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"Trying to Find My Way Home" By Jason Moon
By John Zutz (Reviewer)
The latest CD by Iraq Veteran Jason Moon, "Trying to Find My Way Home," is a musical record of his battle with PTSD and his ongoing difficulty relating to society. Though his problems were caused by his combat experiences, Moon barely mentions those experiences and dwells on the results. Confronting his demons in his songs, he uses his folk style to become the Iraq Veteran Everyman, a troubadour spreading the message that PTSD sufferers are not alone. Along the way, he tries to assist others suffering from the problems encountered by returning veterans — alienation, depression, alcohol, drugs, suicide, and guilt among others.
The title track is probably Moon's strongest work, a lament that communicates the loss of innocence caused by combat, and the realization that it will never return. "How do they expect a man to do the things that I have, then come back and be the same?" It has the ring of honesty as it explores feelings of loneliness and alienation, as well as suicidal thoughts, and the struggle to overcome them. "Lately its occurred to me it's hard to fight an enemy that lives inside of your head." The string backup reinforces the mournful tone.
Strangely, on some of the cuts, the words don't seem to go with the music. In "Falling Off the Wagon," the battle with alcohol is documented in a joyful romp. "Sparkler" explores the sad feelings of a parent when leaving for a combat zone using an upbeat tune. "Happy to be Home" sets words of joy in a melancholy tune, which questions the sincerity of the verse.
The woozy feeling of "Love, Joy and Medication" reinforces the comments on the treatment for PTSD. While "Hold On" urges sufferers on for one more day, recalling twelve step programs. "Alone With Me Tonight," comments on the loneliness of separation from family and friends. "The War is Over" recalls a relationship splitting up, and the healing process beginning.
"The Best of Me" laments the loss of youth and the discovery that the real world is different from what is taught in school. "Another Day Like This" shows the determination to overcome the feelings of depression and alienation. "A New Song" exposes Moon's life and struggles, and ends on a hopeful note.
Moon writes from the heart, and from the gut. He's been wounded in combat, and this album is a call for help and a prayer for healing — for himself and for his buddies.
"Trying to Find My Way Home" is available, along with Moon's other works, at http://www.jasonmoon.org
John Zutz is a member of the Milwaukee VVAW chapter.