C. Douglas Caffey
accept this note as personal, even though the address is to a group.
need to tell you what God has done, and is doing in my life in the past few weeks. It is something which I wish to share,
for it is very unique and very meaningful to me. Bear with me, please, and try to overlook all the personal pronouns
came out of WWII, having been in the 509th Composite Bomb Group, Air Photo Unit, which dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan
and also the larger atomic test bomb at Bikini. Thousands of folks were killed in a split second, mostly women and children;
some 130,000 at Hiroshima alone. I know that we had to drop those bombs and I know also that most of those killed, or
would be killed, would be women and children. This fact has lain on my mind and heart since WWII, and I came out of
WWII with what is known now, as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with 50% service-connected disability. During
my last months in the Army Air Corps, I spent several months in two hospitals in the Pacific and two in the States.
you do not know how PTSD affects people, go to Google and type in those four letters. One terrible effect of PTSD is
horrible nightmares. I have had them now for some sixty years. There is no "cure" for this malady, which I have known
for many years. After I got out of the Military during the years of 1944-1946 I went back to college and had a heck
of a time trying to sleep at night.
was a battle in which God allowed me to endure. I just asked Him for grace to get through those awful nights in order
to prepare for the Ministry. Through four college degrees I was plagued with eternal nightmares. The same was true afterwards
when I was pastor of The First Baptist Church, Watsontown, PA. and when I was Dean of a Bible College in Owatonna, MN, and
later Principal of a large Christian High School in the Denver area. I kept all these nightmares a secret, except from my
wife, for we had to learn to sleep in two different bedrooms for the nightmares would awaken her. We have slept in two
different bedrooms now for some thirty years. I kept from my family the nightmares and attending effects of PTSD for
I was embarrassed at the constancy of their reaction on me.
those many years the nightmares became worse, and around the year 2000 the effects of them became so great that the long-kept
secret had to surface. I started going to the VA Center in Biloxi, MS for help, which I finally began to receive.
Psychologist and Psychiatrists did little to help. Medication, such as Paxil, did afford some amelioration, but not enough
so as to begin to be a normal human being.
here is the reason for this note to my friends!
the past three weeks, I have had almost no nightmares. Allow me to explain! My Boston Terrier, Muggsy has begun
to sleep between my legs as I sit in my Power-Lift Chair (Can't lie down due to terrible back pain, even though I had surgery
on the lower back, so have slept in such a chair for nine years).
has learned, somehow, when a nightmare begins and he awakens me by standing on my chest and licking my face, and will not
allow me to go back to sleep. I must get up and out of the chair for him to let up. Since he awakens me when the nightmares
begin, I have no recollection of the nightmare and can avoid the hour of time following a nightmare, the time in which it
takes to get on an even keel again!
has been praying for the release of these nightmares in my life and God has used a four-legged dog to do what no Psychologist
or Psychiatrist can do, and Muggsy never went to school, much less to get a degree in some Behavioral Science, at Harvard
or Mississippi State or the University of Mississippi, or any other college! For the first time in some sixty years,
I have been released from the terrible Mares of the Night!!!! You have no idea how my life has changed over the past
three weeks. I doubt if you can ever know the relief which a little dog, and a BIG GOD has brought to an old
veteran's life. I stand amazed how God has brought about this miracle in the latter years of my life. I had to share
this personal miracle with my friends. I can't keep it a secret, nor do I wish to do so. Praise God from Whom
all blessings flow!
is my intention to share this with the folks at the VA Hospital, for some 16% of returning veterans from Iraq suffer from
the same PTSD as military people from WWII, the Korean War, Viet Nam, and all the Gulf Wars. I have never heard of a
dog being able to do what Science cannot do, yet it is true.
can bet that Muggsy gets the best food which money can buy and always plenty of good fresh cool water. I talk to him
about God and what God has done through him, but he shows no evidence of being able to understand.
ends the saga of Doug and the Dog...the only difference between the two is one "U"! Forgive me for all the personal
true friend is one who reaches for your hand and touches your heart." So many of you have "touched my heart", and I am grateful!
|Doug Caffey waiting for Frank!! LOL
As always, your insight is amazing! Yes, I have read the poetry which you have posted and am grateful
that you think it worth sharing.
Perhaps, somewhere in the notes re my life, we should say that I am now classified as a 100% service-connected,
disabled WWII vet, totally and permanently disabled. Too painful to lie down, and legs and back make me walk like a duck,
when I am able to walk. LOL
I shall share my experience with Muggsy, my faithful Boston Terrier, with all those who suffer from
PTSD. It is impossible for those who do not have PTSD to understand what it means to have no 'Mares of the Night' after
having them for some sixty years. Hey! I may live to be a hundred. I spoke to my wife (of 56 years) yesterday
about getting a new Harley to ride! I won't tell you what she said...but I'll tell you what I said, and that is: "If
you die before me I'm gonna' buy a big black Harley and ride, ride, ride." I may have to get help getting on and off,
but once I'm one, a very few will catch up to me for I do like speed. Someone says, "Why one could get killed on that
thing." My answer is, "well. I'm already over 80 years old and most folks don't live that long; besides, I'd hate to
I've owned over thirty motorcycles, including new BMW's, Triumph's, Yamaha's, Bultaco's (dirt), and
a host of Honda Gold Wings. The last bike owned was a new Yamaha 1100 Special, Twin, and that was just two years ago.
It was low-slung so I could get on and off by myself. I confess to riding it over 102 mph on Interstate 10 between Pascagoula
and Ocean Springs, MS heading West, when a dirty little black pick up came up behind me and wouldn't get over in the other
lane. I didn't like his tail-gaiting, so I did what any normal American would do... and that is twisting the throttle.
At a bit over 102 mph the front-end started getting lighter so I had to back off, but when I slowed down and let the little
dirty black truck go by, he saluted an old WWII veteran! I do have a pilot's license but I didn't have wings to "lift
off" that day on that beautiful red and cream Yamaha.
This is a true story and you have permission to print it. I may be old but my spirit is young and my
mind is still geared to speed on a cycle. I drive an auto at posted speed limits for safety's sake, but on a cycle,
I'm not there when an accident happens...for I'm down the road a piece. I know this story doesn't fit the "college Dean" scenario, nevertheless, I have never "fit the mold". If a cyclist tells you that he always
the speed limit...he's a liar! I always ride the speed limit when a "Bear" is in sight, but it's awful boring!
The guy across the street has a black Harley and today he started it up several times and each time
my bad heart felt better. I told my wife, Helen, "Helen Baby, buy me a Harley! I NEED a Harley so I can live to
be a hundred." She didn't say a word but I can't describe the looks I got, but it was not that "come hither" look I used to
get when she was much younger! I've almost forgotten those days...but never have I forgotten motorcycling and if I ever
do forget, I would not be 'good company' to anyone!
Now Frank, sell this story to a Cycle Magazine, and keep the fee, then go buy a Harley, and come to
see me! We'll ride off into the New Mexico sun together!
We'll need to stop and buy a set of black leathers first, then Look Out Lake Tahoe, here we come, ready
or not! As I have said, my body may be an antique, but my spirit has not fossilized, nor has my mind!
Cares & Prayers,
C. Douglas Caffey