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Lance Johnson - U.S. Army

To this day, I am as much in love with Erica as the first moment we met.  Eventually, we bought a house in Seattle and lived happily for eight years. Can you believe it?  At my age, a normal life?  I still took Prozac, of course and attended counseling.  Sometimes, the nightmares came back, and I went through occasional spells of depression the drugs couldn’t handle, but compared to that other existence, I was in paradise.

Erica retired in 2001, and we moved to Hawaii.  Together, we built a modest home and live within our means.  My son, Marsh, is a man now and visits twice a year.  Not long ago, I was finally able to talk to him about my life experiences.  I felt he had the right to know why his dad was the way he was.  Not easy for me to do, it was a difficult moment for both of us, but I believe Marsh understood, and his expressions of empathy were sincere.  He is a good, caring young man, and I’m very proud of him. 

I still attend counseling, and the doctors occasionally adjust my medication to fill the gaps when the Prozac quits working.  Now, I realize there are two Lance Johnsons – the person I am before Vietnam and the person I am since.  Two very different people, and I struggle to embrace them both.  The Lance Johnson I am now is committed to the sanctity of life.  It is his new church, and there is no longer a place for organized religion in his life.  This Lance Johnson will attend a funeral or wedding, appreciate the ceremony and enjoy the music as much as anyone, but when he hears a politician or preacher talk about God and the Culture of Life, and then come out pro-guns, pro-death penalty and pro-war, he gets sick to his stomach.  If God is for all that, then He doesn’t need this Lance Johnson.


1. Ordinary
2. Dating the class secretary
3. Artillery training
4. Special Forces Camp
5. Firing at anything that moved
6. You're not going ot believe this
7. Asked to accomplish the impossible
8. Welcomed by war protesters
9. Anger
10. Like a trapped schoolboy
11. Dissociative flashback
12. Still in love