Bernd 07/25/2017 (Tue) 17:18:38 No. 9221 del
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The magnitude of the trauma associated with killing became particularly apparent to me in an interview with Paul, a VFW post commander and sergeant of the 101st Airborne at Bastogne in World War II. He talked freely about his experiences and about comrades who had been killed, but when I asked him about his own kills he stated that usually you couldn't be sure who it was that did the killing. Then tears welled up in Paul's eyes, and after a long pause he said, "But the one time I was sure . . ." and then his sentence was stopped by a little sob, and pain racked the face of this old gentleman. "It still hurts, after all these years?" I asked in wonder. "Yes," he said, "after all these years." And he would not speak of it again.
The next day he told me, "You know, Captain, the questions you're asking, you must be very careful not to hurt anyone with these questions. Not me, you know, I can take it, but some of these young guys are still hurting very badly. These guys don't need to be hurt anymore." These memories were the scabs of terrible, hidden wounds in the minds of these kind and gentle men.