C. Douglas Caffey
|Click Doug Caffey's picture to go to the International War Veterans Poetry Archives
is the story of my World War 2 veteran friend, C. Douglas Caffey. It is written here in Doug's own words so maybe
we can understand the pain and suffering of our war veterans even 60 years later. Maybe his story will help other veterans
with PTSD and similar symptons.
Douglas Caffey is a disabled veteran of WWII. He served (1944-1946) in the 509th Composite Bomb Group, 58th Wing, Air Photo
Unit, 20th Air Force, United States Army Air Force. It was the 509th who dropped the atomic bombs on Japan and did the atom
bomb tests at Bikini in the Pacific. He has been a chronic sufferer of PTSD since WWII. He
doesn't claim to be a poet, but he does claim to write from the heart.
I spent some time at your site today and came away with the feeling that America needs
more men who can write and make known to the people what it is that causes men to fight to the finish and die in the name
I haven't forgotten the men of the Z Square 7 and in time, God willing, I shall pick up
my pen and write again of men who gave honor to their country.
I appreciate your placing some of my poetry on your site. At age 81, I have not
long to write, and fewer days to mark my presence here on this terrestrial sphere.
It is to that celestial sphere up above that I shall rise and view the world down below,
and give thanks to God for men and women who loved their Freedom more than life itself.
I still remember the time when you wrote to me about your half-brother being a student
at Davidson College. We studied in the same rooms, had the same professors, did our "tours" on the same athletic field,
ran the very same "Crown Mountain" for some eight miles, had the same drill sarge and had sodas at the little shop off the
campus where the sign read "Through these doors walk the finest young men in America." We likely saw the same pretty
girls on the College Tennis Court and may have dated the same, who knows? WE, no doubt, had the same able Physics professor,
Dr. Fulcher , or was he chemistry? Now, your brother George is dead, and at age 81 I am yet alive, but given the chance,
I would have gladly taken his place and gone down on Z Square 7. George is a hero, as are all whose lot it was to serve
and die for their country in the name of Freedom. I am honest in that I could have died for Freedom, and would have
done so gladly in the name of Freedom and sweet Liberty. Many a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, and Airman and Coast Gaurdsman or
Merchantman died without a single human being to attest his passing. Only themselves and God knew their plight.
When the truth is known, that's the way it has been down through the ages in war's grandiose theme, or lack thereof!
I'm not afraid of death, for I have seen so much of it and I know,personally, The One Who has conquered death and removed
the stinger and so "O, Death, where is thy sting?"
For me, it will be the "door-bell" to Heaven's grand gate! Perhaps George will meet
me there and we can talk about our days at Davidson College and the subsequent days in the Old Army Air Corps, and especially
about the famous B-29 Superfort ! As you know Sallyann Wagoner has spent three days and nights in our home here in the
High Desert City of Albuquerque.
Frank, glad to be your friend! You are made of 'good stuff'! You have done
a great job on your first book. I am grateful for your pen which flows from your heart!
I would fly with you anytime! I have a pilot's license, you know. Do
you think I could borrow the "BlackBird" for a day or two. I believe it is the new hangar in Tuscon, AZ. It would
be a one-way flight for me, in that I would point her nose to Heaven and give her the gun, and land her on God's runway, where
many of the "lost" B-29's are parked, and not one of them leaking oil!
Enough said, now to bed (Chair, that is, for I haven't slept in a bed for some ten years.
it hurts to walk and it hurts to lie down, so most of my present life is done in a chair. 100% DAV, service-connected,
Reflections of C. Douglas Caffey on the date of May 16, 2009.
Never thought I'd see the day when I could write my name and
then not be able to read it, but such is true in a world which lends itself to "change". But there is a positive note with
this event; that being, no longer can checks be written, thus drawing money out of the account which bears my name.
Good to have a wife who is able to affix her name to the bottom right of any check!
From where I sit, other changes can be seen. First, that hand and eye,
have drifted farther apart. What the eye sees and what the hand does is two different things. The hand seems to
have its own spatial view, which is not congruent to that of the eye, hence the two become argumentative, especially when
the glass is half full, or half empty, with the milk of a contented cow. Four episodes in the course of twenty-four hours
seems a bit much, but who am I to complain?
First, it was the left front of my cerebellum which had the will to
cause pain. Now it is the right rear of that self-same cerebellum which creates my attention and thus puts both hands
asleep, and now when I affix my "X" in close proximation to the name by which I am known, even it shows signs of a shaky hand.
Yet, I worry not about the first or second paragraph; Just smile and
go on to the bathroom and take care of business caused by taking five diuretics per day, and get a new "Depend"! Can
this be called 'dry humor'?
This past week the head of the pain clinic, (aka the spinal cord haven), Dr. Robert Overbaugh, will invade the lumbar area of the one who cannot write his name, in
ten places with a laser to kill the nerves located at those ten places, and further injecting some special substance whose
duty it is to lubricate, thus causing pain to move to some distant planet far, far, away! I am favorable to this circus, for Dr. Overbaugh, himself, a former marine, in special services in South America, is a 100%
disabled veteran with PTSD and physical injuries, who went to Notre Dame to get his BS and then to medical school to receive
his M.D., needless to say, it is with great respect and confidence that I submit to the laser which he wields in his own hand.
The stage is being set as to the time when the laser will be "stage right".
Meantime, I shall continue my midnight prayer time at the family dining room table, after
finishing a cup of coffee, and during the prayer I drift off to sleep for about two hours and awaken with the need for another dry "Depend". This must be humorous to The God of all Creation, yet I don't
"sweat it" simply because I just "wet it"!
Life has its bumps in the road, which result in our "ups and downs".
If we don't fight those "ups and downs", and just "go with the flow" life becomes more bearable, and dare I say, far more
This I know, not much farther down the Road there is a fork in the
road. One segment displays a sign, which reads; "This is The Way! Walk Ye in it! On that glad day,
without any pain at all, I shall finish the journey begun at age thirteen! Be certain to join me!
God is good! Always good! To this I affix my "X" wherein
the name appears.
"X" C. Douglas Caffey
C. Douglas Caffey