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inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #26 of 103: life hurts. science is fun! (carolen) Fri 17 Apr 09 11:51
    
Re: the Torture Memos - was anyone surprised by what was in there? I
gotta say I'm glad the administration came out right away and said
operatives would not be prosecuted for doing what they were told was
legal. Just following orders, and all that. 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #27 of 103: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 17 Apr 09 15:49
    

I wasn't surprised by the content as much as I was surprised by the 
release of the content.

Lily, I know that you said in the book that one of the unwritten rules is
not to talk about politics or the war or, I imagine, things like the
Torture Memos.  In view of that, can you say how everybody is doing where
you are with that?

And, BTW, since it's been a few years since the book was written, where 
are you stationed?  Are you still at West Point?

Oh, and PS:  I love Mike!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #28 of 103: Paula Span (pspan) Fri 17 Apr 09 18:56
    
I have met the Mike and he is wunderbar and a Highly Supportive Spouse.

I'm also scratching my head at the idea that PTSD is any kind of Army secret
or dirty laundry.  I think you're right that the broader public may not
quite grasp the forms it takes, or how widespread it is, or how much
grousing there is among sufferers who find it hard to get as much help as
they need. But that it exists, that it affects literally hundreds of
thousands of troops and veterans -- you're hardly spilling any beans there.
Maybe other Army wives think that if you just shut up and went away,
everyone could safely ignore it?
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #29 of 103: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Sat 18 Apr 09 01:52
    
Totally silly question: how do your army pals feel about the adorable
Ryan from this season's real world?!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #30 of 103: tub of homogenous filth (tpy) Sat 18 Apr 09 07:14
    

Lily, i'm struck again and again when i think about how your past as a 
card carrying doc martens wearing punk rock purple haired anarchist led 
you to a place where you could fall in love with an army officer. Mike had 
no problem saying he didnt give a darn if anyone had a problem with your 
relationship but did you feel any pressure from your more alternative 
friends when they discovered you were dating, and then marrying, someone 
who represents such a different lifestyle? 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #31 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Sat 18 Apr 09 07:21
    



Before I answer anyone else, I must know, Amy:

Who is this Ryan from The Real World and what's his potential connection to
the discussion?

I don't think I've watched The Real World since TRW: New Orleans!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #32 of 103: Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk) Sat 18 Apr 09 13:30
    
PTSD  used to be called shell shock
as a child I know of men with this from 1914-1918 war
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #33 of 103: uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Sat 18 Apr 09 13:35
    
"A small-town Pennsylvania boy with a laid-back personality, Ryan has
had his share of action. After enlisting in the army at the age of 17,
he served in Iraq and got an eyeful. Now 23, he has returned from his
duty with a newfound appreciation for life and a better perspective on
the world around him, despite having lived through many near-death
experiences, as well as the death of a close friend. A class clown who
juggles his time between amateur filmmaking, guitar playing and
pranking those around him, Ryan is currently in his first-ever
relationship."

http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/real_world_brooklyn/cast_member/cast_member.jhtml?
personalityId=10601#bio
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #34 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Sun 19 Apr 09 05:18
    



>>>       Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk)      Sat Apr 18 '09 (13:30)     3 lines

         PTSD  used to be called shell shock
        as a child I know of men with this from 1914-1918 war


Hugh, thaks for joining us. What you write has my curiosity piqued. I have
heard many different names for what we now call PTSD: shell shock, combat
fatigue, nostalgia (??), soldier's heart. Could you elaborate upon some of
your memories of these men? It is of particular interest to me, how people
have manifested, and lived with, this affliction, especially in different
times. Was there a sense that they were able to get better? Did people take
their concerns seriously? Were they visibly upset/changed, or did you only
know of their plight because they themselves had talked about it?

I don't mean to sound like a nosy parker, but this is truly fascinating to
me, and I'd love to hear what you can recall. Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #35 of 103: Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk) Sun 19 Apr 09 06:03
    
They were accepted as eccentrics

one had a room full of rusting  tinned  food he had packratted

a much loved music teacher, a former concert pianist, had lost his
right arm and was scared like a rabbit if ever caught in car headlights

>> here my studies were supervised by a remarkable man call Douglas
Fox. Having been an Oxford Organ Scholar, and a major prize-winner to
the Royal College of Music, he undoubtedly had a prestigious musical
career ahead of him. The answer was No, because in 1917 he lost his
right arm in battle. He became a brilliant teacher, and I have always
been grateful for all that he gave me. I wondered whether he ever
realised my gratitude. I never once heard him complain about the loss
of his arm. Years later in 1954, I conducted a concert at Worcester
during a Three Choirs Festival, at which Douglas Fox brilliantly played
the Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand with the London Symphony
Orchestra. This concert was broadcast for the world to hear. <<
http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/services/2005-2006/DavidWillcocksSermon.html


more
http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=Douglas+Fox++Clifton++Co
llege&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

I learned to love Beethoven from him
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #36 of 103: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 19 Apr 09 18:42
    

As long as we are still on the subject of PTSD, I think it's important to
note that it's not limited to those who have been to war, as Lily writes
in her book.  One of the many things I learned from reading it is what she
writes about how easy it is to traumatize a child, which to me meant that
I could let go of feeling so terrible about myself for not being able to
shrug off my own trauma.  I could acknowledge, finally, that it was
probably worse than I allowed myself to remember, and that still being at
the effect of it as an adult was not a shortcoming or character defect.

So, I thank you for that, Lily.

And having said that, I'm wondering if you would talk a little bit about
EMDR.  I was so shocked and pleased when I read that about you, because
it's not yet a universally-accepted treatment, and yet it's one that I
have found to be so remarkably effective myself that I was happy that you
had found it, too.

I keep going back to it as more and more things come up, and I'm wondering 
if you and Mike did as well.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #37 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 20 Apr 09 07:01
    


Topic 351 [inkwell.vue]:  Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
#29 of 33: Amy Keyishian (superamyk)      Sat Apr 18 '09 (01:52)     2 lines

 >>>>Totally silly question: how do your army pals feel about the adorable
 Ryan from this season's real world?!


>>>> "A small-town Pennsylvania boy with a laid-back personality, Ryan has
 had his share of action. After enlisting in the army at the age of 17,
 he served in Iraq and got an eyeful. Now 23, he has returned from his
 duty with a newfound appreciation for life and a better perspective on
 the world around him, despite having lived through many near-death
 experiences, as well as the death of a close friend. A class clown who
 juggles his time between amateur filmmaking, guitar playing and
 pranking those around him, Ryan is currently in his first-ever
 relationship."


>>>>http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/real_world_brooklyn/cast_member/cast_member.jhtml?
personalityId=10601#bio


Hmmm...I'm out of the Real World demographic, but I find it interesting that
in our post-911 world, there's
a greater chance of finding a soldier in the mix of any ensemble cast or pop
culture melange.  I write about that a bit
in the book, how immediately after 9/11, the social stock of military
members skyrocketed --cachet IPO!-- and it was impossible to ignore.
All of a sudden, we have the (something)-soldier reality show contestant:
the chef-soldier, interior designer-soldier, single soldier lookin' for
love, the American Idol soldier! I'm hoping at some point to catch on TLC
the
Pregnant Man soldier--hopefully with multiples--but I think we've a ways
off. I would be curious to see, if this soldier married a female soldier,
how
much for their family healthcare (including hormones) the Army would or
wouldn't cover through TriCare.

The "rock stars"--that is, the military- and military-adjacent who seem to
get the most attention--tend to be
activists, retired generals who have written big, thinky books, mainstream
journalists who turn their attention to some aspect of the war,
performers who visibly support the troops (Trace Adkins, for example, just
performed a military-related song on one of the big country awards shows,
with one of the West Point choral groups. And there's Gary Sinise and
Kid Rock, who have done USO tours), and war heroes--although not nearly
enough of those, in my opinion. Their popularity tends to be nurtured by
newsier venues, rather than MTV, so
in that respect, Ryan has an edge. Pop cult + Soldier is not as common a
symbiosis, unless there's a contest involved.

You'll note that Ryan is a veteran, not a soldier. That's a critical point.
I was in a meeting with a couple reality tv producers once and they were
like, "We really want to do a *real life* 'Army Wives' where we shoot
on an actual base." It took me a couple minutes to figure out how to
diplomatically say, "Good luck with that!!"
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #38 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 20 Apr 09 07:01
    


>>>>Topic 351 [inkwell.vue]:  Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
#27 of 33: Linda Castellani (castle)      Fri Apr 17 '09 (15:49)    17 lines

 >>>>Lily, I know that you said in the book that one of the unwritten rules
is
 not to talk about politics or the war or, I imagine, things like the
 Torture Memos.  In view of that, can you say how everybody is doing where
 you are with that?

 >>>>And, BTW, since it's been a few years since the book was written, where
 are you stationed?  Are you still at West Point?

>>>> Oh, and PS:  I love Mike!

I will let Mike know! He is easy to love.

Conversationally, I really don't talk about current events very often with
my mil.wife friends. We see each other so infrequently, we are much more
focused on our
personal lives, so there's no particularly sexy answer to the Torture Memos
inquiry. It hasn't made it to the table for discussion.

Mike still works at West Point, but in a different department as an analyst.
This is it for us, so who knows what's next? Next weekend is the military
bloggers' conference in DC,
and even though I'm not a mil.blogger, they invited me to be on a panel
anyway, so Mike and I will make another NY-to-DC trek (we're getting quite
good at it now! Lookout Thomas Alva Edison rest area Cinnabon!).
I have never been in a roiling welter of brash, flash-fingered mil.bloggers
before and I can't wait. I expect hijinx to ensue. There may be scandalous,
opinionated Twittering going on during the pub crawl.


 >>>>Topic 351 [inkwell.vue]:  Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
#28 of 33: Paula Span (pspan)      Fri Apr 17 '09 (18:56)    10 lines

>>>>I'm also scratching my head at the idea that PTSD is any kind of Army
secret
 or dirty laundry.  I think you're right that the broader public may not
 quite grasp the forms it takes, or how widespread it is, or how much
 grousing there is among sufferers who find it hard to get as much help as
 they need. But that it exists, that it affects literally hundreds of
 thousands of troops and veterans -- you're hardly spilling any beans there.
 Maybe other Army wives think that if you just shut up and went away,
 everyone could safely ignore it?

I'm not sure that's what the beef is, although "ignore it and it'll go away"
seems to be the false hope of many people, in many walks of life. As we've
seen many, many times! If I get any good intel (or even some good gossip!)
on this, I will tell all!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #39 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 20 Apr 09 07:01
    



>>>>Topic 351 [inkwell.vue]:  Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
#30 of 33: tub of homogenous filth (tpy)      Sat Apr 18 '09 (07:14)    10
lines

>>>> Lily, i'm struck again and again when i think about how your past as a
 card carrying doc martens wearing punk rock purple haired anarchist led
 you to a place where you could fall in love with an army officer. Mike had
 no problem saying he didnt give a darn if anyone had a problem with your
 relationship but did you feel any pressure from your more alternative
 friends when they discovered you were dating, and then marrying, someone
 who represents such a different lifestyle?

Punks are cranks no matter what you do! You're going to get an earful for
eating the wrong brand of vegan not-dog--or failing to have grown the beans
for it yourself and not hammering the organic, animal-free casing out of
free-range butterfly saliva. It's true--the default position is complaint.
And I am part of this problem, I freely admit. My first response to
something is usually a gripe, which, if I'm honest with myself, has, over
time, left me sounding less like a questioning rebel and more like Grandpa
Simpson.

As far as the reaction from my punkier friends when I got together with
Mike, there was judgement then, and there's judgement now. Marrying someone
in the military is a not an uncontroversial decision is some worlds, and
totally typical in others. Even though punks feel free to plunder the
military for fashion and iconography (khaki jackets, camo pants, jump boots,
and the use of flags and patches) and language (how many punk band names
have a military origin or connotation? how much time do you have?), there's
a fundamental disconnect because the military is The Man and punx are,
allegedly, Anti-Establishment. They're positioned as being diametrically
opposed, but in reality, that's not even possible. I think the opposite of
military is hippie. And punx ain't hippies, man!!!!

It often takes people a while to get that I married *a* man, not *the* man.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #40 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 20 Apr 09 08:10
    

Not sure if this is kosher (scribble if not!) but there's an interview with
me on The Daily Beast today...

"Then came the bombshells..."

Legendary Web despot Susannah Breslin turns her attention to I LOVE A MAN IN
UNIFORM: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsmaker/book-beast/
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #41 of 103: uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Mon 20 Apr 09 08:57
    
It's all about you in here Lily.  Bask in the glory and promote your
tuccus off.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #42 of 103: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Mon 20 Apr 09 12:41
    
Oh, Re: Ryan, the reason I asked is that during the run of the show,
he got called up to active duty. So as everyone moved out of the house,
he reported to Fort Whatever and was on his way back to Iraq or
Afghanistan. Several episodes were dedicated to his not wanting to go,
but "sucking it up" and putting his game face on. It was quite
touching, and I wondered if people were noticing.

He was totally adorable, btw. Wrote funny guitar songs about how much
he hated the desert, how much he loved his home town. He was active in
veterans against the war, so I can't imagine how much bravery it must
have taken for him to just say well, I signed up, I'm going back. 

(I hadn't watched The Real World in ages but it was in Brooklyn so I
felt compelled.)

Anyway that was just a silly side note! pop-culture soldiers! 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #43 of 103: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 20 Apr 09 13:26
    
Well, when a war's been going on as long as this one has, and has
reached so deeply into as many small communities as this one has,
pop-culture soldiers are kinda inevitable. 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #44 of 103: Paula Span (pspan) Mon 20 Apr 09 14:58
    
Off to read the HuffPo interview but first:

Do tell how General David Petraeus "encouraged" your writing.  I thought you
were joking -- he encouraged your writing by deploying your husband.  But
hey, you've had your photo taken with Dick Cheney, so anything is possible.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #45 of 103: Wagner James Au (wjamesau) Mon 20 Apr 09 15:02
    
"They're positioned as being diametrically opposed, but in reality,
that's not even possible."

True that.  Notably on that front, for instance, Henry Rollins
performed for the troops in Iraq.

Great seeing you in this new avenue of life and writing, Lily!  Can't
wait to check it out.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #46 of 103: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Mon 20 Apr 09 15:04
    
oh yeah! i had the petraeus question too! 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #47 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 20 Apr 09 20:44
    


Hi James!! Thank you!

My gems, I have to haul the dog to the vet tomorrow a.m., so my daily
inkwell check-in may be later than usual. But Linda, Paula, Amy, I will
answer your queries ASAP.

Paula, I beg your pardon, but it was Donald Rumsfeld, not Dick Cheney. I
will post that photo for you tomorrow if you haven't yet seen it! I remember
when I was taking the photo of him with two of my husband's friends,
Rumsfeld said, "Well, we certainly have a handsome photographer!"

Who calls a woman handsome?

Seriously.

You heard it here first: Rumsfeld has no game.

Either that, or I look manly, and only Rumsfeld had the nerve to say so. OK,
I do admit, I am kind of butchy femme. But, um, still...
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #48 of 103: life hurts. science is fun! (carolen) Tue 21 Apr 09 08:54
    
Handsome: having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing
appearance suggestive of health and strength; good-looking

Baby, you got handsome in spades!

Not to give Rummy the benefit of the doubt, but that was probably his
lame attempt at not being creepy by calling you handsome instead of
beautiful. Rumsfeld: FAIL.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #49 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Wed 22 Apr 09 11:53
    




        From Hugh:

         >>>>They were accepted as eccentrics

        one had a room full of rusting  tinned  food he had packratted

        a much loved music teacher, a former concert pianist, had lost his
        right arm and was scared like a rabbit if ever caught in car
headlights.
        I learned to love Beethoven from him.

What haunting descriptions. You conveyed an entire universe of pain in just
a handful of words. I am hoping that more becomes known about PTSD and how
the trauma of the past haunts a sufferer's present. PTSD is in the news so
often, yet we're still woefully behind in research, effective treatments,
and capable practitioners to administer care. PTSD is caused by external
events--you don't just run out of serotonin or something and end up with
PTSD. So I think there's an underlayment of "well, you can't change history,
so once something happened to someone, they'll never get over it!"

In fact, people may not "get over" things entirely--the grief of trauma can
last a lifetime. But it shouldn't overwhelm your entire life to the point
where you can't live present-tense. What gets lost in reporting on PTSD is
that people can, through effective treatment, disengage the triggers that
send them into panic and flashbacks and dissociative/destructive behavior,
and lead lives of action, rather than being caught up in spazzy, painful,
abrupt, and at times treacherous, reaction. How nice would it have been for
the poor packrat to dismantle his sense of scarcity so he could have a nice
pantry and simply enjoy his daily meals? How great would it have been for
the talented pianist to be able to walk through a parking lot at night, and
have his biggest anxiety be the thought, "Oh dear! Where did I put my car
keys?" rather than be frozen with fear in the glare of headlights?

I could have said nothing about my abuse. Or about what my husband saw in
combat. In the broader context of "bad things happening to good people,"
what we've gone through is relatively small potatoes. But if there is any
aspect of service in publishing this book, it's in showing people what PTSD
looks like, two very different cases in two very different people, how and
when it manifests, and what, exactly, we did about it. For my husband, it
was like pulling out a splinter--fast, simple, and he never missed one day
of work. For me, it was more akin to setting a broken leg and putting it in
a cast--I had to reorient my entire life around the injury and learn a
different way to move for a while. And I still have some residual
psychological aches and pains now and then, while Mike bulled his way
through in a matter of weeks and never needed more help.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #50 of 103: Paula Span (pspan) Wed 22 Apr 09 12:15
    
Such a crucial message.
  

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