predatory energy has also found a way to mine the spirit, has
found a way to mine our minds, it can even feed off the essence
of our spirit."
- John Trudell Stickman
for Guadalcanal remains the marines longest engagement of
World War II, and the individuals of the 1st Marine Division who
fought there were truly warriors in every tribal sense of the
word they sacrificed their flesh for the greater good of
the tribe. They took completely upon themselves the absolute brutality
of war. They looked upon the atrocities and extreme deprivation
of each day in combat the way the rest of us face the mundane
tasks of our everyday lives because thats what warriors
since ancient times have always done. Though many were just teenagers
at the time, they will forever be known as "The Old Breed". There
is certainly no modern equivalent of these soldiers, and for some
of them, the battles never really ended.
All war is
an atrocity, and many of these men brought the atrocities they
had witnessed and committed back home with them. Some even became
these atrocities the modern medical term for this horrible
transformation is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD
is a syndrome affecting combat veterans, and, of course, anyone
else who has suffered similarly the desecration of the human spirit
in some extreme traumatic event or series of events.
There is an
undercurrent, not usually portrayed in the media or even in most
historical accounts of World War II, that expresses the true feelings
and perceptions of the small percentage of soldiers who fought
on the front lines. Almost as if by conspiracy on the grandest
level, the reality of the War, spoken in plain terms from the
people who know it best, is seldom if ever brought home. In the
words of writer Paul Fussell, humans have a strong tendency not
to examine any "information likely to cause distress or to occasion
a major overhaul of normal ethical, political, or psychological
assumptions."(1) Bob Worthington lived most of his life with the
burning anger and the frustration of having these secrets locked
inside him. His dying wish was that they be revealed in this work.
Even today, as war continues to be the first choice among people
and governments to resolve conflicts, Bobs story is more
timely than ever.
is the story of the children of the depression and the generation
who fought World War II. It is also the story of Bob Worthington's
life in the aftermath of the War, restlessly living on the edge,
constantly creating and seeking out stressful, dangerous situations
from which he had to extricate himself, and, in his later years,
his search for healing and closure. It is a unique perspective
of a World War II Marine, like no other story you've ever heard.
Paul. "The Real War 1939-1945." The Atlantic Monthly, August 1989:
here for more on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).