Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yeah, Another YouTube

This goes out to all of you chickenshit wingnut weaslefucks who just can't get your war on fast enough.

Most of you have never been any closer to an actual war than through your X-box consoles and Sgt. Fury comics.

And for those of you who've who've plastered your blogs with comments like "I have proudly served," and who have decorated your pages with assorted military trappings and iconography, yet who still bellow for more blood - if you are to be believed, if you actually were in the military and aren't just making shit up because, you know, this is the internet where that shit happens all the time, well you obviously haven't learned a single fucking thing from your experience.

That is, if your "experience" didn't just consist of delivering mail on base, typing forms, and driving some other asshole around in a jeep.



I was a Marine myself, in the early 80s. And as a chaplain's assistant, I helped counsel the families of the men killed in the suicide bombing in Beirut, in 1983. Some were guys I'd known. For a week, at Dover Air Force Base, as the bodies were shipped in planeload by planeload, I talked to mothers, wives, fathers, and brothers. Where did they want their loved ones buried? Had anyone talked to them about their survivors' benefits? Did they need help with the forms? Administrative details of grief.

One young woman - a girl, really - had been a bride at 16 and was now a widow at 17. She asked to see her husband's remains. The coffin was tagged, so I knew what was inside. Sort of. I cautioned that she should remember him as he had been, rather than see him as he was now. But she insisted, and she was legally entitled.

So I opened the box.

Inside, wrapped in plastic, was a left hand. All they'd found, or all they could identify.

She almost broke. I almost broke, too, and still do as I type this.

Then she asked for his wedding ring.

I put on rubber surgical gloves, as we'd been trained to do, and carefully opened the plastic. I slid the ring off of his finger, and washed it with an alcohol wipe. Then I put it in her palm, eyes wet, my lip trembling. Don't, I thought. You have to be strong for her.

Her hand closed on the ring. She looked at her fist for a moment, then up at me. "Why?" she asked.

I knew a dozen stock reasons to give her. He gave his life for his country. He served bravely. All the standard lines. All the standard lies.

"I don't know," I said, the only honest answer I could give.

The whole piece is here.

6 comments:

Monkay said...

Ummm . . . L.A.? Just kidding! Wow, tough crowd. But seriously, when he says that the genie would go back into the bottle at that point, he is being quite optimistic. When out level of technology is reduced to pointed sticks, then maybe the genie would go back in the bottle.

Diane said...

Another home run. Tears to my eyes good.

Pat Jenkins said...

only a change of man's hearts will stop the scourge of war... lay into to me for that comment snarkle....

One Fly said...

That had to have been tough to write.

Why-Our society loves war I guess and doesn't care enough to even question. We are in a world of shit.

Rightwingsnarkle said...

only a change of man's hearts will stop the scourge of war

Time to call out chickenshit wingnut weaselfucks on their blood lust and bullshit.

That had to have been tough to write.

I can't even imagine. Just goes to show why the folks who've really experienced war don't often call attention to what they've seen or done.

Pat Jenkins said...

well snarkle for all your disgust of war i hope you make your stand against what is to come around the globe as much as you have for what the "right" has done in iraq... i venture to say though that your silence against warring acts by others will be deafening.