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Week 4 Kaiser

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This is Week 4 journal entry from Zachary Kaiser, who is a student reporter for the War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 3, Warriors & Students multimedia project.
Week 4 Kaiser

In this phot Todd smiles while standing next to a SpongeBob Squarepants toy his children sent him while he was overseas.

Todd and I met in the studio again to have our third interview. Todd brought with him all the pictures from both Desert Storm and OIF.  

The really interesting thing during the interview was when Todd started talking about a “Superman” mentality amongst young men. He was talking about how his perspective changed after he had children. I knew exactly what he meant. I enjoyed my first deployment because I felt the invincibility that he brought up. I enjoyed being away from home (to an extent) and enjoyed the adventure Iraq provided because I felt what Todd described. There was nothing for me back home but a job at Menard's or for a roofing company.

Today’s interview was introspective for me. Todd described the stages of coming home from overseas, but before I explain, it is important to understand the way Todd discusses these things. I’ve met some people who are overly dramatic about their deployments to get attention. Guys like Todd don’t want that attention. They know they are worth a damn and refuse to be pitied. Anyways, he said young people, once they realize they aren’t Superman, first self medicate and settle down only after legal trouble or domestic issues make them realize they need help. Luckily I realized I was going down a bad path and changed. I found therapy in writing about my experiences, even though they were not that bad.  In a way, interviewing Todd is like reliving my life and seeing where it might be going. There are only a few similarities, but I think it’s why I find Todd’s stories so fascinating.

At any rate, the interview lasted about an hour, and I finished up by looking through a gig of photos of Todd in Iraq with Shawn McAfee, the art director of this project.


 Zachary Kaiser Weekly Journals

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