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"Captain America Syndrome"

Marauder06

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Sep 9, 2006
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#1
Captain America Sydrome

"To be a man out of time is something the military does not prepare you for. Until recently I had not considered it to be a factor in any issues I had had or that anyone I served with had dealt with. I consider that with the proliferation of social media that staying in the loop is much easier. Yet those infrastructures are not always there to be counted on. We will continue to send our young men and woman off to distant places. They will be cut off from their former lives for prolonged periods of time. When they return they will have to face the rapidly changing world around them, and like Cap, find a place."



CPT-America-300x200.png
 

Ocoka

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#2
It's an odd thing to be in some primitive place where day-to-day survival is the priority; where young men and women have to face life and death issues every day while their civilian friends back home are sailing through life with few cares...and to return to that environment after months or even years of deployment. No wonder returnees sometimes feel like strangers or outcasts. The "syndrome" that you guys aptly describe has been around and is illustrated in a number of books and movies, like The Razor's Edge and The Best Years of our Lives. I imagine has existed since the very first battles long ago. I'm not sure it's ever had a name but naming it is a good thing.
 

DocIllinois

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Sep 10, 2015
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#3
I can totally relate. I left for Germany at the very beginning of '94, briefly returned on leave at the end of that year, then didn't return Stateside until 1998.

The internet had taken over. This was a big change because in the early 90s, computers were still for writing school papers and maybe budgeting but otherwise the province of techies like @Freefalling .

Also, my old friends were concerned about things I couldn't believe they gave even a passing thought about... why Rachel and Ross should stop fighting on Friends... WTF??
 

Lefty375

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#4
I'm sure a lot of people on this forum can relate. I think finding a place in the world is becoming a member. A lot of veterans shut themselves off or become one dimensional (only talk about war).

Ocoka and Doc mentioned things TV shows or movies in pop culture that people will have conversations about. I think it's quite healthy to have outside interests besides politics, religion, global affairs because it gets very depressing at times.

Also, let's not downplay the real struggle people are having with providing for their family. Granted, it's not the same as your buddy getting blown up but people in their 20's and 30's have real concerns too. In some ways, the Army was much easier.

Now I have to go back to studying so I can get a good job.......
 

Devildoc

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Nov 3, 2015
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Durham, NC
#5
That's not new, and there has been a bunch of research into this phenomena. It happens to just about anyone who spends an amount of time out of their environment where Maslow's hierarchy takes on a whole new meaning (eat? Hell, I just don't to die!). You go away for a while, particularly a third world shit-hole where you are in relative or real danger, come back....things are different for sure.
 

Ocoka

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#6
...Also, let's not downplay the real struggle people are having with providing for their family. Granted, it's not the same as your buddy getting blown up but people in their 20's and 30's have real concerns too. In some ways, the Army was much easier...
Absolutely. The stress of dealing with "enemies" you can't shoot back at, i.e. your credit card company, the mortgage, some asshole you have to work for. On and on. The things that keep you awake at night, the 2-am stressors. Yeah, in many ways the service can insulate you from a lot of this. Plus you're around peers, many of whom have deployed and gone through the same stuff. You don't realize how important that brotherhood really is until you have to deal with everyday civilian bullshit.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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#7
Just being in a place like Afghanistan or Iraq can destabilize your worldview of society. I know the first few days of R&R were an adjustment period. Trees? Grass? WHERE DID THESE PEOPLE COME FROM AND WHO LET THEM CARRY BACKPACKS INTO A STORE?!?!?!?

I can't even imagine what those in combat go through.
 

DocIllinois

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Sep 10, 2015
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1,524
#8
I was relegated to the couch a few weeks ago and played some guitar before bed, which was put onto a chair in the corner when I got my head down.

I thought I had dreamed waking up and being agitated from not having a gun within arm's reach, finding "it" a short distance away, then going back to sleep with it next to me.

Woke up in the morning with the guitar lying a couple inches away; it wasn't a dream. Some things deep down can forever prevent one from being fully within civvy-land, apparently, like it or not.
 

lindy

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Oct 24, 2010
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#9
Just being in a place like Afghanistan or Iraq can destabilize your worldview of society. I know the first few days of R&R were an adjustment period. Trees? Grass? WHERE DID THESE PEOPLE COME FROM AND WHO LET THEM CARRY BACKPACKS INTO A STORE?!?!?!?

I can't even imagine what those in combat go through.
Or, conversely, does it give you incredible clarity about humans and how both extremely caring and inhumane we really are as people?

What's the difference between the societal norms of the jawas and inner city Chicago, Baltimore, DC, etc? Bacha Bazi I guess?