. Quite often, our moral up bringing and our job as Warriors come into conflict. I believe this conflict results in the PTSD that is so prevalent in the combat vet today. The programs and events that Heroes Sports and their sponsors put together are critical in helping the warrior-soldier to deal with their PTSD issues, and to help them “come home.”
It’s impossible for donors and sponsors to fully understand how meaningful these events are to the returning vets. Bringing together the “old vets” and “young vets” in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, healing and camaraderie is immensely rewarding for us. Your showing of appreciation for our shared sacrifice helps in our ongoing transition to be productive and positive members of society once again. …And speaking for myself, you have given me a “Welcome Home” like I’d never, ever experienced before. I am truly humbled and blessed.
I Thank You All,
Stan Ohneck. Republic of Vietnam Class of 1969