Cutting Through The Crap

Friday, July 1, 2011

Death Of A Soldier



He lived nearby and I'd met him several times, talked with him, a career Special Forces guy. After retirement from the military, he spent a year or two in Iraq, working for an infamous private contractor. I was enough acquainted to know he'd done a lot, seen a lot, of war. And didn't want to talk about it much.

Couple of days ago he put a gun to his head and killed himself.

I don't know if he'd been diagnosed with PTSD or if he'd had any treatment for it. But it's hard not to assume that his life as a warrior had to do with his self-inflicted (and, if so, society-inflicted) death. Soft-spoken, smallish but obviously fit, almost shy, he wasn't the stereotype of the John Wayne (RWS™ hero and hypocrite faker that he was) version of the Green Beret.

In soldiers there are countless stories, of pain known or unknown, public or forever hidden away, suppurating in a tortured mind. War disproves that stupid but oft-repeated adage: whom it doesn't kill, it damages forever. Those who love war, who think it ennobles us, who see efforts to end wars as "cutting and running" have no idea (because, for the most part, they've never participated) how awful wars are on those who fight them, no matter the result.

During President Obama's press conference the other day, the reporter from Fox "news" took him to task for not using the word "victory" in describing his plans for Afghanistan. What an asshole question, from the asshole propaganda machine that would love for the so-called war on terror never to end. Rightly, the president talked of success as opposed to victory; in that context it's an important point. We can have successes in fighting terrorism; we'll never have "victory." Which means that we need to move away from the concept of endless war. We need to love it less. And mostly, we need to stop using it as a political weapon at home. It diminishes us, it trivializes the personal horrors, it dishonors the sacrifice of the man I'll never see again. No: it ignores it entirely. Which is a large part of how we manage to keep doing it.

That, and the idea that all we need to do is say we honor their sacrifice. What an empty phrase, how easy to say, a lie we tell ourselves in order to ignore our guilt, to pretend it's all okay.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss Sid...
But look at the bright side, its just Evil-lution, and in 10 Billion years we'll be a race of unfeeling Terminator Cyborgs, who laugh at 15% real Unemployment rates and depression era economic growth.
Which is probably why your friend killed himself.
Depression, I mean, look at Kurt Cobain, Wealth, Talent, got to have sex with Courtney Love...
Like I said, Depression.
And if you ever watched "T2" you'd know my Terminator allegory totally collapses, cause Ah-nold kills himself in the final scene, cause otherwhise he'd change the future where John Conner leads a sucessful gorilla resistance to Sky Net...
And nice slam on John Wayne, and did you know, not only was he NOT a Green Beret, he wasn't a Marine/Cowboy/Pirate/Wild West Marshall/SeaBee/Confederate General either!!!! He wasn't even ALIVE during the Civil War...
Big Faker..
and don't wanta ruin it for ya...
but did you know Johnny Depp WASN'T an undercover cop on "21 Jump Street"...
What a gyp...

Frank

Anonymous said...

Yes Frank,

"TheDuke" wasn't any of those faux heroic figures - he just got rich faking them all - while the real heroes were out getting maimed and killed.

A fitting "Spirit" for Mrs. Bachmann to emulate!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

OK guys,
I admit it, I don't get the joke...
I mean, I'm more of a Eastwood(in his pure Harry Callahan era before he got all sensitive and PC)Deniro/Brad Pitt/Richard Roundtree man myself, but WHAT did the Duke do to get y'alls panties in such a bunch????
I mean Eugene, your Hero John Wayne Gacy was NAMED after him...

Frank "Hush Yo Mouth" Drackman

Sid Schwab said...

When I make statements, I provide links, as I did in the case of John Wayne. You could click on it, Frank. If you want to learn something that is; same is true of most of the links I provide, which, I can tell, you rarely follow.

But I'm glad to note your heroes are a bunch of Hollywood liberals.

Anonymous said...

Links/Schminks,
if I'm gonna land on a Gay Porn site, I wanta get there honestly, by mis-spelling...
see, I was looking for this discount jewelry site called "Big Hot Rocks"... you get the picture..
So John Wayne didn't serve in the Military, and wasn't a tough guy???.
Thats why it's called "Acting" I mean, who'd wanta watch a movie with a draft dodging guy named "Marion"???

Frank

Anonymous said...

"I mean, who'd wanta watch a movie with a draft dodging guy named "Marion"???"

Mrs. Bachmann(Faux Christian Psychopathic Misstorian), Mrs. Palin,(Faux Christian Pathological Lair).

George Bushes (Twits, both of them), Ronny Raygun (High Frontier Star-wars fan), Nixon, (Sticky Dick), Bitch McConnell (Gopher faced, Displacing Queen), Newt Blingrich, (Breakfast at Tiffany's).

Every Faux Christian pedophile dwelling in "C" street, or any federal prison, and just about any Pubtard that ever crawled out from under a rock.

To name a few!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

Ewww-Gene..
Quit drinkin that Hater-ade...
Funny that I'M the one who's Open-Minded, I mean, why should I miss out on the Genius that is Pee Wee Herman/Woody Allen/Jimmy Hendricks because of some irreverent personal Pickadillos???
And who cares if Perry Mason was a pillow-biter? If a Man's Man like Paul Drake can work for a Homo, I guess I could/can(Theoretically)
OTOH, I'd get rid of that Anthony Weiner "Money Shot" wallpaper Eww-Gene, creeps chicks out...

Frank