Damien Timms - Stuck in time

Running time
2 min 34 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


To wrap all this and I have mentioned a few times, we went from a level, and I won't just say Rwanda but Somalia, Cambodia and also Rwanda, those three trips, people deployed and they sort of got back and there was no real mechanisms. There were just a lot of your mates sort of thing and have a beer type thing. But as the years went by, you could sort of see some of it was a façade and people did have some issues. In particular, people I knew that deployed to Rwanda. You could see they were a different person.

Some of those people that I saw in Alpha Company when I first landed, you could see just a difference. And me personally, I'm the best backyard psychologist there is, but I could almost pick points that some of my friends had actually, their minds had stopped that day. They physically had kept moving in time, but their mind kept reverting back to a certain point in time. One of my friends, I remember we were standing on this rubbish in Kibeho. His child had just been born that day in Australia.

And one of us actually happened to be standing on a dead baby and we didn't know because it was under the rubbish. And somebody said, "Oh, look at that". He at that time had changed. And there was a few others like when you had to go, you're trying to save children and you're just basically retrieving bodies and people firing at you and all that. They will talk about those points, the sights, the sounds, the smell, so that their mind will always revert back to that point.

That's just me, like I said as a backyard psychologist, witnessing and experiencing your friends still moving with you in time physically, but their brains just keep going back to that point. They keep reliving it, because where I'll forget the sights and sounds and the smells and all that sort of thing, or you'll need something to jog your memory, they just keep over and over sort of stuck at that point.

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