My son wanted to go see “American Sniper” and so I went as well because Clint Eastwood directed it. Clint had placed some well-rounded viewpoints in most of his previous movies.
After the movie I thought that If he wanted to show how war affects men when they go home to their families, then to me he fell short of the goal. The movie landed too softly with this sniper appearing to get well very quickly, which is a mistake. It seemed like the soldiers PTSD was no more than the flu in this movie.
What movies do not show is the soul loss of any person who kills another person. It might imply they are depressed and that is about as close as they get.
For people isolated from soldiers and talk of war, I wish to make a point in this article, that the experiences of war stay with a person their entire life, haunting them in various ways, depending upon the person, what the experiences are and how many they received. It is a source of soul loss and a degradation of the mind.
My father was in WWII, and many of the men within my family were/are soldiers. Those who come back home from fighting in wars, do not really “get well”. Their experiences have changed them forever. Get used to their new way of being, for they will not return to that ‘other’ personality.
When they came home they either learned to modify their behavior and to fit in or just stayed an outcast, but the inner trauma comes and goes at any time. They have nightmares and reactions that they live with the rest of their life. A simple loud noise will cause a destructive reaction even before a man can think. I have seen black eyes on my girlfriends from just trying to wake their lovers up.
My father talked long to me about it. He told me to think before I do anything for the outcome may haunt me the rest of my life.
During the Vietnam War, I was going to college in Texas, and encountered many soldiers who were trying hard to find a life.
Due to the “political reasons” for the Vietnam War, many so many citizens would scowl at the returning warriors. Not that those men wanted to go in the first place, they were forced to go and “serve” our country, or at least the interests of the controlling men.
So many wars since then, and not one of them makes sense.
Why are the citizens of the USA so gullible to the war calls? Why do they buy it and defend these atrocities? I am clueless.
Young Men Dan & Jake
My roommate, Cindy was such a big-hearted lady and also the world’s best conversationalist. We had so many adventures together.
One day we met a young returning soldier, Dan. Cindy got him talking so he invited us up to his room for a beer. College students just have bedrooms, for the most part, and Dan’s place was no exception.
We followed him up in to his tiny room, with two single beds on each wall. They had sheets and a single gray blanket with one pillow each neatly placed. At the far wall was a long table with a coffee pot and small TV and some books with a single window above it all. Under the table was a small refrigerator and some back packs. At the other end was a door to the bathroom.
Since there were no chairs Cindy sat on one bed and I sat on the other. We had our routine of escape already well-rehearsed. By sitting across from each other, we would be able to use certain eye movements, hand signals to flag the other when it was time to leave, in case anything got weird.
His roommate, Jake, comes hopping out of the bathroom and hopped up on bed next to me with ease. He had no legs from the knees down so he used his arms to hop around the room. I did not see any wheelchair, so his entrance was a surprise.
Dan sat on the bed next to Cindy after handing us beers. We all introduced ourselves, what we were studying and such.
Cindy noticed a row of Polaroid photos tacked to the wall behind my head and mentioned them when the room went quiet as she was ace at creating conversations.
She also had poor eyesight even with her thick glasses. I looked behind me to the wall and I saw about a dozen photos of bodies, burned, dismembered, shot up, and all kinds of dead. I thought, oh Cindy, this might not be a good idea.
I kept my dread to myself, as the young man I was sitting next to went in to explaining each photo and pointing them out with a description of the events.
These were enemies they shot and those were their high school buddies blown up. One photo where there were three partial bodies, Jake said, was the time he lost his legs, and he said the legs were not in the photo. David dragged him to safety and then went to grab another survivor when he got blown up to pieces. I had no idea how to respond to this. I just kept my face of listening and held back anything else.
I looked at Cindy and she was holding her poker face well as I did. She and I both felt like we must be receptive to these men’s journey as it was all they had.
They had little else to talk about. They were lost and were lucky to leave their room at times. They were displaced. They had no idea of a college goal. They just had funds to go so they were doing that until they could come back to their selves some how. Their former life was blown up and no way to return to it.
While their old high school buddies who did not go to war, talked about football practice and girlfriends, these two young men, as so many other veterans at that time, had nothing but the trials of their war experiences to talk about. They were trying to find some resolution to horror of trying to live through an awful war and killing people. There was no making sense of it.
Few people wanted to hear their stories and most did not want to get near them as if they had a deadly virus. Their lives were supposed to be starting and yet they all felt it had ended.
Cindy found a way to move everybody in to the topic of where they were from and what did they do before war. We stayed for a second beer and talked; we gave them a few of our stories, hoping to get them to laugh, and bid them goodbye. We gave both of the men bear hugs.
Outside and for the rest of the day, she and I could not say a word. We could not cry nor get angry. Our eyes felt dry from staring out in to the sky, wishing for some sense of all the wars, past and future. We actually never did talk about them again. There was nothing to be said.
War is Hell
This is just one story of many I heard during that time, for many young men were returning home. I came to loath war during this time.
Before “war” was polished and glorified as some stately thing to do. War was what history taught us about the world. War was sanitized until we found ourselves becoming adults.
Now I see it for what it is, ugly, murder, rape, insanity, theft, acquisition of lands, power over others…… just getting started.
It destabilizes whole civilizations, entire cultures and creates heartbreaks, sickness and of course, death. Having to murder others in the name of country does not exempt anyone from the horrors it creates to their own divine soul.
Do the citizens of the USA glorify WARS? Yes. In order to be in perfect denial, they act as if Wars are all needed and there are very bad guys to murder. Yet in our homes, we cry.
The Gulf War ended up poisoning all their own soldiers and about 95% of them are already dead and the last 5% are very sick.
Our media has sanitized the USA wars and give people little to think about, just the few words that make people believe the wars are good, somehow. Photos are no longer allowed as they were back in Vietnam for the truth of that war really angered nearly everyone.
All the war video games further desensitize people from the real truth of murdering another human being. Ask any gamer who ended up the the latest wars….
“Freedom isn’t free” is recited, a twisted mantra of death. Freedom IS really free. Wars never guarantee freedom. Unless one might think being dead is some sort of freedom.
Truth cannot be said or no one would take up arms. The propaganda recites that citizens must fight wars!
All are unfounded, unconstitutional and for the greed and graft of some lead controlling government personalities and the weapons makers.
Being forced to fight wars is not freedom. Being controlled is not freedom. Not making other choices is not exercising one’s freedom.
The Vietnam War and ALL wars after that are unfounded. How people in the USA can sleep at night is a wonderment to me.
News won’t cover the wars the USA is engaged in, so that people can think everything is going well. Our free press was lost decades ago. It has turned upon us and engulfed us with propaganda of the twisted facts.
As the religious right slams their opinions in the face of everyone about no abortions, one can only think it is so that we have enough boys, just as they are turning in to men, to sacrifice to the gods of Wars.
For it is also the religious right that supports wars, that is murder of our family members for a cause made up by a handful of thoughtless fools. If religions wanted us to keep and care for babies, they would be against wars and also teach sex education before people want to explore their sexuality.
Now we see a trend in our USA congress and presidential picks are filling up with religious zealots without a soul. They want to control more than ever. They want to punish someone and act like we are not humans after all. More money for wars and less for humanity of our country that pays the government to bring about posterity and peace. Instead the war drums fill our waking moments and we stand in long expensive lines to get health care. More jobs go to robots and the divide between the rich and poor widen as we are loosing our middle class.
Any country that is always at war makes you wonder WHY …..for in this day and age when we could be engaged in leading so many smaller countries in to thriving and peaceful ways that fit their cultures. No force, just assistance. We know how.
As congress looks at our new defense budget 2018 of over $639 billion dollars, while cutting the health and welfare provisions of USA citizens, I must ask, in defense of what? If you say we need defense for Russia, you will make me laugh out loud. Radical terrorists (?), made up groups, I will also laugh. Know too that this is the “budget” people get to know about as there are also discretionary budgets for the DOD.
With my contacts throughout the world, I hear what people know from their own home towns. There is intentional wars to displace people and leaders so that something else happens. The whole refugee situation was contrived and planned out.
It is time to turn resources towards more benevolent causes. For as we destroy the lives of our men fighting wars, we also destroy the fabric of our families, communities and nation. .We cannot build if we are destroying.
~ Carolyn Thompson