Sunday, January 23, 2005

Memories of War

On February 28, 2003, I wrote:

The casualties of war are also at home. Do you remember the Cold War, Nuclear Attack drills at school, bomb shelters, the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Vietnam? I do.

Do you remember the awful way the American public treated their own soldiers returning from Vietnam and the heartbreak of finding out years later that they died or were wounded because of huge government lies? I do.

Have you talked with the homeless men who are Vietnam vets? Ask how their government has treated them for the sacrifices they made. Have you faced the wrong end of a loaded rifle pointed at you in anger or had a buddy ripped apart by a shell that missed you? George W. Bush certainly has not either.

Have you had the experience of killing a man, face-to-face, with a bullet or a knife or taking his head off with a garrote. Have you done multiple assassinations or been part of a Tiger squad and then spent the next 20 years in the priesthood trying to find forgiveness? My friend has and it will haunt him forever.

If any of these things were within your own personal experience, you would not be anxious to go to war, or send someone else's kid there. Sometimes we have no choice but to go to war. But those situations are mercifully extremely rare. Why do you think that the Vets from any war rarely talk about their experiences? The pain and the guilt never go away.

A war in Iraq will have huge casualties in the U.S.A. and other countries, for years to come. Are they acceptable losses?

Now my eldest son is in Baghdad, Iraq in the middle of a war. His Blog is at .