AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREE ONLY BECAUSE IT IS THE HOME OF THE BRAVE!



HONORING ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST FEARLESS

THE UNITED STATES PARATROOPER!

 

COMBAT PTSD'S

RHYME & REASON!



FORGET ABOUT THE WAR!


Yeah, right...

GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!


POST COMBAT STRESS DISORDER!
The mornings after ~ PCSD ~ they last a lifetime!

Warriors, hellacious nights, too many of them.... you know, you've been there, you can never forget!

You suddenly realize… stress, stress is your friend, it keeps you alert, keeps you alive to see the morning sun rise. And another day is 24 hours closer to home. Then you'll be able to leave all this behind you... life will be all steaks and gravy then! Just wait, you'll see. Too bad no one told you about PCSD!

Please read Grif's Post Combat Stress Disorder (PCSD) and Purple Heart Medal Proposal that would bring dignity instead of suicide to America's bravest warriors suffering from this life-threatening enemy inflicted wound! Just click here!

You can order "When You Hear The Bugle Call" from Trafford Publishing by clicking the above cover.

GRIF'S dramatic life story is now available as an E-BOOK for only $3.99!
Please click cover below to access Amazon Kindle and immediately download your copy!


Experience intense combat and the devastating effects of Post Combat Stress Disorder!
A POIGNANT STORY YOU WILL NEVER FORGET!

When You Hear The Bugle Call
Battling PTSD and the Unraveling of the American Conscience

INTRODUCTION
~ ©From the heart to heal the soul. ~

I sincerely hope that the publishing of this very personal account of war and its aftermath will benefit other combat veterans agonized by severe and chronic PTSD. The intention of this account is to help them and their friends and loved ones to better understand this potentially disastrous psychological, mechanical, and common response to repeated, life threatening situations. It is also hoped that this publication will bring them to the realization that they are not alone in their sufferings and that help is as close as their nearest Veterans Administration Medical Center.

The taking of the lives of enemy soldiers and witnessing the loss of life to fellow friends and warriors is difficult, if not impossible, to forget or overcome. In the case of battle deaths, the end usually comes in a sudden, violent and bloody onslaught. Seeing and hearing others receive wounds, then crying out in painful agony, sometimes for several hours, before protection, relief and care can reach them, is a nightmare come true that will haunt the survivor for the rest of his or her life. Sometimes the wounded are impossible to reach because of overwhelming enemy resistance. While listening to their anguished cries, unable to bring them to safety, you hear them put to death unmercifully by a desperate, unscrupulous and vicious enemy is not an easy thing to get out of your mind. The unwarranted guilt associated with such circumstances can agonize the witness until death relieves him of his tormented existence. I urge all who suffer from this torturous, hellish agony to seek professional assistance and relief before their flashbacks, nightmares, ill perceived guilt and intrusive thoughts claim yet another life, or quality thereof, of another true, brave and dedicated patriot.

War is an all consuming hell,
Those who do not perish in the inferno…
Are seared for life by the flames!

It is not, to say the least, an enjoyable or comfortable position to find oneself… alienated from friends and loved ones because of the tragic symptoms of this terrible disorder. If one is unable to find a semblance of peace in his or her life, how can one offer the same to those they try to befriend or love? Casual or work associations dissolve quickly, especially if those people do not sincerely care about the sufferer. The world is full of ambitious, cruel, and backstabbing people. Many will do anything to get ahead in the work place. It is a highly competitive environment and some people will maliciously and intentionally belittle, humiliate and disgrace any person who threatens their position or advancement, no matter how unwarranted their motives.

For the combat veteran who is accustomed to the tried and true leadership methods and skills of the United States Armed Forces, whose policy is to lead by example, any lesser standards that he becomes exposed to later in life will surely present problems for the former warrior. Combat veterans were trained to react quickly and effectively under the most dangerous of circumstances and to take charge if need be. The old adage, “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!” is fundamental in their minds and they will employ whatever action is appropriate to accomplish their mission and objectives. If their leader is killed, wounded or rendered ineffective for any reason the mission remains their primary purpose. Many other lives depend on it and they know it! Under those conditions, the highest-ranking soldier will assume command and continue the momentum. Even if reduced to a solitary soldier, he will either seize the objective or die trying! After every battle, lessons are learned and new tactics and skills adopted to save the lives of our soldiers in future engagements.

In the civilian world of first person singular, all too often, poor leadership styles, lack of leadership skills, improper reaction to difficult, hostile and dangerous circumstances and inefficiencies in the general performance of duties are intolerable to the combat veteran and will ultimately lead to confrontation and disharmony between the veteran, his supervisors and coworkers. In the combat veteran’s mind, those totally unacceptable and intolerable conditions forced upon him and the complications from Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will at sometime, in all likelihood, reach an “ignition point”, the combat veteran “will see red” and react angrily and/or violently, in whatever manner he feels justified and appropriate to correct the situation. Unfortunately, it is often to his own detriment, as his “Monday morning quarterbacks” will deem his outburst and opposition as a threat to their authority and try to punish him for insubordination or some other unfounded violation of their rules and regulations. Regrettably, “the powers that be” usually win out… even if they grossly failed to perform their duties righteously and effectively, which caused the confrontation in the first place! Repeated episodes of this nature will eventually lead to the loss of morale, pride and finally, the “undoing of character” of the combat veteran. If the negative stimuli, which exacerbates the victim’s symptoms, remains unrelieved or unresolved and/or the victim of severe and chronic PTSD remains undiagnosed and untreated, his/her symptoms could tragically reach the severity of despondency, extreme violence and/or suicide.

The true and brave warrior never ceases to be,
On becoming a Chief, with all to oversee!
He will not topple to the strongest of winds,
For to fail his warriors, the worst of all sins!

Unfortunately, sometimes in our society, lesser men seem to be the most successful. Those who did the least, got away with it for years, and patronized their superiors even when blatantly wrong, get to enjoy the fruits and recognition of “a long and distinguished career”, with full retirement benefits and lauded for a “job well done!” Whereas, all too often, those who actually did the ground level, grunt work proficiently and honorably and bore the excessive/exacerbated burdens of an already stressful vocation admirably, were unjustly labeled “unable to cope and were burnt out” years before attaining a “successful completion” to their career! Unfortunately, “The beat goes on…” and on, and on!

If this has happened to you, my fellow warrior, despair not! You have carried your rucksack well… as well as many of the packs of those who truly could not bear their own burdens of duty and responsibility, those feeble ones who had the audacity to criticize and slander you. You carried all those excessive burdens, as well as your own, far beyond the distant, towering peaks those ordinary men swore unattainable. They were incapable of following in your footsteps and they know it in their hearts but remain unwilling to admit it. For by doing so they would reveal the hidden truths about themselves and uncover their shame that they cloak in the guise of success and honor. You were the one who brought the fight to the enemy, took his coup but still treated him with the dignity and respect deserving of a true, albeit opposing warrior. You fought the good fight and there is no dishonor in regrouping and refitting to fight yet, another day… with more admirable leaders who know, respect and value the honorable traits of a noble and just warrior. There is no shame in leaving those self-serving others behind to wallow in the stagnant muck and mire they so deserve, rejoice and revel in.

If you are too tired and worn to carry on with the good fight, that is fine. You have fulfilled your obligations and surpassed the goals of the ordinary man. You have done your duty well, very well and it is time for you to find peace for yourself and those you love and cherish. Pull them close to your bosom and tell them you love them. Know that no discomfort will come to you or them as the many deserving medals that cover your heart, those you so truly and valiantly earned, softly caress, then gleam ever so brilliantly from the contact with those who know the truth, honor, bravery and dignity of a dedicated and loyal veteran. You have completed a job that is so much more than just simply well done! You excelled far beyond that! You have earned the honor and respect of all your peers, loved ones and your country… I salute you, my brother!

If you need help finding the peace you so deserve, call any of the major veteran’s service organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled Veterans of America, or the American Legion, … any one of your choice, there are many others and they are all good. Most of their offices, as well as the VA, are in the Federal Buildings located in major cities across each of our united states. Ask to speak to their Department Service Officer (DSO). He or she will gladly help you file a VA claim and guide you through the processing steps to achieve the help and benefits you are so entitled to. You do not have to join their organization to get their help. They will be pleased and honored to assist you, regardless. It is their job, they are experts at it and they take great pride in helping all of America’s brave combat/military veterans.

In your quest for peace, righteousness, and sincerity never forget that true friends are as scarce as happiness in Hades. If you have one, you are truly blessed. Thank God for giving you such a wonderful gift. They will stand by you in the most difficult of circumstances and times. I thank God for providing me with a loving and caring wife who helped guide me through some very troubled and turbulent years.

The writing of such a misunderstood, complex and personal topic such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a victim, is a challenging, if not a very humbling, experience. We all, as human beings, have our failings. The sufferers of PTSD have more than their fair share of misgivings and misfortunes that can cause personal embarrassment and unjust criticism if directed by the uncaring or uneducated. Considering that possibility, baring such details is not an easy thing to do.

However, the good that can come of it can be immeasurable. I find it cathartic to write about my personal exposure to war and its aftermath. I still think like a soldier. One will not defeat his enemy if he does not come to know him. That is why I write about PTSD, to learn more about it and to eventually, conquer it… so I will be ready when I hear the bugle call. It is a constant battle but I seem to gain ground with every small victory. Coupled with the help of the caring doctors of the VA I can now see light breaking through the shroud of depression and gloom. The road to peace and self-forgiveness is steep, strenuous and exhausting but I travel on, first one step, then another and another. It is a constant, arduous effort but I will ultimately reach my destination of inner tranquility. I pray other combat veterans and those that love them will join me in the march. Come along my fellow warriors and your true friends, we are all altruistic here, just put one foot in front of the other, again, then yet again. Forward, march on determinedly forward, to the final victory of understanding, acceptance and peace. Then you too, my brothers, will be ready…

WHEN YOU HEAR THE BUGLE CALL!

Prayer + Counseling + Support + Determination = A MUCH BETTER LIFE!
READ GRIF'S BOOKS! HE HAS A BRIGHTER FUTURE NOW. YOU CAN, TOO!

Meet "Grif" - Peter S. Griffin




Paratrooper ~ Police Officer ~ Author ~ Poet ~ Webmaster
And yes, a Hemophiliac!

©Not for wealth or position but to serve a cause bigger than self!

"Grif" enlisted in the U.S. Army on 13 March 1964 (AGE-17) and was honorably discharged on 10 March 1967, attaining the rank of SP/4. His unit assignments were Company A, 2/502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Vietnam July 1965 - June 1966) and Company C, 2/505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. On Memorial Day weekend, 1998, he was inducted into the 502nd Infantry Distinguished Members of the Regiment, Halls of Fame, in a ceremony at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He served on the 101st Airborne Association, Fort Campbell, Kentucky Monument Committee, helping to establish a Division Monument to honor all Screaming Eagles, past, present and future. He is a "Boat Person", arriving in Viet Nam on board the "U.S.N.S. GENERAL LEROY ELTINGE", 29 July 1965. (The 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne operated separately until 1968, when the rest of the division arrived. It was the last all paratrooper unit of the 101st to engage an enemy on the battlefield.)

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After discharge he attended the Police Academy at Syracuse, New York and served as a Police Officer in Oswego, New York from 1968-78. He also attended the State University of New York (SUNY) @ Oswego, completing several public justice, psychology, sociology and civil liberty courses.
His military decorations include: the Viet Nam Service Medal with two bronze battle stars, the Silver Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal with device (1960), the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Valorous Unit Citation, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Parachute Badge, the Army Republic of Vietnam Paratrooper Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Recondo Patch, the National Defense Service Medal and the Expert Rifleman Badge. He recently received the Conspicuous Service Star with three accoutrements and the Conspicuous Service Cross from the State of New York for his patriotic service.
Two of his brothers were also paratroopers. The oldest, "Jackie" was killed in action while serving with Company G, 2/187th ARCT in heavy fighting two days after jumping in behind enemy lines at Munsan-ni, South Korea in March of 1951. His brother, "Billy" was an "Atomic Veteran" who served with Company A, 1/188th PIR, 11th Airborne Division. Billy and the brave men of his outfit participated in "Operation Buster/Jangle" at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada in 1951. They were the first soldiers to be exposed to several nuclear test detonations in close support of ground troops.
"Grif" married Brenda Gibson in 1967. They are blessed with daughter Pamela, and son, Brent. They are the proud grandparents of three lovely granddaughters Emilie, Meaghan, and Georgia, as well as grandson, Connor. (Meet them at Grif's childrens website, "TARA'S TALE, The Wood Witch of Mineral Springs.") Pete and Brenda have resided in The Great State of North Carolina for the past 33 years.
Besides "putting the spotlight" on PCSD via "Griffin's Lair", his interests include American history... especially the Civil War, collecting antiques, refinishing old furniture, spending time with his dogs, mountain trout fishing, writing and colonial coin collecting. In addition to his two books Grif's writings have appeared in several military magazines and newspapers including "THE SCREAMING EAGLE”, “THE FIRST SCREAMING EAGLES IN VIETNAM”, “THE AIRBORNE QUARTERLY” and the 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION (2nd edition) by Turner Publishing Company.

E-mail Grif:
grifslair@embarqmail.com

As you navigate through life be leery of all who oppose patriotism, for the disdain of some will reveal their true purpose: the subrogation of our ideals, the division of our people, and the eventual collapse of our nation. The guise of political correctness can cloak an evil that is capable of destroying us all! Grif

ANSWERING THE CALL TO DUTY

(From the Madison Messenger, Madison, North Carolina - 17 January 2007)

Author Peter Griffin of Madison, North Carolina is a decorated former combat paratrooper and police officer.



Grif - photo by Steve Lawson

New book describes a combat veteran’s journey to deal with his chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and encourages others with PTSD to seek help.

By STEVE LAWSON
News Editor

It took Madison, North Carolina resident Peter Griffin nearly three decades to receive the medals he won in Vietnam and equally as long to acknowledge something he brought back with him from the war – post-traumatic stress disorder.
“No one, I repeat, no one should expect a combatant to be like he or she was before going to war,” said Griffin, author of a new book about PTSD, “When You Hear the Bugle Call.” “The intensity of things you experience in combat situations stays with you long after the moment is past. Even though you might struggle to forget, you never can.” In Griffin’s case, he discovered many years after his return from Vietnam that he had been expecting himself to be the same person he was when he enlisted in the paratroopers at age 17. The truth turned out to be far different and arriving at that realization required a long, difficult personal struggle.
Griffin grew up in Oswego, New York, the youngest in a family of 10 children. Highly patriotic, two of his three older brothers joined the U.S. Army, serving as paratroopers in the Korean War.
Griffin’s oldest brother, John, was killed behind enemy lines when Peter was only four years old.
“It was my first experience with the traumas of war and I still have vivid memories of his funeral and the way his death affected our family,” Griffin said.
Looking back, he sees the origins of his own battle with PTSD took root at that moment in his childhood.
Wanting to follow in the heroic footsteps of his brothers, Griffin enlisted in March 1964. “I was 17 when I joined and only 18 when I shipped out to Vietnam,” he said. “Combat is difficult enough for hardened veterans, but so many of us in that war were still just teenagers.”
Griffin served with the 101st Airborne Division and the 82nd Airborne Division. His military decorations earned during his year in Vietnam include the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze battle stars, the Silver Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster and the Valorous Unit Citation. Discharged in March 1967, he married a young woman from Madison, Brenda Gibson, and began trying to adapt to civilian life. He attended the police academy at Syracuse, New York and took a position as an officer in his hometown of Oswego.
He served there for 10 years, experiencing many of the same stressful situations he encountered during military combat.
“It’s not just the combat soldier that deals with stress disorder,” Griffin said. “It’s police officers, firefighters, even rescue personnel. It’s anyone who puts their life in jeopardy for the sake of others.”
Reaching out to all of those people is one of the reasons Griffin decided to write the book. His own struggle with PTSD went undiagnosed for 29 years.
“When we came home from Vietnam, no one had ever heard of PTSD. It didn’t exist,” he said.
Griffin was injured in a fall from a roof while chasing a suspect in Oswego. In the course of treatment, he went to a VA hospital for a checkup and discussed the other symptoms he was experiencing with doctors there.
“They couldn’t help because they didn’t know what it was,” he said. “It turned out later to be a major problem with soldiers coming back from Vietnam. There were thousands that went undiagnosed and untreated for decades because of that.”
PTSD is the result of a psychologically distressing event that produces fear, terror and helplessness in the victim, representing a threat to the victim’s life or a loved one’s life. It manifests itself in flashbacks, where the victim relives the experience the thoughts or dreams from certain triggers in daily life; an emotional numbness brought about by constant suppression or avoidance of things that might trigger bad memories; hyper-vigilance, such as constant checking for unseen dangers; poor sleep habits; poor concentration; and exaggerated irritability.
Those symptoms are often accompanied by depression, anxiety, survivor guilt, suicidal urges, nervousness, drug or alcohol abuse, aggressive behavior and changes in cognitive functions.
“A lot of veterans are still unaware of the symptoms or just not willing to accept that they may have the disorder,” Griffin said. “I was no different.”
Griffin credits a Department Service Officer with the VFW in Winston-Salem with setting him on the path to recovery by not listening to Griffin’s personal desires. Griffin sought out the DSO, James O. Ward, while trying to get the Silver Star he earned during a battle in Vietnam. When Ward asked him to describe the incident where he earned the medal, Griffin became very agitated and began having flashbacks. The DSO recognized Griffin’s symptoms and encouraged the veteran to let him file a claim. “I told him I didn’t want him to do it because I didn’t want to be labeled with another disability,” Griffin said. “Fortunately for me, he didn’t listen.”
A call from a VA hospital and a series of tests from doctors and psychologists confirmed the DSO’s suspicions and set Griffin on a course of treatment to conquer the demons he had lived with for nearly three decades.
“They helped me tremendously and I slowly became aware of just how serious a problem I really had,” he said. “My PTSD was very severe.”
Griffin finally understood that his condition not only affected him, but the lives of everyone around him. His mood swings, bouts with depression and numbness to things that would normally excite others had impacted his wife, as well as their son and daughter.
“This disorder affects every relationship you have in life,” Griffin said. “It changes your perspective on things and that can’t help but affect the other people in your life.”
Writing “When You Hear the Bugle Call” had a dual purpose for Griffin. He wanted to relate his own experiences in combat, the way those experiences permanently influenced his life and his route to accepting and treating his PTSD in a way that might encourage other veterans or people in high-stress occupations to examine their own lives and seek help if needed.
“My DSO explained to me that PTSD was not a weakness or something to be ashamed of,” Griffin said. “It was an honorable condition because it was born out of time when I was fighting for my country.”
But as much as Griffin wants to get his message out to others, he also realizes that writing the book was therapeutic for him. It allowed him to organize his own thoughts about his life and experiences, and come to grip with his continuing personal battle with PTSD. “Writing the book was really hard because so much of the content recounts my experiences in Vietnam,” he said. “I had to walk away from it several times because I found myself remembering and reliving things that I’ve spent decades trying to forget. But it ultimately helped me to do this and my hope is that it will be a help to others out there suffering through the same hell I was going through.”
Autographed copies of Griffin’s book are available through his Griffin’s Lair website, www.grifslair.com or through other locations mentioned on the website. Griffin can be reached by e-mail at grif101@earthlink.net.

News Editor Steve Lawson can be reached at slawson@reidsvillereview.com or by calling The Messenger office at (336) 548-6047.

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"Thoughts, Memories and Tears"

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This book fits like hand and glove with "When You Hear The Bugle Call"


BOOK SIZE: 8.50" X 11"

This compelling book is titledTHOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS, An Anthology of War, Death and Remembrance. It contains ninety one poems, art, articles and pictures. This collection contains several poems that are hard hitting, no holds barred, accounts of the affects intense combat has on the individual soldier. The book reveals the mystique of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the dirt level perspectives of a battle hardened infantryman and his trials and tribulations, afterwards.

THOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS is a poignant salute to those who went to war and to those who never returned... A must read for all who want to understand hell on earth and its aftermath. You will find it most interesting, enlightening and well worth reading. This soft cover, perfectly bound book encompasses one hundred forty four eye catching and thought provoking pages.
A large percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this book has been donated to help build a 101st Airborne Division Memorial Monument erected at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The monument honors the fallen heroes of this famous fighting division as well as its past, present and future Screaming Eagles. It is a most fitting tribute to the greatest Airborne/Air Assault Division in the world! Please pass the word to family, friends and acquaintances. Your assistance and patronage is greatly appreciated.

Peter S. Griffin
Co. A, 2/502nd Infantry
101st Airborne Division
Viet Nam, 1965-66

THOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS
FORWARD

The poems contained in these pages are an odyssey of heart and mind. They were written solely for enlightenment, not for recognition or profit. All were written in a therapeutic attempt to better understand life, death, war and surviving.

The human mind and heart are complex, indeed. I do not profess to be an authority in psychology or sociology. I'm simply trying to better understand behaviors resulting from traumatic experiences. This anthology is an attempt to accomplish that end.

War affects all participants in so many profound ways. It has a great impact on how one interprets his world. It affects how one thinks, works, plays, worships, loves and behaves. It affects virtually every aspect of human life for the survivor.

It would be impossible to express all the feelings of a combat soldier or war survivor. Likewise, to describe the many things they have seen and experienced. It is enough to say that war and its horrors are not easily forgotten. Its scars are deep and its wounds are not easily healed.

War should never be glorified. It causes irreparable harm, not only to man, but also, to every aspect of his world. Its survivors are never left as they once were. The loss of life and its sufferings is immeasurable.

Unfortunately, war can not always be avoided. We must pray for our leaders and that all heads of governments, strive for peace in our world. If only we would obey God's commandments and live in harmony as He directs. When war is unavoidable, citizens should not blame their soldiers. War and its many horrors result from flawed politics and failed diplomacy. It is not caused by protectors of the peace. Always support your soldiers, they are truly, "America's native sons."

War is a circumstance beyond the common soldiers control. All soldiers provide national defense and will lay down their lives for their God, family, friends and country. Do not despise them for their duties and beliefs.

"Gold Star Parents" should always be honored. They would lay down their lives, gladly, if only their child, their soldier, could survive. They, too, made a supreme sacrifice.

I firmly believe we should remember, always, those who lost their life to battle. They truly did lay down their life for their friends.

Please pray for the survivors of war, the civilian victims, the veterans and most of all the children, the poor children. "Life became their nightmare, never to outgrow!"

After sharing many, THOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS, I hope all of us find a better tomorrow. It is my most fervent wish that this publication helps all of us better understand war and its terrible consequences. God bless you all, peace be with you, always.

Most Sincerely,

Peter S. Griffin

THOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS

Comments

From: Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy

Grif pictured with Mrs. Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy at an Airborne reunion.

Dear Peter,
Thank you for creating and compiling your book, “Thoughts, Memories and Tears”, with its poems of pain and love and victory. Those of us readers (most of us) who never served in Vietnam will be able to understand better what happened to the young men who went there to serve their country. We can never understand it all, but you give us a glimpse of what you went through and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that haunted you after you returned.

Your daughter’s essay on PTSD and your thoughts on the “Degree of Severity” have helped me understand this disabling problem. It made me happy to know that you have won a victory over this crippling disorder. Thank you for letting people know that it can be done, that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Your heroes are my heroes. Your poems honor many fine men. I won’t try to name them all – they are in your book – the men who have given us our freedom. During World War II, my father, who saw so much suffering among the conquered people in Europe and such courage and sacrifice among the young paratroopers who liberated them, told me never to take my freedom for granted. People were giving their lives so that I might have my American way of life – a warm bed, good food, a good school and freedom to worship where I chose. Your book reminds us of this.

Your Vietnam poems are so clearly a young soldier’s thoughts, beautifully expressed. I empathized so much with you and the ideas you expressed. “So excited to arrive, never doubting you’ll survive.” I guess every young soldier going into his first battle feels that way.

“Father Sam” must have been a great person. I would guess that he, like “Chaplain Wood” of the 82nd, went through all of his battles without a weapon. God must have been watching over them, knowing how much they were doing for others. “Saigon Tea” is very powerful – innocence lost. “Mr. Airborne” is a great tribute to Don Lassen. Each of your poems has an important message. “On Wings of Eagles” should be the official 101st poem. But Still…” makes me so sad, and proud.

I will treasure your book, “Thoughts, Memories and Tears.” It belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who cares about our young soldiers and wants to understand their experiences and the effects of those experiences on the rest of their lives.

Warmest Regards,
Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy

Thank you, Mrs. Fauntleroy! Most Fondly and Respectfully, Grif.

Above - Barbara's Dad, Gen. "Jumpin' Jim" Gavin, pictured on the cover of an issue of "Airborne Quarterly" with AQ's official poem, written by Grif, inscribed on the cover.

Connie has her copy of Thoughts, Memories and Tears, hope you will order yours soon. Thanks for considering, Grif.

THOUGHTS, MEMORIES AND TEARS
A REVIEW

SGM LLOYD J. RAHLF (RET.)
CHAIRMAN, MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION ASSOCIATION
17 DECEMBER 1999

I highly recommend the book Thoughts, Memories and Tears by Peter S. Griffin to all Screaming Eagles and veterans of the Vietnam War. The story of these three paratrooper brothers and the events that Griffin relates in this book certainly brings back many stirring memories, some pleasant, others, not so pleasant. Thoughts, Memories and Tears accurately portrays the life of the infantryman and his trials and tribulations in the dense, steamy jungles of Vietnam. The vivid poetry expressed in this book surely brings the horrors of battle home to the reader.

I highly admire Griffin for writing this book and hope all have an opportunity to obtain Thoughts, Memories and Tears as it is a must read and surely belongs in the libraries of all combat veterans. Peter thanks for a great job!

Sincerely, Airborne/Air Assault
SGM (ret.) Lloyd J. Rahlf
Two tour Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War
Operations Sgt., HHC 3d Brigade RVN (1969-70)

Atomic Veteran John DeBusk

Grif's dear friend and brother paratrooper, Atomic Veteran John DeBusk sent word that he read and enjoyed, "Thoughts, Memories and Tears" very much and recommends the book to veterans of all eras.

Please click John's picture above to visit his atomic veteran website and meet this brave paratrooper who was a member of Company A, 1/188th Infantry, 11th Airborne Division. Both John and Grif's brother, Bill, participated in "Operation Buster/Jangle." Thank you Trooper John, for all you have done for our great country!

UNDERSTANDING COMBAT PTSD IS A PIECE OF CAKE

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~THANKS BECKY! LOVE YA, PETE!~

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