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Tuesday, November 10, 2015


War is fire and explosions and machine guns pounding and dying men screaming for help. 

Military service is getting trained for that,

 all the while the instructors knowing there is no preparing you 

for being shot at, being wounded, and seeing those around you die or writhe in agony ... 

with help nowhere in sight.

Serving is seeing corruption in all layers of the military, spiteful tugs-of-war between rival high-ranking officers ...

veteran sergeants receiving nonsense, sometimes suicidal, orders from green lieutenants. 

Millions of dollars are spent in training our troops, 

but mere cents go to treating the gaping wounds to the souls and spirits of those veterans who survived the madness.

There was a certain healing in WWII of the soldiers returning home by ship 

where they had time to talk to one another of the hell they had gone through.

From Viet Nam onward, 

individual soldiers leave a war zone by air and in a matter of hours, they return to a country 

where lemonade is sold by children on street corners

 and people look relaxed without the hollow eyes the soldier sees in the mirror.

Policy-makers little know what they are asking of the men they send into combat 

and of the traumatized men who return from the wars they blithely start.

Soldiers deal with death. They take life away from others. This is a task we think belongs to God.

Young men (and now women) are whisked away from high school or college 

and asked to take up the role of God.  

And we wonder why they come back damaged.

Now, in this age of the remote-controlled drone, 

a man can lay explosive waste to a compound in the Middle East and

return home to eat dinner with his wife and tiny daughter.

This is an insane world, facing insane enemies without moral compass or restraint.

So we ask insane things of our soldiers.  

No man can walk a dark road of madness, violence, long stretches of boredom, filled with fury and strangers ...

without becoming a stranger to himself. 

So, yes, veterans deserve a day to be valued.  

Next time you see a veteran,
 say a small prayer for him or her.
They've had their taste of Hell,
 They could use a bit of Heaven.


  1. And paying for their medical and psychological needs after such trauma is a duty of the governments that send them. We have a new government in Canada which I hope will treat our veterans with more appreciation and benefits that the outgoing political party did. War - what is it good for? as the song goes. . .

    1. A nation should be very, very selective in going to war. Even the survivors come back a little dead. :-(

      And, yes, the governments should pay for the physical and psychological treatment of the returning soldiers. But governments do not see its citizens as people I am afraid.

  2. Hi Roland - so many sign up because they are proud of their country and wish to protect their family and friends ... the theatre of war has changed so much in recent years. 120 years ago ...war was not much different to WW1, WW2 and perhaps the Vietnam War - but I know little of that - then the ongoing wars, that seem each time to lead to more warfare.

    It's the leaders and the bullies, and the dictators that have changed the face of war ... we somehow need to spread some love and not think about killing others.

    I'm not sure we can stop - because we'd be over-run - but what to do ... it is most definitely not easy. But war is just dreadful.

    I will remember .... Hilary

    1. Most sign up with the impression of service that comes from looking at it from the outside. Once on the inside, the impact and realities of service become much different.

      If those who start the wars had to fight them perhaps there would be fewer of them, right?

      No easy answers. Thanks for remembering and visiting.