View Full Version : The Healing Power of Tobacco

02-11-2012, 02:37 PM
This is a post from Badger and Blade that Old Man Army made the other day. I asked him if I could re-post and he said "yes." Happily, he also recently joined our wonderful forum!

I had the opportunity to spend some time last week with my son, who is recovering from wounds received in Afghanistan at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bliss, TX. He's a 19-year-old, combat engineer that was on a route clearance team when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. He started smoking cigars before his deployment with some of the members on his team when they got back from a mission and got me back into cigars when he visited prior to his deployment. When he first got back to the states, my wife and I went to visit and I noticed how smoking cigars seemed to calm him and open the door for conversation.

Since I am getting ready to go back overseas for a year, I decided to see him again. I've started smoking a pipe since I saw him last and took some pipes and a couple of kinds of tobacco with me. He was very interested and is now a confirmed pipe smoker. We had some very enjoyable times with both pipes and cigars. We ran across a Savinelli advertisement that said, "You smoke a cigarrette, enjoy a cigar, but savor a pipe."

Speaking of cigars, I wanted to recognize a completely selfless individual. In the second picture, on the far right, is a gentleman named Paul. Paul works at the Army Hospital, but in my book his real claim to fame is the cigar club that he's sponsored at the Warrior Transition Battalion for the past three years. He not only provides cigars, but also brings hot dogs and sodas. Paul said when he first started the club, he noticed how the act of smoking cigars facilitated conversation. Paul and I watched and listened as my son and the other young man recounted their experiences in a combat zone; good and bad. I'm pretty sure that was better than talking to a therapist. In fact the one young man commented that cigar club was the main thing he looked forward to each week. To give you an idea of what a great human being Paul is, I offered to contribute some cigars, but he insisted that this is something he wants to do himself.

I would also like to recognize some of the members on this forum, jmallan 5, BigAlum, and hotreds for sending cigars (including some Cubans), pipe tobacco, and pipes.

The first picture is my son and myself. He's smoking a Dr. Grabow Duke and I have a Savinelli Oscar.

Just remeber the next time someone says something stupid about how smoking is bad for you, that's not always the case. For guys like my son it's a much healthier alternative to some of the other things they might turn to in dealing with things.

http://images5a.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp63562%3Enu%3D3292%3E%3B78%3E732%3EWS NRCG%3D375768695%3B32%3Bnu0mrj

http://images3a.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp73446%3Enu%3D3292%3E%3B78%3E732%3EWS NRCG%3D37576957%3C632%3Bnu0mrj

02-11-2012, 02:38 PM
Great stuff. Hugh, the pics aren't showing.

02-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Amen. :tu

02-11-2012, 02:59 PM
Amen. :tu

My thoughts exactly.

02-11-2012, 03:12 PM
The pics are not in a public thread on that Forum Hugh.

That's a great story. My nephew is a combat engineer and strangely enough, he is based out of FOB Warrior in northern Afghanistan. Hopefully, my nephew and Old Man Army's son will one day run across each other at Fort Leonard Wood. They are the same age even.

02-11-2012, 04:09 PM
Excellent story. Thanks for sharing Hugh.

02-11-2012, 04:22 PM
Thank you for that story. Emphasizes why we do the troop support. Just sent a box of 90 out to my girl Brooke in Kuwait yesterday. Thankfully, she's not subject to the same threats that this man's son was, but it still feels good to be able to give those guys a few minutes of mellow.

02-11-2012, 06:45 PM
As someone who has deployed as an Infantryman i can tell you when you get home the best thing to do is smoke a cigar with your dad and bro and just talk. After my first deployment i was a very bitter and angry person. I hated everyone. I was ordered to go see a counselor. Well lets just say that didn't work out. After my 2nd deployment i started smoking and that was the most soothing thing i have ever done. Now i just hate Iraq. When ever i get pissed i smoke and talk. I truly believe that cigars saved my marriage, made me a better dad and most of all saved my life.

06-26-2012, 06:53 AM
All I could say to you guys after reading this thread is THANK YOU. It's so amazing what you guys go through. And I always remind my 11 year old boy that we have to be thankful to every one of you.

Blak Smyth
06-26-2012, 07:14 AM
Thank you for sharing Hugh. It is nice to hear.

06-26-2012, 07:25 AM
Thanks for sharing. a few years ago, when I was deployed, we got to hang out with some of the wounded warriors that were headed home and some that were headed back out to the sand box. The guys that were escorting them around said that they were a pretty quiet bunch until they came out to hang out with us and smoke cigars. we sat there for about 3 hours listening to these guys talk about everything under the sun. I didn't want to leave but I had to go into crew rest for a mission that night. I believe that the power of cigars and conversation can help start the healing process for many wounds that we can't see.

sorry to jack the thread, just thought I needed to share.