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April 05, 2007

A Real Life "Supporting the Troops" Post

James, who lives in Seattle and goes by the name Erevann when he writes at DailyKos, has a diary that reads like a short story - it is so well written.  I had to keep reminding myself that this was a real life story about helping out an off and on friend just back from Iraq. 

First, here's his description of the time he first connected with "Evan" years ago:

He takes the bottle and throws back a good 2 swallow throw, hands it to me and tells me to hit it, I'm going to need it. Then he winks at me, fucking WINKS at me, and starts shouting all sorts of insanity. "I'm going to kick your ass, you're dating my girl!" starts making noise and banging around, not coming near me at all. The whole time, with a cheshire grin like I've never seen.

After a little of this, he quiets down and explains. Seems he was fond of the idea of getting under her skin and making her sweat. Tell me he'd been listening to her tell him about me and had been observing me in the hours before we actually sat down and met, and as much as he'd love to actually hammer me, he couldn't, cause he knew I was a good guy and it wouldn't be right.

That's what I call good writing.

Then James talks about Evan's life since being back and forth to Iraq.   

Since going to Iraq, he's been there and back, and in a constant struggle with the VA over disability and care. Been through TX and GA, always nearby an Army base to be near his pals in the unit when they're stateside. He went over and drove a truck from Kuwait all the way through to Baghdad right at the beginning of the war and was stationed all around Baghdad over the time he was there.

He's back, and busted up pretty good, but he can still function physically. Due to his injuries, he has somewhat random fits of vomiting. He's also been diagnosed with PTSD. Most of the specifics of what happened while he was there, have been confined to the stupid or obnoxious stunts him and his pals pulled over there. Or his antics due to his SERIOUS penchant for insubordination and disdain for self-righteous officers. The closest he's come to talking about any combat, was a night in a ditch listening to gun-fire.

James will have Evan living with him shortly, his contribution to "supporting our troops".  I will interested in hearing more as time goes by.

Posted by Lynn Allen on April 5, 2007 at 09:45 PM in National and International Politics, Taking Action | Permalink

Comments

I hope you will sign him up, if his friend is willing, as folding the real life challenges our vets are faced with after they come home into interesting writing may reach more people and tell an oft untold and important story.

Even an OK to repost his complete comments would be good. This kind of chapter writing just gets lost on KOS.

Posted by: Particle Man | Apr 6, 2007 9:40:55 AM

Thank you Lynn, for calling attention to James fine writing in sharing part of Evan's story. I'd be interested in being hearing more too.

Posted by: Lietta Ruger | Apr 6, 2007 10:52:46 AM

Particle Man: done, on the release for repost. Have at it! :)

As for continuing the story, I plan on doing just that. I mostly have some difficulty with myself in getting started writing, but once I actually start doing it, I can hardly stop myself from running on and on.

Hell, half the time I'm commenting at DKos, my comments and responses end up diaries in their own right! hehe

Just wish there was some way to knock over that initial hurdle of getting myself started.

As for Evan, if you're interested in a little update, sent me an email today. He's leaving Mexico on Mon and should be here not to long after he's out on the road. Guessing Tues or Weds.

Now hopefully he remembers to bring back some mezcal tequila before he's on his way! hehe

Posted by: Erevann | Apr 6, 2007 9:16:14 PM

OH! one more thing!

A thousand thanks to Lynn for the encouragement, appreciation, and inviting me to start posting here. :)

Not to mention inspiring a bit of a more esoteric epiphany. That being a change in the style of writing I've been using in most of my posts there on DKos. Just check out some of my other diaries over there and you'll see what I mean I think.

I always was very fond of stories, fiction and otherwise, and how they can communicate powerful ideas. Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman, and existentialism over all had a profoud impact on me when I was still in high school.

Her mentioning it reading like a short story has spurred me into considering trying to continue using this sort of communication method. Instead of basically just pontificating like I seem to do. Everything in those posts though, are in most cases, intended to inspire and provoke deeper thinking as well as alternate perspectives. It's just when I end up rereading them after posting, I feel like a self-important ass! hehe But even then, they're the things that were I to hear them from those with the ability to change things, would cause me to rush forward from the inspiration.

It's time for a change though. Thanks again Lynn!!

Posted by: Erevann | Apr 6, 2007 9:33:45 PM

You are more than welcome. I've been around writers for decades, both non-fiction and fiction. Your writing is very good. Take it seriously.

Posted by: Lynn | Apr 6, 2007 10:00:56 PM

Erevann, your remark about looking back at your own posts: "It's just when I end up rereading them after posting, I feel like a self-important ass!" is something I can relate to.

In fact I have no doubt some view me that way. Still, this medium is made stronger and more relevant when ones sincere prospective is added to the dialog. If my posts alienates a few as a result of my delivery I believe this does not render the post as detrimental to the debate.

Posted by: Particle Man | Apr 7, 2007 1:58:22 PM

ok, don't think of this as a book, just think of it as entertaining us, we won't judge your writing here. Then in a year or so, i bet you'll have a best seller almost ready to go.

Seriously, i've been thinking for a year now that someone(s) should take on the immense job of interviewing as many vets as possible before our fab government rewrites this portion of U. S. history.

James, please, please keep writing. thank you.

Posted by: Lisa | Apr 8, 2007 11:46:20 AM

Particle Man:

Good to know I'm not alone in my cautious self-criticism! Your point on the importance of sincerity is one I share quite strongly. I've paid a hefty price down the years being more open and honest than was in my own best interests (i.e. my two months in the Navy!).

It's a hard pill to swallow, accepting that no matter what you do, you're liable to alienate some segment of people while expressing your views politically. One we'll all struggle with the rest of our lives, I'm sure. No reason to stop trying though, is it?! :)

Lisa:

That first sentence is more apt than you know! I live to serve (read: amuse!). Though honestly, I am much better at accepting and learning from honest criticism, than I am with compliments, so critique away! No better way to learn and improve!

I hadn't even considered working this into a book as you suggest, but I can't say it's not possible. I've been toying with several plots and concepts for years, both fiction and non. Ahh... procrastination, my ever present BANE!

Speaking of interviewing vets and such, I've actually already done quite a bit of leg-work on that front. This past Jan, my father was in the Ann Arbor VA hospital for an open-heart surgery and I spent a couple of days there with him before hand. Spent a bit of time talking to vets from Korea to the present. Additionally, while in transit between here in Seattle and back east in MI over Christmas and for the surgery, I ended up talking to quite a few active duty Army and Marines. There's a story or two in there I've been meaning to put down as well.

Seems a damn good time to get started! Better get myself organized here! All the encouragement is helping me get motivated quite a lot. Thanks all! :)

Posted by: Erevann (James) | Apr 9, 2007 11:41:24 AM

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