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He is 91 years old and we are unsure of which war he served in he served from 1950-59 we believe from having discussed it with family. He believes the Korean war is the only war he server in but he talks mostly about posts in Japan such as Okinawa. When we have conversations with him he will stop and talk about something involving the war. Of course after hearing the same war story over and over again it’s hard to find different ways to divert the conversation or to humor him. He remembers more about the war then he does his 4 kids and he doesn’t remember any grandkids other than me since i’m with him every day. What he does remember about his kids is only when they were teens or young adults to which were not good times to remember. Example: He remembers his daughter dating what he calls a “flower boy” I’m assuming he was a drug user due to how he says he always smelled of something burnt. So he doesn’t like his daughter much due to that memory that has stuck to him. But whenever he does see her in person it’s a complete opposite of how he spoke of her. He becomes the loving caring dad you’d expect instead of saying he hopes he never sees her again or even going as far as calling her a b*tch. Same goes for his other sons minus my dad since my dad also is with him every day. We try and show him photos or old home recorded videos to make him remember or at least think less poorly of his children but it doesn’t work and it’s mostly due to his dementia. How do we get him to stop wanting to see, hear, talk about the war? Even when I put on a movie for him he begs me to put on a movie that is based around the war but I don’t because I don’t think that would be good for him at all.

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There are basically two kinds of veterans, those that love to talk about it, they belong to the VFW or another "club" for veterans, then there is the type like my deceased husband, who never talked about it. He served at the end of WW11 and Korea.

I would let him be, he is at the end of his personal war, if he wants to watch war movies, so what? Avoid conversations with him, he can't be fixed, it is too late.

You are trying to decide what is good for him and what is not, how do you know anyway. His relationships with his children are what they are, accept that and live your own life and let him live his.
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Even if he was a baker or cook, he could have been assigned in country, and given his focus on his war experiences, I think that's a high possibility.  

If he's suffering from PTSD, now known as PTSS, you'll need to find professional help, preferably through the VA b/c they have the most experience with treating Veterans, and have some new programs in place.

Do you get the VA newsletters?   There are often stories of Vets who've turned their lives around through therapy, including with pets.

When he speaks of his experiences, does he speak of specific skirmishes, battles, or does he speak generally?   Does he show signs of anxiety?  

One of the reasons Vets don't want to speak with other Vets is b/c of the flashbacks that are created in discussing specific events and duties.

What service was he in?   Is he getting any assistance at all from the VA, straight medical, or otherwise?
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Blue49 Oct 18, 2019
I wish I knew more of all the specifics of his war time but unfortunately he doesn’t remember much the most we know is: He was sent to Okinawa and Hawaii, he was a baker, he got out when his wife got pregnant with their first child. The only other thing we know is there is some rock island he wishes he knew the name of but every rock island I look up that was some where near Japan or Korea neither are the ones he speaks of. He speaks fairly easily about his war time no signs of anxiety or uneasiness. The only time he won’t talk is around other veterans that’s why I think he’s ashamed of his job in the war and he thinks he didn’t play a big enough role I guess? He gets the news letters from the VA and will re-read in nonstop until he gets annoyed with not being able to keep track of what part he was reading due to his dementia. He is covered through the VA and through GEHA and anytime we brought up possibly seeking therapy even group therapy he says he doesn’t need it so the doctors don’t tell us what else we could do for him. He does have his dog which she’s 15 years old and that’s his life line but I wouldn’t say she contributes to that of doing what a service dog for ptsd or ptss would do. She’s just a normal old poodle but that’s his baby so she helps like any normal dog does with us humans keeps us company and makes us happy.
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Blue,

Can you speak to a therapist and explain his situation and see what is advised as to the best way to handle it? Is therapy covered by insurance on your plan or his?
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Blue49 Oct 18, 2019
To be honest I have no clue that’s something my mom would know she is his POA but I could talk to a therapist and ask what they would recommend but not any time soon unfortunately.
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I think I would ask a therapist who is familiar with PTSD, trauma, the elderly and dementia.

My uncle lived to be 96. He was in WW11, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. For years he couldn’t talk about WW11. It wasn’t called PTSD then. It was referred to has Shell shock.

He finally opened up to his priest. His priest understood completely about trauma because he had been held captive as a prisoner during the war and was tortured. He lived his own hell.

I’m certain your grandfather will never forget his war experiences. What does he do when you validate his feelings? What does he do if you redirect the conversation?

Have you arranged for him to be around other veterans?

Let us know how things work out for you.
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Blue49 Oct 18, 2019
He won’t seek professional help he doesn’t think he needs it and he doesn’t want to spend any money on a therapist. I have my own mental health problems and I strongly believe if he could talk to someone about it maybe he’d be relieved of it even if it’s just a tiny amount. He seems to enjoy it when we converse with him about the war and try and help him piece some missing pieces of his memory back together. Due to his dementia if we redirect the conversation he doesn’t get upset he just goes on with whatever new topic we move on to and only occasionally goes back to the war topic after being redirected. We take him to the VA about once a moth or more it’s give or take when he sits down and talks with other vets he tends to shy away from talking. He was a baker in the war but he won’t tell the other vets and when me and my mom have answered for him to the vets trying to talk to him they even tell us odds are he didn’t see much action if he was a baker/cook. Same goes with us telling them he got out of the air force before they were going to be shipped out to Africa. It’s hard to believe what my grandpa says since other family members don’t recall him being in harms way in the war and also vets saying he wouldn’t have seen much as a baker. I personally feel he just likes the attention he gets from being thanked for his service but he won’t thank any other vets or even talk to another vet that was in the air force and was around his age. It’s very confusing.
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