DD214

Martin K. Davis, Northeastern Illinois University

Christine Simokaitis is the faculty sponsor of this project.

Description

“DD 214” is a short non-fiction work that uses my experiences to create an instruction manual for what life is like as a combat veteran. The story walks through the various ways in which trauma layers our lives and directly shapes the choices we make, the lives we choose to lead. The story is written in the 2 nd person perspective in order to place the onus on the audience, so that they are put in the perspective of the narrator. Writing the story in the 1 st person would have created a distance between myself as the reader and the audience. One of the goals of the story is to bridge that gap between our traumas. Too often the response to a veteran sharing their stories is, “Well that’s unimaginable, I can’t relate to that at all.” By forcing the reader into my perspective, it is my hope that they can begin to see that trauma is trauma, no matter what caused it. It is the great equalizer, it makes us all unique while at the same time it reaches across boundaries and provides a common ground on which we can stand. Once this common understanding can be found we can begin to heal from our individual traumas. My other goal with this story is to inspire other veterans to share their stories. It is my firm belief that by doing so, they can contextualize their pain. They can label their scars and share that hurt with others. By keeping these stories, these chapters of pain, to ourselves we sequester ourselves away. We create an unbridgeable gap between others which leads to only more pain. Sharing our stories, sharing our hurt with others can help not only veterans, but the civilians around them. All too often friendships and marriages fall apart because of this lack of communication. If veterans are able to put down their story, to express their pain, they can help others understand it and help themselves look upon their trauma with fresh eyes. This is what I hope to accomplish by sharing this work: to inspire and to unify.

 
Apr 19th, 12:00 AM

DD214

“DD 214” is a short non-fiction work that uses my experiences to create an instruction manual for what life is like as a combat veteran. The story walks through the various ways in which trauma layers our lives and directly shapes the choices we make, the lives we choose to lead. The story is written in the 2 nd person perspective in order to place the onus on the audience, so that they are put in the perspective of the narrator. Writing the story in the 1 st person would have created a distance between myself as the reader and the audience. One of the goals of the story is to bridge that gap between our traumas. Too often the response to a veteran sharing their stories is, “Well that’s unimaginable, I can’t relate to that at all.” By forcing the reader into my perspective, it is my hope that they can begin to see that trauma is trauma, no matter what caused it. It is the great equalizer, it makes us all unique while at the same time it reaches across boundaries and provides a common ground on which we can stand. Once this common understanding can be found we can begin to heal from our individual traumas. My other goal with this story is to inspire other veterans to share their stories. It is my firm belief that by doing so, they can contextualize their pain. They can label their scars and share that hurt with others. By keeping these stories, these chapters of pain, to ourselves we sequester ourselves away. We create an unbridgeable gap between others which leads to only more pain. Sharing our stories, sharing our hurt with others can help not only veterans, but the civilians around them. All too often friendships and marriages fall apart because of this lack of communication. If veterans are able to put down their story, to express their pain, they can help others understand it and help themselves look upon their trauma with fresh eyes. This is what I hope to accomplish by sharing this work: to inspire and to unify.