Her Soldier Is Home

“Go away.”

She looked down the hallway, remembering the first time she’d seen it. She’d been pregnant with him then, so big she almost touched both walls.

Funny the house seemed so much smaller now. Maybe that’s how everything always was, different than you remembered it, smaller or dimmer or not as pleasant. She sighed.

“Are you sure you don’t want some pancakes?” she called through the door. “It’s no trouble.”

“I’m sleeping,” he said, voice muffled.

She sat in the kitchen. She’d been so eager for him to come home. This was almost worse than the worrying had been.


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Yeah, veterans home have a rough road. They miss their buddies, but they also feel they should be grateful. Add PTSD to this mix and you have a worsening situation. Among US servicemen and women, the suicide rate surpasses that of combat death.

  1. pennygadd51

    You’ve written an outstanding story there, Josh. You give the veteran four words to say, and they tell us so much about his mental state. Brilliant, too, how you give us the mother’s whole-life perspective on her son. That does so much, both in describing the returned soldier, and showing that the casualties aren’t all on the battlefield; families suffer too.

  2. Rowena

    Well done, Josh. I could feel the mother’s pain and her desperation to illicit any response from her withdrawn son. Trying the familiar things that brough him happiness in the past, but aren’t having any impact. I feel for her, just as I feel for the veteran who is probably equally lost at home to actually return home mentally as well as physically. Unfortunately, as you said, too many resort to suicide something which is all too easy to understand when the mental anguish does go away and is too much. I don’t know what could be done to reduce the incidence of PTSD or to help those affected. I really lie what Prince Harry is doing with the Invictus Games, which is where I took my take on the prompt.
    I don’t usually look at other people’s takes until I’ve written my own. However, quite often I struggle to place the photo and I usually like to now where it was taken, particularly when it looks like somewhere I should now about. On these occasions, I might read a couple to work it out, but that’s all and it doesn’t affect what I write.
    I’m Australian so it can be difficult for me at times picking up on some of the American images.
    Best wishes,

  3. EagleAye

    So many of our veterans pay for our lifestyle with life and limb. What many forget is that their spouses pay too. This story illustrates this very well.

Don't just stand there.