Trani.js is a jQuery interactive transcript plugin. Trani.js allows you to have time coded transcripts and closed captions that highlight sentences as people are talking. Trani.js was developed by Aaron Ellis Snyder for Soul Of Athens.
My name is Akeyna Dishong, I'm 27-years-old. I live in Coolville, Ohio.In my household there is myself, my fiance, Derrick, our two children, Kaleb and Jherica. I also have my mom and her two adopted children.Financially, it is better for me to be here because I do not get charged rent.because I help in the house. And me not working right now, you know, I do get assistance from the state, but it's only $450 a month plus $526 in food stamps.Mom's also said, well, "You need to go back to work," I do understand that.This is the longest I've never worked. And it is driving me crazy. You know and I told her, "Mom if I get a job now, it's not going to last, you know, you're getting ready to have knee surgery. You can't take care of two kids yet alone four kids."It's draining to live in a household with seven people. You know my mother doesn't really realize it because she's having a hard time herself with her bi-polar and depression.I feel like I'm holding the house together, you know if I don't do the dishes they're going to pile up, if I don't do the laundry, it's going to pile up.My name is Pam Jones and I am 46-years-old. I'm from Coolville.I believe that I am destined to raise children for the rest of my life. Over many years, that's pretty much what I've done.And you have lots of toys in your bedroom that you guys don't play with.Wouldn't that be the same thing as giving a toy to a child that doesn't have any?Yeah!See, that's why—Mom's been through some hard times and I've had to have people help me. So that's why when I have the opportunity somebody, you always do.The struggles are that sometimes me and Akeyna sometimes butt heads. We should both be Tauruses because you know there's times that we actually butt heads so hard, I mean over something so simple.And the house is big, but it's not near big enough. I just thank God everyday that they're here, that they're here, because I know I couldn't do it by myself. Some of the difficulties with all of us living in the household is you know, I've been living out on my own since I was 18-years-old.I am used to my rules, my way. Raising my children the way I know and think is the best. So just blending two families together and trying to compromise in the middle somewhere.I do feel like I'm putting my life on hold, but equally I'm not going to sit here and complain about it.My mom has taken care of me, you know and that's what children are supposed to do.You know, I'm not going to have my mom forever, so it is important to know that I'm doing everything I can so you know, I'm talking about, you know, years down the road in the future when something happens to her, you know, I'm not going to have any guilt. I know that I've done everything I could.
They can never know. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them.Doesn’t matter how… you can draw a picture, you can make a goddamn feature film,and they, they, would never totally be able to understand exactly what you’re dealing with.So to confront that you just give up. And you, you know, hide in the woods.Ever since I was a child I was always enthralled with the idea of combat and battleand war and the history of war and, you know, all the rest of that.I played more war than anybody in the neighborhood, I was always that neighborhood kid running around with the toy guns.When I was 18 I showed up the recruiter and told him I wanted to join the infantry.And, uh, he told me I didn’t want to join the infantry, multiple times.And he showed me to the Battalion Commander or whatever the head was in the recruiting office andhe explained to me further that I didn’t want to see, that I didn’t want to join the infantry because I was going to –as he banged on his desk rhythmically – he says to me that I was going to 'see some shit.'I had a very hard time during the first couple weeks, months, maybe even year,adjusting to the fact that I was a civilian again. And then the obvious culture shock of being a college studentand uh, having to deal with, you know, eighteen year old, nineteen year old kids and walking to school every daybecause you know, I was living close enough to campus and I could walk and I got a little backpack on my backand I’m going to school and you know, I should have a lunch box and mommy packed it.And like, you know, it’s like, fucking you know, what, seven months earlier I was,like, killing people and now it’s like I’m going to school.I like to go out and ride my motorcycle. I feel like that helps clear my head a lot because it gives me somethingI need to focus on and that’s the only thing I can focus on or I’m gonna die.I think a lot of people around here don’t even realize that there’s like veterans that go to this school and stuff.My 20th birthday was in Afghanistan. We had a night patrol that night and it was like a ten-click night patrol.So on this night patrol, and every single step I’m just thinking like, man, I’m gonna get fucking blown up on my birthday.And I was just thinking that the whole time. People talk about like, oh, my birthday sucked.You know, this year, I had to work or whatever. Like, oh really? You had to work like four hours at like,Foot Locker on your birthday? I was on a goddamn foot patrol on my 20th birthday. I could have died.You know, in the public media today, we hear post traumatic stress disorder, and people,unless you’ve studied it, don’t really realize the depth of the impact on the individual,on the human soul as well as, you know, our thought process, um, our behaviors, and our emotions.When a guy dies, especially in combat, you cover the body up with whatever you got.And you know, it’s just an emergency blanket or a fucking poncho or whatever else. Uh, you never get the feet.The feet generally splay to the sides. Uh, and that’s all you see.You see the feet and that’s kind of your last image of your buddies that you have.When I first got home it was… it was pretty bad. Uh, actually for a while,probably about three months, I could barely even fall asleep without drinking.There’s no way I could live on Court Street, because I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all on the weekends.Just from, like, people yelling. Um, that’s one thing that sets me off. Especially, like, during the day,if I’m just walking somewhere and I hear someone yelling, even if they’re like excited,if it’s from a distance and I hear someone’s yelling it instantly gets my attentionand I’m kinda like, 'Oh, what the fuck is going on?'Your brain is so conditioned from that stimuli, because you’ve been trained for so long to react to those situations like that.Um, that, you know, things that sound like gunshots or explosions or whatever. It’s really hard to turn that off.The mythic reality of yes, we’re waving our flag and this is a good cause,you start questioning that when you see the attrocities that happen in war.And you see the bad things that happen to good people. Even our language is 'We engage the target.'We aren’t trained to say, you’re going to shoot a boy, or you’re going to shoot a woman,or you’re going to shoot a human being, or you’re going to murder somebody. We don’t use that language in our training.Our training is mythical and we’re on automatic pilot.We were on a presence patrol in Kandahar Province in Zhari district.And uh, a motorcyclist came up through the middle of the convoy and touched himself off.Uh, blew himself… blew the bike up. Killed Reiners, killed Wittman, killed Pagan.No, I don’t think you ever leave the desert. It’s like a cage that you get stuck in and then you know,you got to battle it out and then when you get out, you might physically be out but, but, mentally you’re still stuck there,and you’re gonna be stuck there. And it just gets to the point where you accept that,that’s reality and you accept that that’s the norm and you accept that that’s, you know, your life.And you’re never gonna get out of it. Like I said, you accept the fact that you’re gonna dieand that’s just the way it is. And you don’t know when, but you accept the fact that you’re gonna dieand you write the stupid letter to your parents and all the people that you love and care about and you know,you just accept that’s the last thing you’re ever gonna say to them. And that’s hard. That’s a hell of a hump to get over.That’s probably the hardest thing you do in the entire, you know, time that you’re in the infantry.But once you’ve gone past that point and you’ve accepted that I’m dead… then you’re good. But you’re only good for there.Because when you don’t die and you come back, then you gotta live with the fact that you’re not dead.And a lot of your buddies are. Uh, you have to confront the fact that a part of you, you left there with them.Because they didn’t get to come home. Alive. Uh, and you know that there’s,you know, a part of you that stayed there when they died. And it’s never gonna leave.Dear mom. The world is so much different here, sometimes I feel as if I’m just living in a really bad dream.Things that would seem unimaginably unbearable back in the States become commonplace here.We have no way to watch television here but knowing American media, I’m sure you’ve already…I do remember when he came back from Iraq the first time, um, it was kinda sadbecause he was sitting at the kitchen table once and he just started crying and that was not like Eric.He was here near the 4th of July. We walked around the neighborhood and then coming back,one of the, um, boys that he used to play with apparently set off a big firecracker,M-80 or something of that category. And it just stopped Eric in his tracks.It was just like you had hit him with a ball bat. It just stopped him.You feel alone all the time. You understand, you come to an acknowledgementthat no one else around you has any idea what you’re dealing with. They don’t have a clue.And uh, for a while you’re angry about that. You’re really bitter about the factthat all these motherfuckers don’t have any idea what, you know, I’m dealing with. And you know,you’re sitting in line in Subway and this douchebag in front of you is bitchingbecause you put too much mayonnaise on a sandwich or something. And you’re like, dude, you don’t know what problems are.Like, you know, nobody in this place is wounded seriously or dead or you know,nobody’s life just changed because they put too much fucking mayonnaise on your sandwich.I don’t really wanna say that I have PTSD, even though I’ve been diagnosed by the VA, because it,just because of that huge social stigma that goes along with it. What a lot of people don’t know about the VA is that it sucks.Um, so they diagnosed me with PTSD or whatever and then, which this kinda shocked me,is that they haven’t really followed up on it at all, and it’s almost a year ago now.But all they did when I went there was just throw drugs at me. And I was like,well I guess I’ll have to figure this out on my own.PTSD is too simplistic in its definition. It’s listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersas an anxiety disorder. That’s the category that it’s under: anxiety disorders. Anxiety is only one piece of that.It is more in depth and more comprehensive in what it does to the human spirit.We are not ready for the numbers of veterans coming back from war, to reintegrate them into our communities.We really need to train our mental health professionals to, um, understand and recognize the cause of the symptomsthat our veterans, especially, but other domestic violence and all the other trauma victims have,is the direct result of the trauma itself, and you have to treat that traumaand you have to treat the whole person, um, with several different, uh, interventions.Where we get into trouble I think is, we treat those symptoms with medications.We sedate people, and we don’t get at the root cause, which is the trauma itself.You got to, you know, continue moving. Yeah, they might be dead, but you’re still alive.And that’s, that’s the key. That’s why you always have to keep in mind in combat is that you have to keep breathing.You have to keep moving. And even if you’re shot, you know, you have to continue moving. And that’s, uh, that’s the lesson.That’s the lesson in life, is that you have to keep moving. Combat brings out the most fundamental primal lessons of lifethat you won’t get any other way and people can tell you that shit when you’re a little kid, they can tell you it, you know,while you’re growing up a million times, and it never really sticks until it’s life or death.And you realize that this is really what I have to do if I’m going to continue existing on earth. I have to keep moving.