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Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:30 PM

I've been a little upset since Friday because of something I saw.

My job is to take mentally ill people out into the community. It doesn't pay a lot but it is also not a difficult job and I enjoy it and my wife and I have discussed and concluded that I'll stay where I am and look for advancement.

Last Friday, my client wanted lunch from Arby's and as I was driving him there, we were stopped at a light behind a pick-up truck with an "In Loving Memory Of..." decal on the back windshield. It had the US Marines emblem and it was for a young man who died in January of 2007 just 4 months short of his 22nd birthday. As I looked, I realized that this young man had almost certainly lost his life in the Cheney/Bush administration's unjustified was of lies and for oil in Iraq.

It reminded me of a conversation that I had with my son about 9 months ago, shortly after his 13th birthday. We were out for pizza while my wife was at a ladies' night for one event or another. We were discussing some of his career ideas, which include both the military and law enforcement. He asked if his mother and I would be proud of him if he were to die heroically in combat. As any other father would, I was very disturbed, to say the least, at the thought of surviving my son.

I explained to him that while we WOULD be proud of him, we would also be DEVASTATED by his death. I explained to him that while we would receive all of the medals, decorations, letters and certificates and the flag that would cover his coffin, those are all inanimate symbols. A parent can't invite a medal to come over for a barbecue. Parents can't sit down and watch a movie or a ball game with a flag and we can't spoil the grandchild that was fathered by a certificate. We can't celebrate the birthday of a decal.

I explained to him that we would be proud of him if he simply grew up to be a good man. The last thing my wife and I would ever want is for our son's life to be offered up on the alter of damned Ukraine!

As I looked at the decal on the truck in front of us, I also realized that the man driving that truck is now and for the rest of his life living the worst nightmare of any parent. I felt for the loss that these parents have suffered...and likely for the Cheney/Bush war.

I keep remembering a Clint Eastwood line from close to the end of "The Outlaw Josie Wales" where, referring to the Civil War, he says that he believes that EVERYBODY died a little bit in that damn war. I think the same about both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. There were too damn many young men and women who sacrificed their lives, as well as too damned many families that were crushed by this damn war that Cheney lied us into for the sake of Halliburton's profits as Bush babbled like the moron that he is while reciting his spoon fed fabrications.

That's my 2 cents, and quite possibly overpriced at that!

PEACE!

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply I've been a little upset since Friday because of something I saw. (Original post)
MarianJack Mar 2014 OP
Loudly Mar 2014 #1
MarianJack Mar 2014 #4
Wounded Bear Mar 2014 #2
MarianJack Mar 2014 #6
postulater Mar 2014 #3
MarianJack Mar 2014 #7
madokie Mar 2014 #5
MarianJack Mar 2014 #8
madokie Mar 2014 #9
MarianJack Mar 2014 #10
840high Mar 2014 #14
Cleita Mar 2014 #11
Stargazer99 Mar 2014 #36
Enthusiast Mar 2014 #12
MarianJack Mar 2014 #24
Curmudgeoness Mar 2014 #13
MarianJack Mar 2014 #25
Android3.14 Mar 2014 #15
marions ghost Mar 2014 #18
riverwalker Mar 2014 #21
Android3.14 Mar 2014 #22
MarianJack Mar 2014 #26
Scootaloo Mar 2014 #33
marzipanni Mar 2014 #16
MarianJack Mar 2014 #27
demigoddess Mar 2014 #17
MarianJack Mar 2014 #28
w8liftinglady Mar 2014 #19
MarianJack Mar 2014 #29
blackspade Mar 2014 #20
MarianJack Mar 2014 #30
3catwoman3 Mar 2014 #23
MarianJack Mar 2014 #31
MarianJack Mar 2014 #32
liberalhistorian Mar 2014 #34
MarianJack Mar 2014 #37
heaven05 Mar 2014 #35
MarianJack Mar 2014 #38

Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:41 PM

1. What made it even worse is they exploited the nation's fear and thirst for vengeance post 9/11. n/t

 

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Response to Loudly (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:48 PM

4. Didn't Rep. McDermott say (in Farenheit 911)...

...that they knew they could "get them to do ANYTHING as long as they're scared"!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:44 PM

2. The Josie Wales line is true of ALL wars...

It's what makes it so powerful. Nobody who has experienced war is ever the same as they were before.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:49 PM

6. I agree!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:47 PM

3. I'll see your two cents and raise you a nickel.

Your wisdom will be valued by your son forever. His choices in life will reflect your influence and make you proud. Congratulations. And thanks for the inspiration.

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Response to postulater (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:50 PM

7. His mother and I are very proud of the young man he is growing into.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:48 PM

5. Not overpriced by any stretch

I'll take a few pockets full of them.

I went to war a young innocent 21 year old, came back 16 months later an old man at 22

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Response to madokie (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:51 PM

8. Thank you for your service to our country!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 05:55 PM

9. The thanks goes to you

you are the one making a difference, not me.
Its people like yourself that makes this life worth living for many.
For that I Thank You.

I'm humbled by your extension of thanks.

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Response to madokie (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 06:02 PM

10. I will respectfully disagree.

You put your life on the line. All I do is try to be a good husband and dad.

PEACE!

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Response to madokie (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:02 PM

14. I understand. Thank you.

 

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 06:29 PM

11. Those war criminals also didn't offer up their own sons & daughters. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 02:36 PM

36. Why don't the average citizen realize this?

That fact ought to be shouted from every newspaper in the USA.....I'm damn tired of the powerful and well to do

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 06:53 PM

12. Excellent 2 cents, MarianJack.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:14 PM

24. Thank you!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 06:59 PM

13. Excellent story. Worth the price.

It must have been devastating to you when your son asked you that question. What a beautiful answer you gave him!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:15 PM

25. Thank you!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:07 PM

15. "In memory of..." stickers on vehicles are horrible

 

Whenever I see them, I cringe at the redneck sentimentality and pop culture kitsch.
That a person would try to honor a deceased loved one by plastering a cheap adhesive decal on a vehicle they purchased is a disservice to the memory of the person and a mercenary and cynical marketing move on the part of car manufacturers.
Marian Jack's thoughtful epiphany is the only reason I have ever run across to justify the existence of this pitiful practice.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:57 PM

18. the way people choose to honor their dead

is not a "disservice."

Have some respect.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 08:20 PM

21. "pitiful"?

Families used to put a Gold Star in their windows to tell the world they gave everything, in losing their son to war. If they want to put a plastic decal on their car, who are you to tell them how to grieve? I think they do the country a service, to remind the rest of us everyday, at the grocery store, in traffic, at the gas station, remind us every single freakin" day, of what that war has cost. To call it "kitsch" is more than a little disgusting and disrespectful.

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #21)


Response to Android3.14 (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:17 PM

26. I won't dispute how someone mourns a loved one, but...

...I wouldn't use a decal.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #26)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:26 AM

33. Pretty much my sentiment

 

your family, your choice, but not the one I'd make. Doesn't bother me either way.

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:11 PM

16. I may be doing something akin to dream analysis

but it sounds like your son wants to to grow up have some power against bad stuff. The superhero theme that runs through everything from comic books to videogames appeals to kids because it gives them hope of standing up to scary stuff. The world is a big crazy place that "even" we, as adults, can be overwhelmed by.
I like the thought that human psyches were never meant to deal with the bad news from the whole wide world (or the world wide web); we could deal with the illness, accidents, death, local natural disasters, in our own communities, but having access to these things from the whole planet is depressing.

Doing what we can with the small battles as you do, taking the mentally ill to a place where they can hopefully begin to heal or receive treatment, is helping your own community, and the life enhancing intention affects the world. I hope your son will see that small acts that affect his world in a positive way may spead outward and make war, and other strife, less likely.

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Response to marzipanni (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:19 PM

27. He has a love of super heroes from dad!

Thank you for your thoughts.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:21 PM

17. I agree totally, and

I am a military brat and wife (retired) I grew up with all the after effects of war. I also knew people who were never the same again after a war. This has been a totally big waste of the american people, our wealth, and the armed services themselves, men and materiel. We should reserve war for when our nation is really in danger, not just our pride.

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Response to demigoddess (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:21 PM

28. I agree.

Thank you.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 08:06 PM

19. I think that every time I talk to a patient or my son.

These OIF vets who lived are scarred deeply. We abandoned them just like our nation did after Viet Nam-we just made it a little "prettier" with the yellow ribbons.It is 2014, and my son can still not talk about Fallujah,

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Response to w8liftinglady (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:22 PM

29. My best wishes for your son, and...

...my gratitude for his service and your family's sacrifices!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 08:13 PM

20. +1000

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Response to blackspade (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:23 PM

30. Thank you!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:07 PM

23. My husband is an Air Force academy grad...

Last edited Sun Mar 2, 2014, 10:51 PM - Edit history (1)

...and spent 20 years in as a pilot. He served a tour in Viet Nam flying a cargo plane - fortunately, no combat. This was before I met him. I was on active duty for 4 years, as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the nurse corps, taking care of the kids of service men and women - definitely no combat there. We met while we were next door neighbors in the BOQ (bachelor officers' quarters for those who may not know)

We have 2 sons, 21 and turning 24 later this month. They would not exist had we not been in the Air Force. Nonetheless, we are both quite relieved that neither one has any interest in being in the military.

Your answer to your son was eloquent.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:26 PM

31. Much gratitude to your husband and you, and...

My best wishes for your sons.

My father was Army Air Corps in WWII & Air Force during Korea.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 12:42 AM

32. A self kick for the night owls among us!

"See" yuu tomorrow!

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 12:46 PM

34. I'm glad you had that talk

With your son and made that distinction for him, that you'd be proud, but devastated. While ultimately it would be his own decision, and you'd be proud of him no matter what, you at least got him thinking beyond the romanticism that so often clouds these occupations.

My son is now grown, but when he was younger his father and stepmom were talking up the military, practically demanding that he join when the time came. I reminded them that we were at war and might still be years from now (which turned out to be the case, sadly), but that didn't matter to his sperm donor. No, he replied as to how "proud" he'd be, that there was no higher honor, and why shouldn't he have that honor? GAH. Ten years have passed, and I still can't believe he said and thinks that. I'm just glad it turned out to be moot; my son has Asperger's, so the military wouldn't have taken him anyway.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #34)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 04:24 PM

37. In a way I'm surprised,...

...given how desperate they were for cannon fodder for the Cheney/Bush war!

How is your son doing today?

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Original post)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 12:48 PM

35. hear! hear!

 

great post!

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #35)

Mon Mar 3, 2014, 04:26 PM

38. Thank you!

PEACE!

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