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Dave Sekol - United States Navy

The flashbacks hit me hardest when I was upset or angry about something.  At the onset of each spell, I felt anger rush through me, and then suddenly, as though someone flipped a switch, instead of being where I was, I’d be right back in Vietnam sorting through mangled bodies on the ship’s deck or popping a magazine on some gook sniper in the trees.  Sometimes, I stayed gone hours, sometimes just minutes.  The only certainty was I had absolutely no control over it.  Try as I might, I could not prevent those dark episodes, nor could I will them away.

God love her, it took her a long time, but again, Yolanda convinced me to see a doctor and find out what was wrong with me – why I was in such a “bad mood” all the time.  I’d been to VA clinics and hospitals several times for medical reasons, but because nobody knew much about posttraumatic stress, their investigations into my unbridled hostility toward the world were mostly just experiments with drug therapy.  Over the years, they tried Valium and other derivatives, but nothing did any good.  One doctor gave me Tuinal, a barbiturate used to detox heroine addicts, but too strong for me, I found it easier just to smoke dope.  This time around, the VA put me through a bullshit relaxation therapy program, but that did no good at all.  I was better off at home watching trash TV.  I wanted to get well, but despite the VA’s good intentions, no one successfully diagnosed and treated the problem.  For years, I knocked on the door, but no one answered.

  • Dave lived in a world of uncertainty and fear.  No solid diagnosis or effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder during this period in Dave’s life, he and his family struggled with an unnamed and ferocious enemy.


1. The Vernon County
2. "Fine, I’ll join the army."
3. Rewarding conformity
4. The LST
5. Freedom tax
6. Interrogating VC
7. Zombie-like
8. Yolanda
9. Dog therapy
10. Anger rush
11. EDMR therapy