Two days ago, I received a letter from a man in prison who had read The Trion Syndrome. He told me about his time in combat in Vietnam. He’d seen some of the worst. He’s been diagnosed twice with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI)—he called it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He made no claims of innocence but believed that had he never suffered from PTSI, he never would have been incarcerated. I have no way of knowing, but I suspect he is right.
He wrote me that he enjoyed Trion and had compassion for the protagonist, Dave Bell, whose misjudgments, resulting from PTSI, destroy his life and lead to a suicide attempt.
The letter moved me deeply. I wrote Trion in part to vent my own PTSI, in part to reach out to others who suffer from the same disease. We damaged souls are brothers and sisters and must help each other. No one who hasn’t survived combat can understand us. But we understand each other. We share with each other the strongest bond I’ve ever observed or felt, the love shared by men and women who have fought side by side. Vets don’t use the word “love,” but that’s what it is.
To know that I helped one of my brothers is enough.