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A Soldiers Story-What happened...What drives me!

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Blog entry by Nate Meadows posted 05-24-2012 10:48 AM 1329 reads 1 time favorited 49 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First and for most I want to dedicate this blog to Catherine Helshoj, VP of Laguna Tools, whom I call Mum. She has been one of my greats supports since my started receiving help for my injury. She has always been in my corner, believing in me and rooting for me. She is my adopted mother and friend! I seriously could not have come this far without her.

Second I want to thank ever LumberJock for allowing me to write this. I know this is not a wood related topic and I promise it will be my only posting of such but I want you to know the man behind the wood. I thank you all for your kindness and support. You have welcomed me with open arms and have encouraged me greatly. For that reason it is time I share this small piece of me with you!

Oct 9th 2004- Taken from the my journal-

Hell from Behind!

Where am I? My ears! There has to be something sticking through my ears! My head hurts. Why am I lying on my weapon? We are in an ambush. The smell of sulfur is everywhere. The night is alive with the lights of hundreds of man-made fireflies. RPGs come from out of the darkness. I am screaming, telling my driver to move as I engage the enemy. The 50 cal. behind me sounds so close, and yet echos so far away. My head hurts, my ears hurt. Stay alert. Stay alive.

Reload, Reload. O God, the car. Its a car bomb and it is coming straight at my stryker! Coming to T-bone the side, get under our cage armor and then unleash it deadly surge of horror. O, the world spins. My head hurts so bad! I tip the barrel up to meet the threat. So close I can see the drivers face, so scared yet with eyes filled with resolution and hatred. His beat up white and orange junker is so close…to close…I must stop this threat..my ears hurt! As I squeeze off the first rounds I see the passenger, a Iraqi male… adjust and engage….O sh@t…there are women in the back seat, “You must engage” I tell my self My head hurts!...And now the world stops…..............................

Its as if time and space have no meaning or bearing. Sitting between the two women in the back seat, I see small frightened eyes. Its my son! I ease up on the trigger and do not shoot. Wait it cannot be my son. The car is still rolling towards us. We are still not clear. I must not have gotten the driver. I do not want to re-engage! There is a boy in there! A little boy!

I fight to save my men. As the RPGs rained down and the 50 cal spat out its answers, my heart breaks. I cannot seam to tear my eyes away from those terrified little eyes. Finally the car comes to a slow roll about 8 feet away. O God, I killed a child!

Journal Entry Excerpt Complete-

It all happen so fast! Yet as you have heard before there is slow time and quick time.

I have never shared this part publicly before. You can read the before and after story at

http://www.lagunatools.com/company/stories/Laguna-Tools-Is-Proud-to-Honor-Soldier.

I share this with you all now because I want you to know what drives me! Yes, the physical aliments, the headaches, the vertigo, the lose of vision, memory and nerve damage all are frustrating but it is not what keeps me up at night. What I see in my nightmares or flashbacks.

I take these demons of mine with me and try and transform them into something beautiful!

To you other veterans out there. Granted this is not uncommon. Keep the faith. There is hope!!!! I have found some good help in the VA but honest I have found the most help, oddly enough, in the community and activity of woodworking!:). Thank you again LJ for your patience and understanding! It has taken me 8 years to heal enough to share this. I did not even tell my brothers-in-arms I was so ashamed of what I had done! Because of your acceptance you have helped me move that much closer toward healing! THANK YOU!

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate



49 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

9621 posts in 1812 days


#1 posted 05-24-2012 11:26 AM

Nate,
I am proud of you., to call you a buddy.
This takes currage, it takes a lot to get to where you have after what you have lived.
I can’t even imagine your nightmares, but that you share them makes me full of hope and strength, thank you.
You are a true fighter, but also I feel love and a strong belive in life and beauty.
May your life be beautiful and the sun on your face,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bob817's profile

Bob817

652 posts in 1105 days


#2 posted 05-24-2012 11:34 AM

Nate, So Sorry, Honest “My Friend” and I mean that from the …...... well U know what I mean were guys we are not suppose to talk like that. I want to say Thankyou for sharring that with us I know how hard it is to open up and share ones innermost feelings and not knowing how other people are going to perceive you. Counciling helps but its not the same as finding someone or a group you can call and consider a friend or friends like we have here. Now I’m lost for words a head injury does that, at least to me it does. That is why I can’ t write long stories (blogs) like other people on here do, I can’t hold my consentration long enough to put words down I am and constantly wondering how it’s going to sound to someone else. It has taken me an hour just to write this much. I am going to end it here, I want you to know you have a friend , anytime you want to talk About Anything call me I’m going to send you my phone number. Nate, I’m so sorry and I mean that from the bottom of my heart, my friend.

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1960 days


#3 posted 05-24-2012 11:36 AM

Thank you for your service! If you are close enough to Kingsport, TN to pick up some lumber, let me know. I have my own sawmill and always have extra wood.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#4 posted 05-24-2012 11:37 AM

Mafe,

Thank you very much. I really is I that owe you all here, and woodworkers around the world thanks. You have helped heal my wounds. Sure I have a long way to go, but you all help so much.

I have said it before, Mafe, you are a gifted encourager as well as an artist! I am glad to know you. I hope I can encourage you as much as you do me!

Very Very Gratefully,

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#5 posted 05-24-2012 11:38 AM

Bob,

Its all good, I feel you;) and know where you are coming from!

Your Friend,

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#6 posted 05-24-2012 11:41 AM

Hal,

You share my fathers name. Your the first man I have met to do that:). Thank you for your kindness. How awesome is that, that you have a sawmill! I love running my dads woodmizer LT28, though its a 30 year old junker now. What do you have:).

Thank you so much for your offer! You are very, very kind. If I am every there, I will stop by…but just to say thank you and to check out your mill…I love sawmills!

Very Respectfully and Gratefully,

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1960 days


#7 posted 05-24-2012 11:52 AM

Nate,

Here’s a link to a blog post I made about my Timberking 1220 sawmil. It’s a small manual mill, but it cuts a 34” X 20’ log if I can get it loaded on the log deck. The biggest log, I’ve loaded and sawed was a red oak log 38” (big end) & 34” (small end) 20’ in length. I had to chainsaw the sides to get the mill to clear the sides. A red oak log this size weighs over 8000 lbs! You can’t even turn it over manually.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#8 posted 05-24-2012 12:04 PM

Hal,

Now that is awesome! I really do love sawmills. I want to get my own someday! I only get to use my dad from time to time. That is a huge log. Truly awesome! Thank you for sharing! I was able to cut a Black Oak kind of like it. It is so much fun to unlock the beauty hiding within the tree. It is allot of work though and I can only do it on my really good days. You must be in really good shape:).

Your Friend,

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#9 posted 05-24-2012 12:05 PM

Hal,

When I try the link, its says Page Not Found.

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1960 days


#10 posted 05-24-2012 12:07 PM

Nate,

I fixed the link. Somehow a garbage character got append to the end of the link.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#11 posted 05-24-2012 12:10 PM

Hal,

Thanks, no worries:)

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#12 posted 05-24-2012 12:12 PM

Hal,

Sorry, but its still doing the same thing!?

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#13 posted 05-24-2012 12:17 PM

Hal,

Its ok, I did a search and found it! Ill be reading it now!

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11347 posts in 1729 days


#14 posted 05-24-2012 12:24 PM

Wow Nate thats quite the story. I honestly cant imagine having to make those kind of decisions in the blink of an eye. You, my friend, are an american hero. Im sure that you have felt lonely at times trying to suppress what you have seen and heard in war. Please dont ever feel like you cannot share your thoughts, vent, or simply speak your mind around here … we’re one big dopey family. I cant thank you enough.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1077 posts in 929 days


#15 posted 05-24-2012 12:34 PM

Crisstef,

I like your qoute tag:)

First, I am not a hero. The guys that have gone and come home three and for times and continue to serve they are heros. The wives, parents, husbands and children that silently suffer the long nights and painful silences, they are heros. The men and women who laid down their lives for the freedom of those who did ask for it, want it or care for it, they are heros. Me, I am just on of the cogs that makes the machine go…or I used to be…now I am an artist…or trying to be:).

Thank you for your kind words, you have a compassionate heart!

Very Gratefully,

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

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