There are numerous reasons why we have nightmares but typically those of us who have been to war, probably have a different reason than most others. I am speaking of all the death and destruction we see during our tour of duty.
For me it has to do with all the patients who were in the hospitals where I was recovering. I was in the 24th Evac hospital in Vietnam where many of the patients died. Later, I was sent to Okinawa. Finally, I was relegated to the paraplegic ward at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC, where many of the patients were dying regularly. I often thought, there for the Grace of God go I. There where so many begging not to die, it was very upsetting.
Many of us were discharged from the hospital and returned to our next duty station, where we resumed our duties. I returned to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, where I visited there hospital regularly. This is where I began to suffer from PTSD. Within a few months I received a medical discharge and the nightmares continued. I never thought too much about it until I moved to California and started a business. The PTSD and pressure of starting a new business was very difficult. The PTSD combined with the pressure of my new business made it necessary to find a solution.
At this time, Transcendental Meditation became very popular. I attended a free workshop and thought this seemed like just what I needed to fix the situation which I had found myself. So, I paid my $300.00, received my mantra and began to meditate regularly. I have been meditating regularly, twice a day for almost 50 years now and all of nightmares and visions of war have been relegated to my subconscious, where they will cause no harm.
Therefore, it is my opinion that anyone who has some form of PTSD, should find a meditation teacher and begin your return to a normal life without dealing with all the trauma PTSD can bring to your life. If you have VA benefits, run do not walk to your nearest VA and sigh up for your benefits and begin your odyssey to return to normalcy.