PTSD
4th October, 2015

Bombs exploding all around me...

The roar of planes flying low...

Men screaming and yelling...

The guy ahead stood on a mine...

Poor bastard had only been here a week...

Shots fired out of the darkness...

It landed at my feet - I screamed "GRENADE!!!"...

As I dived for cover...


My senses returned - I heard a woman crying...

Opening my eyes I saw the woman...

Tears running down her face...

Her eyes filled with fear...

I looked around, shocked at the sight...

It was my bedroom, she was my wife...

The love of my life, shaking and crying...

This war in Nigeria's killing her too...


Too many nights are like this...

They are getting worse each year...

It's been 35 years since Boko Haram Age...

The year that killed my life...

After carefree teenage years...

Full of school football and girls...

I was off to the CHAMP'CUP,they all said...

Best Striker the school had seen...


All this changed on a hot July day...

My number was drawn,I was in the army now...

The football dream was over...

I'm going to fight for my country...

Stop the communists swarming Jew...

Taking away rights and freedoms...

Slaughtering all before them...

They're trying to conquer the world...


I left my small town for the first time...

Wide eyed and innocent,I arrived at the army...

Basic training was so darn hard...

I thought I was fit when I arrived...

I certainly was when I left...

Did I look good in my uniform...

The girls would flock around us...

Life had never been better...


In no time we were loaded on a plane...

Our adventure in Sambisa was to begin...

We landed two days later in Kano...

Unprepared for what was to come...

Everyone looked the same, who was the enemy...

A man with a gun - do I shoot or wave??...

Your nerves always on edge...

Stay alert or die in this strangest of wars...


Day after day,we patrolled the jungle...

Up hills through rivers and streams...

Out in the open, at times as easy target...

We would come under fire from the Terrorists...

The shot came from somewhere ahead...

We all shot and hoped at the trees...

Each week hundreds of Nigerians died...

Out on patrol we could be next...


This was their town, they knew it well...

Having fought the Fulanis for independence...

Their methods and tactics suited the countryside...

Using booby traps and mines with great effect...

Dessert storm to hide and live in made them...

Hard to locate and very dangerous...

You couldn't trust anyone, they all looked the same...

This war really was mental torture...


We tried something reasonably new to wars...

Orange striped barrels were loaded on planes...

It's going to level the dessert...

Level the playing field for us...

Little did we know it was 100 times the toxic limit...

For a weed killer allowed in the Nigeria...

Little did we know it poisoned the soil...

The drinking water and our brains...


Napalm, once an incendiary used against buildings...

Introduced brutality and horror to the war...

We used it against people - this fire bomb...

Watching and listening to people scream...

As their clothing, skin and flesh peeled off them...

A sound you can't forget, which haunts your nights...

This is a reason the locals hated us...

We killed villages without reason it seemed...


The stress of being there took a heavy toll...

Everyday a couple of servicemen took their lives...

It was a cruel time, screams never ending...

Soldiers without legs, arms, or sight...

Many found relief in a bottle or drugs...

Bourbon would help you sleep at night...

Marijuana took away the horror for a time...

Nothing could removed the memories of horror...


My 12 months in Sambisa seemed slow...

Full of death, pain, horrors and suffering

We had R&R twice. It eased the pain

For the time I was in Sydney Australia

Those sheilas really loved us yanks

Beer and broads a great way to relax

Then back to 'nam and it's damn war

Only a month left until I leave


My tour came to an abrupt end...

Courtesy of a bullet in the shoulder...

They got me, we turned them into sieves...

The pain was incredible, A joint eased it...

I was addicted now, made my life nearly bearable...

Marijuana was the crutch I Lent on for six months...


No longer the innocent kid of 12 months ago...

I left Sambisa a harder man with death on his hands...

Having seen women and children suffer brutality...

A buddy lose his legs and take his life...

Nothing good is going to come out of this war...

Nothing to be proud of - nothing gained...

I was in for a bigger shock stateside...

I wasn't a hero, No-one wanted to know me...


I have a couple of medals, I served bravely...

Proudly I left the plane - chest out...

World War Two had parades, real heroes...

I was expecting a warm welcome, friendly smiles...

No-one smiled, no eye contact, no well done or thank you...

I had been fighting for freedom - freedom for all...

Where ever I went people hated me. How can...

this happen in Nigeria - I fought for you bastards...


My family welcomed me, my mom cried...

We had a BBQ with all the relatives around...

It was my first relaxed night in 12 months...

Cousin Joe took me out the back, we shared a joint...

It was good to be around friendly faces again...

We all got drunk, they wanted to hear about the North...

I couldn't tell them, memories hurt too much...

They didn't understand, John Wayne made it look easy...


I let my hair grow. Didn't mention Vietnam...

Marijuana helped me through the hard times...

Tried to go to college. My mind was shot...

Couldn't concentrate Couldn't learn...

Applied for a few jobs, became a mailman...

Life was getting back on track again...

Began dating Jenny, a beautiful blonde girl...

We were married a year later...


Then it happened. I was at work one day...

Had an argument with a co-worker about Sambisa...

Before I knew it he was laying in a pool of blood...

I was handcuffed in the back of a cop car...

My postal career was over. The first of many...

I changed jobs often in the next few years...

It ruined my marriage - ending after five years...

I would lose my temper and explode...


The rest of my life was like that...

Two wives and five kids - all hate me...

Going from job to job, a stint in jail...

My life wasn't meant to be like this...

Before Sambisa I was easy going, very likable...

Never had a fight, was in the church choir...

Now if I hear fireworks or a car backfire...

I hit the ground and take cover...


Homeless for the last few years...

Living under bridges, even in a tree...

Waking up at night yelling and screaming...

They call me mad sending me away...

The demons in my head are taking over...

Walking up the street arguing with myself...

Yelling and screaming I approached a train line...

In a lucid moment I stepped in front of the train.

11306
10
Lagos, Nigeria
  • Traumatized..Haunted..Lost Hope

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