I am calling this story "Put the Stars Out of the Window." and here is part 1. I am taking the name from an old John Prine song from the 70s. It's a powerful song about that emense loneliness of returning to your home after fighting a needless war. The chorus has the line "Put the stars out of the window/and let your conscience take a rest."
I first heard this song as a cover from The Paperboys. They are one of my favorite bands, and are absolutely incredible live. I saw them many times between 1997 to 2003. Sadly they stopped touring the East coast. A rare treat is to see them do their 20-minute version of "All Along the Watchtower." That song and "Put the Stars Out of the Window" are collected on the album "Tenure." The album is out of print, and it's woth getting for 2 reasons, 1) It has all the best songs from their first 3 albums, and 2) You can hear me screaming on the last track. I was the only person doing so at that show.
When I got the album I was listening to it and I heard "Midnight on the Highway" and Tom Landa introduces Cam Salay and I hear a very familiar hoot, I read the liner notes and sure enough, it was recorded at the Iron Horse Music Hall at one of the many shows I have been to.
If you are a veteran back from Iraq or Afghanistan, and you are feeling lonely or isolated, remember, you are not alone. We, your friends and family love you and are proud of the sevice you have done for your county. There are many wonderful groups you should look up. I know Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are a great organization. Here is a video they made.