Regrets/impacted moral-grief/forgiveness

This isn't a well-presented/decent paper really, it's just a couple of posts from the other day with a little bit of follow-up that i added today... i'm not a professional anything, and i don't desire to become one, so as incomplete as this post is, i think it's plenty enough for someone like me to help motivate someone else... i'm sure that many smart people have already written better and more precise info on the topic/topics, so make sure that you read/research anything below that sounds interesting to you... as always, don't take my words for it, use that wonderful noggin of yours...

08-10-22:  i haven't read the details of the veterans 'PACT bill' that resident brandon signed today at the end of his liberal love-fest on TV... if it's really focused on aiding veterans that developed respiratory deterioration, cancers, and other chronic ailments due to toxin exposure, then GOOD... it may sound silly, or overly dramatic, and not really founded on solid logic or reasoning, but one of the so-called 'moral injury' triggers that i deal with from time to time is that i contributed to toxin exposure, maybe not to the degree of regular burn-pit and oil-well fire exposure, but as combat engineers at the end of gulf war one i can tell you that we blew the sh1t out of tons of munitions and ordnance that were discovered throughout a big chunk of the theater, if i knew that every piece of ordnance that we blew-up was cleared to be free of toxins--or things that become toxic when they explode--then maybe it wouldn't bug me so much some times, but the short OJT that i had with the local EOD company (when i was hoping to attend their training program), well there were a shit-ton of things that we had to learn about NBC warfare/weapons, much more than what an E-4 12b was required to know, and every detail learned about such weapons is scarier then a stephen king binge watch, times ten... all creative ways to incapacitate or kill people in different lengths of time using different substances to do so... different toxins require different delivery systems and methods of intake, explosions/fires of various temps can render certain/some toxins safe, and some of those render little-to-no toxic residue except the residual heavy-metals, and some others become air-borne delivered like vapors/gases/micro/nano-particulates... i can tell you that destroying the dictator's military weapons at the end of the war was a fvcking dream come true to combat engineers, we were finally allowed to use our knowledge and creativity with small simple things like c-4, tnt, det-cord and triggering devices... finally!, we weren't just stuck practicing laying out fake mine-fields, we got to use the ordnance that we were familiar with to accomplish a mission of making sure that the back-country was free of fighters and their weapons... if you like lighting-off fireworks you would have loved the opportunity to have participated... it was mostly bunkers full of mines and some of the smaller munitions used in battlefield warfare in the 60's--even though it was the nineties, the iraqi army wasn't armed with very current/sophisticated equipment, and the navy had already softened major targets with cruise missiles, and the pilots already softened just about everything else, so we were more of a clean-up crew really, we met very little resistance riding cross-country in our canvas-covered dump trucks, and our only actually 'fire-fight' was against someone (it only sounded like one individual actually shooting at us) shooting an AK at our convoy when we were supposed to be on our way to blow a tank-ditch across a border road to iran, just one or two knuckleheads that didn't get the memo that their country lost in zero-minutes flat shooting at us in our ordnance-filled five-ton, those knuckleheads prevented us from executing a real-life battlefield tank ditch with the shape charges and all of the other ordnance that we were sitting on top of in the back of the construction vehicle/dump-truck... anyways, the story is about releasing toxins into the air and knowing that a shit-ton of folks that spent time in the back-country of iraq developed respiratory issues, eye issues, nasal issues... i knew better, but the idea was that most of the bunkers were assumed to be 'booby-trapped', so you can't really inspect the contents of every bunker that was full of weapons, so you 'blow in place', it's sort of fun to blow stuff up like that, but not really the safest thing you could be doing, and especially if you have no background in safety measures and why they are used... the benefit of experience and time says that we would have been better off staying in our masks while we were in the desert, not mop-one or two, or whatever it was... wearing a charcoal-lined suit for such a length of time as to render them useless for their intended use in a very hot part of the world was the wrong kind of over-kill, but keeping the masks on would have been the more logical over-kill if there were to have to be only one... wearing those damn suits for so long really sucked, wearing the masks for that same duration would have equally sucked, but would have protected our eyes and respiratory systems from the toxins and severe amounts of particulates that we breathed-in from just driving around, most of the time it was dusty, and other times the visibility was like a blizzard... anyhow, i'm sure you get the point, i hope so because i have to run. -- ct

08-10-22 later:
so to pick back up on the story above, small-arms fire was enough to cancel our mission to blow the tank ditch, unless (perhaps) there were more folks around that we couldn't see from the road, but an Apache helicopter sent a rocket or two in their direction, so returning fire was probably futile, just a reaction to training and not wanting to die, we certainly couldn't accomplish what the Apache did with our little m-16s, and frankly, none of our guns worked the first shot returning fire, pretty much all of them had a nasty CLP-desert dust/cement type of residue to deal with, running them dry might have been better since we only used them the one occasion, hindsight... so the good news for our squad was that the shit-ton of ordnance that we were sitting on top of for that particular mission was later used to have fun blowing-up the bunkers and the hanger at that one airfield... the airfield thing was literally and figuratively speaking 'a blast'... there were four hangers, and each squad in our platoon got one hanger to deal with, we got to use the ordnance that we had to render anything in the hanger un-usable, with a couple of rules though, 1 - we couldn't blow-up the MIG directly, but if it suffered any collateral damage from the main blasts then it was OK... and 2 - we couldn't put a charge directly on the 6 - 8 foot bomb that was on the side of the hanger, it was one that would have been dropped by the mig... they let me get creative with some of the principles that i learned from the EOD folks back in CO, we rolled a 55-gal drum full of some fluid directly under the cockpit, and arranged two opposing shape-charges aimed at it's center... i never heard what kind of damage that the mig suffered, only the squad leader was allowed to go back and look at the damage along wit the big-wigs... i don't remember how we resolved the issue of the huge bomb, i sort of recall that they didn't want to blow from the fuse-well, so i don't know if it actually detonated or not, but what i do remember is that when the brass set-off each hanger's charge one at a time, our's made the biggest boom, not that i'm competitive or anything, but it clearly made the others sound like a fourth of july backyard show, our's shook everything and you could feel it in your soul... i can't even imagine veterans that endured warfare where explosions were going on like that with any regularity, even once is too much for some folks, even the survivors... so the combined stories from both posts are just my way of communicating that i appreciate the government making a concerted effort to help Veterans that developed respiratory issues from toxin exposure, many places didn't have much toxic environment, other places it was probably inescapable... i don't want to come across as a know-it-all, or an expert, but experience and time shape my perspective on this matter... our government sends me letters every so often to tell me that they appreciate my service, they show their appreciation by sending me a little bit of money every month, they know that parts of me broke while i was working for them and they take some responsibility for it, many folks have suffered much more devastating injuries than i have while working for 'uncle sam'... with all of that said, i give zero political points for the brandon administration for getting this latest veteran's package together, but i'm glad that the folks who deal with pro-longed and chronic health conditions due to toxin exposure during their time of military service will get some extra help for those conditions now, some folks got it pretty bad, and they could probably use the extra money, but the extra money always comes after you've endured/faced hardships for years prior. i only have the asthma-cough thing, and occasional flare-ups that are probably related to current environmental irritants and allergies, i get allergic reactions to various particulates like certain pollens and molds and environmental things like that, but some guys need steroids and oxygen to function... if you are one of those folks and you served in GW1/Operation Desert Storm then you have my apologies if i contributed to your condition in anyway, i certainly didn't mean to, or try to, but i've dealt with regret/guilt to the degree that it's important for me to mention it... so that's sort of what 'impacted moral grief/injury' sort of sounds like, it's different/varies for individuals that are affected by it... but for those that do, please do yourself a favor and take the time to consider the Christian principle of God forgiving sins, a pretty horrific act of brutality happened to a historical person to help facilitate/illustrate forgiveness and a reconciliation to God... even if you were a complete asshole there is forgiveness for those who recognize that they require it, and have repented... the sacrifice of a proverbial 'unblemished lamb' was instrumental in facilitating the concept of 'forgiveness'... much of today's culture isn't interested in redemption and forgiveness, they would rather use the worse thing that folks might have ever done to dismiss/dissolve any good act or memory of them instead... discerning right from wrong isn't always the easiest thing to do, we all get fooled/burned at some point in our lives, or a couple few times might be more like it...

  ... and most of us have done something in the past that is regrettable and even 'sinful' if you want to look at it that way... our lives are literally 'evolution', we are a constant changing ecosystem that requires making changes and adjustments in order to survive/sustain, we learn from experiences, worth-while education, and feedback from our environments which is also constantly evolving... i mention that to say that God requires some humility from humans in learning from regretful things that we've done or witnessed, when we realize that something that we did was a direct violation of the two most important commandments and when we recognize that something on our part wasn't cool then we acknowledge our sin to God, and if you victimized someone else you might have to acknowledge your wrong-doing to them too, and maybe pay a restitution, it's great to learn from all of our experiences, the good one's as well as the bad, and all of the regular useful one's in between too, so regret is a part of your human evolution, and repenting is taking the corrective turn in order to maintain positive survival, it's all part of evolution to a large extent... i don't quite know what and why depressive thoughts that are based on historical actions that you can't change re-occur, why i entertain them, why i continue to self-judge... and i also don't understand why they happen even while being decently aware of the concept of Christian 'forgiveness', but when you are unhealthy for some other reasons then the thoughts can beat the sh1t out of you, a dysfunctional depressive state usually effects more than just the mind, there are usually other things going on from physiological perspectives that are contributing to the condition, it seems like the concept of being upset that you can't control things that you can't control has much to do with depression/grief/dysfunction, i'm not a professional anything, and i won't make a foolish statement that it's 'all that the problem is', because there are usually multi-facets/variables that cause some folks to turn inward to an unhealthy way that produces poorly discerned negative reactions to people/stimuli/environment... Jesus had much to say about forgiveness, receiving forgiveness from God through things learned from the teachings of The Messiah shouldn't be as difficult as it seems sometimes, but it's right there, and you can't go back in time to change the past (at least i can't), you can't control the outcome of every event that you would like to either, but you probably know as much already, but sometimes it's good to be reminded about those facts... knowing that you are forgiven even when you don't feel like it can be a struggle sometimes... if you an unfamiliar with the Christian principle of forgiveness then i invite you to research the matter on your own... the concept is that God's people had to offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins, but that Jesus was the example of forgiveness (as well as many other things too), repenting for sins and prior infractions in respect to humanity is a big part of 'sin', and then there is some sort of re-connecting to God that happens through the process, forgiving is something like that... but if you are one of the folks that deals with impacted moral-grief then please find a decent counselor/elder to help get you through the nasty seasons, and understanding God's forgiveness is quite helpful too, especially to those who find a treasure in the man of Jesus, He communicated some great insight to get humanity back on track and steering toward God, and making necessary changes/evolution for long-term survival and sustainability... there is something about the arrogance portrayed/delivered by an actress on a television commercial when she state's that 'she doesn't have any regrets', folks with little humility might live most of their life doing things that ought to be regrettable, but their unhealthy ego's and intelligence impairs them from understanding as much... if you have no regrets then you are still rebellious and living for no one but yourself, or maybe you have come to grips with your former actions that didn't align with the golden-rule and have received your forgiveness for it... moral compromise/injury/grief requires a dose of God and His forgiveness to help realign and become healthy again, or you could try it some other way that i don't know about i suppose... writing about such things is not redemption, it's being helpful maybe, but the redemption came from Jesus, if you are in some rebellious denial of God, or the sustainable logic taught by Jesus then you have those matters to consider, that might be good starting point for your own research and healing... look... sometimes you take, and sometimes you give, i've given plenty of restitution over the years for some of the things that i've taken, i'd like to think that i'm on the positive end of that spectrum now, but i don't think that's how it works in the end... if you want to play games and deny/ignore debilitating problems that's one thing, but when you are ready to seek help for the things that cause you the most grief then consider a decent counselor/talk-therapist, they come in all shapes/sizes/colors and labels, and a good one is valuable beyond measure... prayer is wise too, if you are the praying type then you might find that it's easier to pray for everyone else but yourself, but if you've rendered yourself handicapped or useless then you should probably considering praying for yourself too, maybe something like for God to reveal what you are missing, and how to change, and how to move forward... those things aren't too much to ask God for, at least they seem quite reasonable to me... you can't change/erase the past, but personal survival and evolution requires making changes for the future, don't stay stuck in neutral any longer than you have to, it's not very efficient to do so, sometimes staying stuck in neutral is due to contemplating all of the things that you want to control, but can't, that's a frustrating lifestyle if you ask me... getting 'stuck in time' fighting with moral grief isn't 'fighting' at all, it's much more like the 'freeze' in our fight, flight, or freeze responses to unfavorable circumstances... please seek help when you finally recognize that you require it.  --  ct

... if you can deal with my writing-style and complete abandonment of grammatical rules and structure, then here are a couple of other posts that i wrote about similar topics... just a note to the reader, writing is actually a therapeutic aid for me, most of my writing starts in the wee-hours of the night when i'm dealing with insomnia, sometimes i even go back and edit it when i'm awake and coherent:

06-15-23 UPDATE:
... i read a good newsletter/article today (thank you Mega Foundation folks) which included this link:, it's unfortunate that the pdf costs eighteen dollars to read just one chapter, i'll probably pay for it when i'm caught up with other reading priorities, but it deals with moral-grief, and self-forgiveness, so it's relevant.
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