Thursday, December 16, 2004

Soldiers of nothing

The past week some friends and I have been discussing the soldiers coming home here:
Just scroll down a bit, if I could I'd link proper like but I'm still learning these things.

I'm pretty darn harsh in my judgment because these are volunteers. However my harshness in words does not mean that I believe in harsh action. I do not mean for people to disrespect these people who are only doing the best that they can to be hero's. Who in my opinion are being used wrongly by an administration that has no business to be in power. As a mater of fact I think far far less of people who support the war and are not volunteering for military. Soliders are so committed to what they believe is the right thing or at the very least following what they think of as their countries orders that they are willing to lay down their life, that commands a great deal of respect from me.

But one of the things that chills me to the bone is as one person pointed out they come back here as an unknown, quite possibly a predator of sorts, certainly a trained survivor. It makes me ill, because we couldn't/didn't handle the 'nam vets so good. We practically ignored the last Iraqi vets, there were not so many of them last time. But now we are looking at handling vets in the same no. that we did in WW II. Maybe. If we are not lucky..... or maybe if we are. And I just think even if we get out of this war, if we figure this out, my generation has to figure out how to help these kids out. Us 30 somethings that are not in the war, have never been to war, have to somehow fix what the generation of our parents has done to the youngest that is of age to go to war.

Another point that was made is how poverty makes those of us who survive it similar to soldiers. I guess it is so. The last consoler I saw said that I had symptoms of PTS, and I know she is right. When I talk about my past I put it in terms of war. Still I'm aware that it is not quiet the same. I'm also aware that we were American poor which is not the same as say Ethiopia poor. Yet, yet, I can't quiet get over the feeling, and in talking to others who were at the same economical level as I was they seem to feel the same, that some how we were soldiers. That somehow there was a battle being fought and that friends died in that battle that we loved and that not enough was done by our government. I donno what we were fighting, I don't remember any air raids, I do remember lots of guns and other weapons, I mean the drive by gang shootings started in my teenhood (I think the mob actually invented form of payback but the gangs always knew how to reinvent a "good" idea). I know the theater a few blocks down got blown up, but I think everyone was pretty sure that was an insurance scam rather then anything like terrorism. I know my own mother was afraid of me, and afraid for me. Perhaps everyone that carries a weapon day in and day out becomes a soldier of sorts and maybe all wars make different soldiers. Cold wars make soldiers of nothing. Now if we can just figure out how that can help these new soldiers of Iraq, and make sure that they are not just put out there to become predators or children of neglect, then perhaps we can stop this cycle.


Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Hi--just wanted to thank you for your really nice comment on my blogging for books entry. You make some really interesting points in this post, ones I've certainly never thought about...I'd like to elaborate, but feel like I can't do so without sounding completely naive or insensitive both to soldiers and those who've lived through worse poverty than me.

Anyway, thanks for giving me something to think about and keep up the great blog.

5:57 PM  
Blogger achromic said...

Please always feel free to post your thoughts and ideas. The only way we really learn about people who have had diffrent life experance then us is if they speak up and tell us. I don't have to be a murder or live on death row to have an opiniion on the death pentatly. I certainly don't have to know every political point about envirmental law to want to save some redwoods. If you think that something I say is wrong, I may argue with you about it but I will respect that you have the right to that opinion, and who knows you might just might change my mind.

6:35 PM  
Blogger She Dances in Dragon said...

How to link: Highlight what you want to be a link, say... "In the past week, some friends...
you would highlight "friends"
Then, in your blogger bar, there's an icon between the i and the "
Click that, then type in the linkage (i.e
your text will then show the link in pointy things, followed by more pointy things with a (/a) inside them.
If you substitute the parentheses I'm putting here for the greater than and less than symbols, it should look like this: (a href="")friends(/a)
If you want to make it open a new page for your reader, add (space) target=_blank... like this:
(a href="" target=_blank)friends(/a)
ta dah!

7:36 PM  
Blogger She Dances in Dragon said...

AND I actually meant to comment on your post, too. :)
First, thank you for the linkage. Second, something in your comment really got my goat the first time I read it. Sorry about that. It read just fine the second time I saw it.
Third, you're absolutely right about the differences in poverty from area to area. I cannot imagine the kind of poverty they live with in Africa. I don't want to even think about someone I know dying of starvation, or living with malnutrition. (shudder) I'll take my brand of poverty any day.
"soldiers of nothing" is such a great phrase. Can I quote you? It's awesome!
And thank you for writing. I want to break the cycle too.

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