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Week 5 Kaiser

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This is Week 5 journal entry from Zachary Kaiser, who is a student reporter for the War: Through Their Eyes, Vol. 3, Warriors & Students multimedia project.
Week 5 Kaiser

This photo shows one of the few times I got Todd to smile.

I am starting to get plenty of material, but every time we meet, it seems like Todd and I find some new aspect of being a veteran that people don’t understand. I continue to see myself as a younger version of Raley. He  perfectly articulates why veterans feel uncomfortable when thanked. We don’t know what to say. Todd points out that although we appreciate the concern and the gesture, the person doesn’t know why they are thanking the vet. They don’t understand what they are thankful for or what it meant to serve in the military.

Another topic that was discussed today was the need almost every veteran feels to return and experience their service again. I feel this all the time. I still feel I could serve and when things get hectic, it is natural for me to wish to be overseas again. Todd said he felt this way too. Overseas there is one main objective. Get home. After that, you have food prepared for you, you have someone doing your laundry (in the later years of the war), you don’t have to worry about money, you don’t have to worry about picking out clothes to wear or whether you need to buy new ones.

But at the same time, it is the same freedom a prisoner enjoys. I know with these new found freedoms, all I did was wonder what was going on at home. In the end, the simplicity is an illusion, because for every menial task performed for me was met with a feeling I was missing out on everything going on at home. That feeling has never left me. That ‘wish I could go back’ feeling is no different than anyone looking back on any of the “good old days.”

 Zachary Kaiser Weekly Journals

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