Art: "It hasn’t been easy, not one bit. It’s going back there over and over and over. Remembering is not like it was at first, but it still has its trigger points, barbs, and head rushes.
I went on a retreat recently. It was one day dealing with Viet Nam, but I had a lot of backup, texting to friends at home and letting them know how it was going. And Ed Tick was on the retreat, and there were a lot of vets and other men who were very helpful. But this revision process was just a constant day after day going back there, and not debriefing, and it adds up. So I’ve been pretty wired. One night I was so agitated I punched the GPS in my Prius too hard and broke the glass! Then I talked to another vet, and he shared his experience with me, and it helped.
In spite of that, I’m glad we have written this story. The main purpose was to help other vets. I hope that talking about this journey of healing and how it has helped me – if even one person can get some good out of it and stop the nightmares and gain some peace, it will be worth it."
The rest of the story on the GPS incident is that I was busy making revisions so Art drove to a nearby community to pick up the beef we'd ordered from the butcher. When Art pushed the glass to get the GPS activated, the glass cracked. He pushed other options, and the glass cracked more. Now the glass over the electronic features looks pretty much shattered - like a frenzied spiderweb.
Art called our Toyota dealer. They said the part would be $4800!!!!! We had a quiet chat about how hard the last month has been on both of us as we refined the manuscript about our 2005 return to Viet Nam, where he saw combat back in 1968. We talked about what we could have done differently so he didn't get so stressed out over the process. We discussed canceling our planned trip to Norway in March so we can pay for the replacement part.
This morning Art confirmed that all the features no longer accessible under the dashboard glass -- except the GPS -- can be operated from the steering wheel. Since we're planning on driving the Prius into the ground over the next ten years or so (it's a 2005, so it's already six years old), and since he's the main driver, he may decide to just leave the shattered glass in there. Appearance doesn't matter a whit to him, as long as something is functional. We can take a hand-held GPS with us on trips.
So who knows about Norway?
At this point, I'm so thrilled not to be talking about Viet Nam every waking moment that I don't care.