Americans and war go together like, well, Americans and war really. There is no greater pairing! We love war so much that when we want to eradicate a social ill or nuisance,we declare war on it: War on Cancer, War on Poverty, War on Immigration, War on Christmas etc. I was inspired being an American to contribute to the effort and declare war on on Intimacy about a year and change ago.
Today I am in a conundrum: I want to support the troops but to which war? I have many too chose from: The Spanish American, The Mexican American, The Apache War, The Civil War The Phillipine -American War, The Occupation of Haiti, The Occupation of Nicaragua, the Occupation of the Dominican Republic ? There are so many how can an honest American even choose?
I could of course support some wars and not support others but that smacks of hypocrisy and a lack of nationalistic pride, written in our social contract is our unquestioning loyalty to the policies , ideologies and i would imagine atrocities committed in the same of keep us free?
I met many servicemen over the past and they are always great people, because they survive with the suffering from war. Many of them manage to work raise families, and be contributing members of societies. It is estimated in the United States one out of every four homeless persons is a Veterans. We laud our veterans in our ceremonies and do not help them of course get jobs, we do not help them integrate back into society.
Let me quote from a veteran suicide note (the note can be read in its entirety here):
You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my ﬁrst deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.
To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me.
Should I tell you what happened to Daniel ?
He had made several attempts to get medical treatment for an array of health problems. Because his National Guard unit was still in ready reserve status, the Veterans Affairs Department medical center in Phoenix refused him treatment because he was not yet officially a veteran. The local Defense Department health care facility denied him services because he was not on active duty. He described his post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury symptoms in these words: “unrelenting depression and a generally joyless existence,” terrifying nightly panic attacks, and “unbearable anxiety and fear in any situation in which I don’t have complete control of the surroundings.” In addition, he wrote, he had a “constant bombardment of violent thoughts and images.” His physical symptoms included acute and chronic pain from fibromyalgia, which was so “grinding” that at times he could barely move; chronic fatigue so severe that “just holding my head upright requires more effort that I can bear”; excruciating headaches that could “easily be enough to strike an entire day from my calendar”; and an extreme case of irritable bowel syndrome that “literally controlled my schedule.”
So What are we Celebrating Really?
Can we honor the sacrifices made by the troops who have been cast aside and ignored by the system after given their best for what seems to be out-right inhuman belligerance without calling into question the military industrial complex and the lives it has forever shattered?