Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

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Marcia Bassett McGrattan
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Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
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POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Sgt James B. Rice, Radio Operator, C47, 42-108884
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
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Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Memorial Page #1
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Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Graveyard at the Bottom of the Sea"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "I Saw Liberty Crying"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Old Memories"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "I Saw An Old Veteran"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Flying Backwards"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "All Is Quiet On Iwo Jima"
C. Douglas Caffey Poem "Bones In The Sand"
C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

C. Douglas Caffey

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Click here to go to the National Center for PTSD

This photo is a link to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs - The National Center For PTSD. There is an abundance of interesting information about PTSD on this website.

STONE

America must never forget the price paid for her Liberty and Freedom. These two words I have capitalized because they have great meaning to me. I, personally, cannot think of how empty I would feel if I had not been a soldier in any conflict with the goal of defending our country from those who would make us subservient to another nation.

I an grateful for those who can paint, or compose songs like Lee Greewood's , "I Love The USA", or lay down their lives as a sacrifice in order to keep our nation strong and in Freedom's hand. When I consider my own life, in having PTSD for some fifty-eight years, I will not complain, for it has been borne in the name of Freedom, and would be done again if need be.

Notwithstanding, I have a fight with the Veteran's Affairs Office, for leaving this veteran to handle this malady alone, until the present day. The words, "Go home son, the war is over" still ring in my ears and stings my soul! I did "go home" and found that the "war was not over." I have learned that WWII will never be over, never!

My Psychiatrist is doing his best to lower the intensity of the "Mares of the Night", nonetheless, the Mares know where all of the veterans reside and never fail to make their rounds. The War, indeed, is not over, though the pact was signed in Tokyo Bay many years ago. The foe is now a friend, but for some the War has no end!

Veteran friends are quick to declare that WWII has no end because this PTSD malady is never a friend! The "Mares of the Night" are simply payments being made for something called Freedom and Liberty. Yet the Mares keep charging interest on the payment... and so the account keeps on depicting a debt unpaid. So it is with a credit card balance of $8,000 @ 18%, if a minimum payment is paid each month, the account would remain unpaid for 47 years.

In the case of this WWII veteran it has been over 57 years and the payment toward PTSD is still running with its insidious interest, and yet the "debt" is unpaid. One of these days, when taps is played, the debt will be stamped, in dark red ink, "Paid In Full"! Many of us look forward to that day.

PTSD veterans are constantly looking to find ways to mount and ride the "Mares of the Night".

A friend, Tony Pahl, a Viet Nam Veteran with PTSD, constantly encourages this veteran to find a way to become a victor rather than a victim. He has founded and maintained the IWVPA, (The International War Veteran's Poetry Archives) in order to provide some sense of stability for war veterans for whom the 'War is not Over', whether it be Korean, Viet Nam, The Gulf Wars, or WWII, or some un-named conflict where machines of war have caused blood to flow, planes to crash, tanks to explode, and minds and souls to absorb the sights and sounds of war.

There is another Viet Nam friend, a Marine, whose name is Dave Griffith, who now resides in Fort Worth Texas. He resides in a Jazzy power chair, and has for many, many years. Dave lost twenty-six of his men, sixteen in one day at a rubber-making site. Bullets through his mid-section took away his ability to walk. PTSD has been his constant companion, ever reminding him of the loss of his men. Oxygen tanks are a part of his Jazzy machine; they allow him to survive.

Like Tony, Dave has turned to his pen, so have I, because some things must find an exit, lest the pressures become so great that even dreams dissipate. Dave is forever saying that when he realized that his hopes were not coming true, he turned them into dreams. In his mind, he rides his faithful horse again through the canyons of time, sees a world before him and behind him; sees a lover again who once was true, and writes sonnets and such telling of his love, even to the smelling of that fragrance which once marked her being. But dreaming is not seeing, and the dream must come to closure and reality.

From these two friends, this old veteran has found hope for today and dreams of tomorrow.

With PTSD there is some borrowing on the hopes of tomorrow. There are days when 'tomorrow' never comes, even though the sun rises in her orb, from East to West, and beyond the horizon of the West, the darkness of night comes, bringing no rest. The 'Mares of the Night' know when that golden messenger of the day has gone to light the other side of some veteran's life and to warm his chilly soul for a few hours, and to give warmth and life to flowers, strewn along the paths where some souls shall walk hand in hand with a lover true!

How much do dreams weigh? Are they subject to the pull of gravity? If not so subject, they are left to float in the atmosphere and so are attracted to those of heavy heart who long for friends who have died on some battle field in some crazy war, or whose lives have been taken when their aircraft forgot how to fly in flak filled sky.

Bombs and bullets have no mind and know not friend from foe, and once released they are free to go, never bringing peace, but forever bringing woe!

Another friend, Emmett Bagwell, top turret gunner on a B-24 J, surrendered his life on 27 April, 1944 when his bomber crashed in England, and whose bombs, meant for the foe, took the lives of Emmett and nine more of his crew. The B-24, known as Dragon Lady, exploded killing all plus two more Englishmen on the ground who were manning a radar shack. The exploding bombs knew not the difference between foe and friend, bringing eleven lives to an end.

The Dragon Lady, of the 705th Squadron, 446th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force was no "lady" at all to those named below, for whose loved ones we pray:

Wayne Case, Pilot
Roswell Mayer, Co-Pilot
Joe Boulos, Navigator
Amuel Canant, Bombardier
Emmett Bagwell, Top Turret Gunner
and Flight Engineer
Louis Phillips, Radio Operator
August Kendall, Tail Gunner
James Rachal, Gunner
Morgan Whitton, Gunner
Charles N. Douglass, Gunner

The photo before this veteran now, is of those named above, who sit beside a former B-24, known as the "Plastered Bastard", which may have been shot from the German sky, or crashed on landing back at home base. But one thing is sure, the Dragon Lady and her crew, and Pilot, Wayne Case, leave not of life, a trace. The photos before the eyes of this veteran show wreckage in which a B-24 cannot be imagined.

How can all this carnage form a B-24 and her crew? War does that to a human mind. No bodies to send to their homes whence they came. I have thought of Emmett thousands of times before the truth of his demise was known. Now the truth is known as to the reason his body came not home. His blood and flesh and bones were scattered on England's sacred ground, yet his friends of the 705th marked the spot and sounded TAPS all around! The word "TAPS" has three of the same letters as "PTSD" and the missing letter is "D" which stands for me, "Douglas", that is!

Back to my friends with PTSD.

When these two friends are remembered, Tony and Dave, considering what each had to bear via of that malady, I, too, must chose not to be a victim, but a victor. Shadows cannot hurt us and these 'Mares of the Night' are but shadows, our own shadows, which are part of us in some cruel war. We choose not to have an empty space where there are now nightmares, marking the time-table of some war of which we were a part. We must deal with the memories which are our own. Soldiers are not non-entities; we are soldiers; still soldiers though we wear not the uniform of former years and our memories are a part of what we once were, and strangely enough, still are!

This old veteran will no longer deny the malady which was denied for fifty-seven years, but chooses to face it head-on and believe that some day "We shall overcome". Some glad morning in the sweet by and by, some glad morning when we look upward to the sky, The God of The Universe, shall call us up higher, where all the "painted" rocks are jewels through and through; rocks that are jewels of sapphire, ruby, emerald, diamond, pearl, and aqua-marine; such beauty that on Earth were never seen.

Heaven, where the streets are pure gold, and the waters thereof are life-giving, with their banks lined with all manner of trees, bearing fruit which are free for the taking, and where angelic bands sound forth music which no mortal has ever heard. Yet we shall hear without impairment, shall see without the aid of corrective lens, according to God's Holy Word!

We shall be able to look beyond what the Hubble Telescope now sees, that being billions and billions of light years, and there shall not be a single 'Mare of the Night' with which shall emanate the past element of fright. Nor shall ever be heard the sounds of beating hooves, with the cadence of their Doppler effect, which, on Earth we once knew.

It may be that God will reverse our dreams, turn them inside out, the result being scenes of which we never dreamed! God can do that, for He has said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things which He hath prepared for those who love Him."

Not only can He do that, it is believed that He will do that, for He keeps His Word, and always shall keep His Word.

On that Grand Day, Believers shall pick up their heavenly pen with never-drying ink, and shall write with words never learned on Earth. Rhyme, meter, application shall flow as living water, giving exuberance to the writer as well as to the hearer. Those of IWVPA shall write with new vigor and gladden the hearts of all soldiers who, upon the Earth, fell to mix their red blood with Freedom and Liberty. There will be no MIA's in glory; no POW's to tell their story in minor key, for all shall be free in that Heavenly Scene.

Not only shall poets write, but singers shall sing with a new voice and pianists Hector John and wife Brenda shall compose music which only angels sing.

A host of present friends, who know The Lord, shall gather in one Heavenly amphitheater and together shall write and sing and shall proclaim , that indeed upon the Earth, the half was never told; friends such as Nancy Meek, Faye Sizemore, Marilyn Ferguson, Martha Carpenter, Dave Griffith, Ron Bliss, HJ and Brenda, Francine Pucillo, and surely our dear poet friend, Anthony Pahl, affectionately known as Tone, and many, many more. All shall rejoice and shall know each other's hearts, which could not be perfectly scanned while on Earth we pitched our nightly tents. God will reveal the souls who cared for others, as mothers and brothers, while upon this Earthly Camel-Ride!

A painted stone in rural Iowa brought all these things to focus in the mind of an old WWII veteran of seventy-seven years. What views shall come forth when one, for the first time, views The Living Stone, The Rock of Ages, The Chief Corner Stone, The Rock Cut Out Without Hands, Who is The Son of God, even Jesus, The Christ of God!

And so, Lord, this old veteran now lifts his eyes beyond the hills to Heaven's bright land, where he sees an angelic band, ready and willing to receive all who confess that Jesus is the only Hope of those with PTSD, who from sin hath been set free. Lord, I want to see Eagles, not Buzzards!

ęCopyright January 21, 2004 by C. Douglas Caffey

 
Sixty-Two Years of PTSD
 
Try as I may
PTSD doesn't go away.
From the looks of things
It's here to stay!
 
 
I tell myself
there wasn't WWII;
and millions didn't die
before it was through!
 
 
"Remember Pearl Harbor"
never was said
and hundreds of sailors
and others were dead!
 
 
There are no ships
under the waters there,
and many a family
never said a prayer!
 
 
No planes fell into
the salty sea,
and blood never ran red
causing PTSD!
 
 
No women and kids
ever died
from the fire storms
for the news papers lied!
 
 
B-29's never
fell from the sky
with eleven men
to die!
 
 
Bob Copeland's B-29
never fell from the sky
that night over Kobe, Japan
causing him to die!

There was no
Iron-Bottom sound
with many ships
scattered all around!
 
 
Hiroshima was never
set aflame
and 130,000 died
an atom bomb to blame!
 
 
Nagasaki never felt
the jar
of a B-29 called
Bock's Car!
 
 
No PT boats,
No fighter planes,
No Battle ships
No dying pains!
 
 
War is just
a figment of the mind,
for nations love each other
and are ever so kind.
 
 
Then I ask myself
why is PTSD
such a part of me
when I should be free?

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C. Douglas Caffey

jonn316@comcast.net

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