Happy Veterans Day?

Roll another one. …

Speaking as one of the “countercultural peaceniks of the 1960s and 1970s” who was fond of “illegal, mind-altering drugs,” I’d like to say, “Right on, man,” to the veterans who have been advocating their use in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression stemming from their military service.

Writes Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times:

Researchers are still trying to understand the mechanics of psychedelic-assisted therapies but they are widely thought to promote physiological changes in the brain, sometimes after just one session. On a psychological level, the drugs can provide a fresh perspective on seemingly intractable trauma, giving patients new tools to process pain and find inner peace.

Lord knows they put me through a few changes. And while I can’t claim to have achieved inner peace, I did manage to find my path.

Jose Martinez got a later start on a much harder road. After losing both legs and his right arm to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and enduring 19 surgeries, ceaseless pain and an addiction to opioids, the former Army gunner became an evangelist for psychedelics.

“And now I understand what I’m actually here for in this world, which is to make people smile and to remind them that life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy,” he said.

“Not so easy” doesn’t begin to describe it. They tell me Charlie don’t surf. But Jose does. That’s beautiful.

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26 Responses to “Happy Veterans Day?”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Was waiting for your annual Veteran’s Day post. Its almost time to head outside and take down the flag, but glad I checked in.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    check out the book ‘changing your mind’ by michael pollan.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I’ve always wondered what the military would become if like some countries, all between 18-24 years of age had to serve in some capacity for 18 months. It’ll never happen but it would be wonderful to see (ok call it force) spoiled, wealthy kids to not only “drop and give me 20” but mix it up with those from all walks of life. Would they have a better understanding of the world and the various people in it? I’m left now with the uneasy feeling that today’s vets get the short end primarily due to the socio-economic makeup of our troops that enlist. When some of us currently think of military personnel, the Middle East always come to mind and the huge waste of life and resources thereof. Leaves a bitter taste which like Vietnam, is so unfair to those who served who were mostly trusting our government no matter what bonehead decisions. With a larger and more diverse numbers of those serving we could shift into more of a Peace Corp, CCC, Docs without Borders mode. Few things raise ones pride or esteem than being able to say “I helped build that”.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Herb, I am all in on a universal service requirement. I still have a recollection that when we had a draft, young people actually paid attention to what Uncle Sam was doing overseas, since it was anyone, not just volunteers, who might, as Country Joe said, be coming back in a box. Well, not quite anyone, Dubya and Bill “blue dress” Clinton notwithstanding. Nowadays, fighting wars is someone else’s problem and youth can’t see past their smartphone screens. I don’t think the average young American gives a shit about the military.

      It will never happen, though.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      From the safety of geezerhood (“Can’t get me, can’t get me, nyah, nyah, nyah nyaaaah nyaaaahhh. …”) I too am in favor of a year of universal service for all Youngs.

      Actually, I would’ve gone for it when I was a Young. I wasn’t interested in the military (Vietnam) or college (as my grades proved beyond the shadow of a doubt). Spending a year doing something worthwhile instead of languishing on academic probation and selling ditch weed to upscale hippies might’ve larned me sumpin’ and been of some small benefit to the Republic. That year I spent doing odd jobs between colleges was certainly educational.

      Given a choice between a year in the military or a year in a revived CCC, I wonder how many Youngs would choose the armed forces. A downsized military might restrict our tinkering abroad. A fella with a big hammer just natch’lly wants to swing it.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      You are right Herb. That is exactly what happened to me. There was a fight in my squad in basic training. As squad leader, I had to break it up. I asked one what started it. He said the other guy kept complaining non stop about how bad things were in the Army. He then said he told him to quit bitching, and that started it. He finished by saying he grew up in the projects in East St. Louis, and that basic training was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Plenty of food, nice quarters, treated with respect, and judged on his performance. He never had it so good. My education was completed by living with a diverse group of guys for a year on a firebase about 1/3 mile in diameter. All the bullshit divisions and prejudices in civilian life melted away, at least for me. And yeh, other than some officers, none of us came from a wealthy background.

      • Hurben Says:

        Hey Pat,

        I will never forget this one fuck wit that was in my company during basic.

        Couldn’t read or write, absolute hill billy & the only reason that he was there was because the MPs went & dragged him out of the back country shit hole where he lived to do his compulsory conscription.

        Yet this arsehole considered himself superior to blacks & was extremely vocal about it.

        Things got ugly several times.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Hi Hurben. Working on that sandal tan? The guy from East St. Louis had the other in a choke hold which got things so crazy I heard the commotion from down the hall. The guy was small but strong, and it took two of us to pull him off. It was obvious from the description of the fight I got later that he was an experienced scrapper who didn’t start the physical part, but he got on top of the other guy real fast. Took me a while to calm him down. Yeh, he was black. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up a first sergeant.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      As Vietnam wound down a friend and I were working on a civilian contract at Fort Carson, replacing screens on barracks and whatnot. A sergeant let us eat in the mess hall. I never found any reason to complain about the grub. It was hot and free and there was plenty of it. Plus we got to meet interesting people.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Speaking of service, I was summoned to jury service this week. Under Plague Rules, I had to ring up the court each morning and listen to a recording telling me whether my participation in the criminal justice system was required that day. It wasn’t.

      Is it just me, or is it weird that the Bernalillo Metro Court required no jurors for an entire week? I believe that the regularly scheduled crimes are continuing without interruption. Maybe everybody’s pleading out.

      “OK, pal, here’s the deal. Murder one down to littering. You get an ankle monitor and a week at home. We good to go here? Right. Next! OK, pal, here’s the deal. …”

      All snark aside, looks like they’re plenty busy down there. But not with jury trials. I hit the sweet spot, is all.

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    That picture of Stoner Man will keep me up at night…but damn he sure looks happy! Those weren’t the beloved Advent speakers were they?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, I can’t remember what (or whose) those speakers were. I vaguely recall owning a pair of Acoustic Research speakers at some point, but I think that happened later. There were four of us living in this house, more or less, and the musical equipment got used pretty hard. One especially rowdy evening we had four (!) cop cars out front, one for each official resident.

      Naturally I got the really little guy, the one with the riot helmet on.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Those speakers look a little small for a good stoner party.

    • SAO' Says:

      Pretty sure that’s the Dominator X-10.
      Thirty inches of thigh-slapping, blood-pumping, nuclear brain damage!
      You’re saying, Bitchin’! Hey, what’s it fucking cost?
      That’s the bitchin’ part about it! It don’t matter! If you can’t afford it, FUCKING FINANCE IT!

      So what if it’s as big as a Subaru and costs as much? You’ll never have to trade this in! This is gonna be with you for the rest of your life! And when you die, they can BURY you in it!

  5. Shawn Says:

    It’s funny, but that “man” in the photo reminds of the memorable line, “Dave’s not here man”.

  6. Experience Film Says:

    Charlie don’t surf🚁😎

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