Think of this as a survey question. But it’s not multiple choice. Instead, it’s designed to ask how you feel or felt. But first, let me set up the why I’m asking. When I returned from the Gulf War, coming home was like one of the stories Ray Bradbury wrote. You know, the ones where astronauts land on a distant planet to find a recreation of home. It looks like home, full of people you know. But then it doesn’t feel right. The place I returned to was just familiar enough to be home and just alien enough to be the Sands of Mars. It was like no one could understand what I’d done or become. I wanted to talk about it, but no one wanted to listen. Eventually, I began to realize one simple truth. They weren’t the ones who changed. It was me. The change was like I climbed a mountain and then pulled the rope up after myself. I’d gone somewhere they couldn’t follow. The experience had altered who I’d been, and I was the alien in their world, not the other way around. Maybe that’s why my cousin who’d served in ‘Nam told me his stories over a beer. At last, there was someone who’d been there. We’d both returned to a world that didn’t know us, and only we could understand one another. How many of you combat vets felt the same? And what did you do about it?