Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the war comes home for the holidays

I have been corresponding with a member of the armed services currently serving in Iraq. He will be home on leave in Dec. and initially wrote to set up a sandcastle lesson for himself and his family while they are vacationing in the area.

I told him that I would be happy to accommodate him. I also told him that I would not accept payment for this as I feel that all of us here on the home-front owe our soldiers and this was my small way of trying to pay my share. Then I added:

“I am very troubled by the war in Iraq -- but that in no way diminishes
the great respect and gratitude I feel to people such as yourself. It
must be so hard to be away from your loved ones under these

We will have a great time building sandcastles. Guaranteed.
-- Lucinda”

I didn’t hear right back from him and hoped that I had not offended. Then last night I got this:

“As Soldiers we are limited on the amount of criticism we can direct
towards our leaders but suffice it to say that you are not alone in your
feelings. Hopefully upcoming elections will improve the situation.”

When John McCain says on the Daily Show that he has talked to a lot of soldiers serving in Iraq and that they are 100% behind this administration on this war, you had better not believe him.

And when the brave men and women allegedly fighting for our freedom do not feel free themselves to express their viewpoints, there is something very wrong.


Blogger Sam said...

I suspect that of all the service men and women working today their opinions would be similar to the population at large here in the US, perhaps a little to the right but fairly similar.

But they're hired to do a job and when The Man calls and says to go, they go. It is not their job to question the orders. There is some military code and tradition behind this, and "squealers" are often dealt with in severe hazing or punishments for having contrary views. I respect all that - it's a matter of self-preservation.

But talk with some of these military folks when building a sand castle, having lunch, or drinking a beer and you'll here what they really think.

Then there's the outrage how service men and women are treated when they get back, how their jobs are lost, how medical and mental health treatment is such a pain in the butt, and how shady deals are done in this land of "democracy." Many will develop post-traumatic shock syndrome within 6 months and a few will lose it and end up homeless (homelessness is declining for all groups except recent veterans from Iraq).

That's when you want these folks to speak up, shout, demonstrate, and prove a point. They could probably care less about the motivation to go to war, but see their brothers and sisters dead, hurt, their families falling apart ... and wonder what on Earth this was all about. /sam

12:31 PM  

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