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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:06 AM
Original message
Veterans, a question if I may . . . .
I've never been in a war, so I don't know, but I *try* to understand in concrete terms.

I was just reading a message from Iraq Veterans Against the War and noticed the last line was "RIP Dave Cline", so I was imagining the veteran who sent the message and his friend Dave Cline and what happened to them and what events resulted in Dave Cline's death.

I was trying to understand what those circumstances may have been like and a question popped into my head; is it possible that some people are so horrified by the brutal ugliness of the whole thing that is happening that their own horror, in a sense, kills them? They make, maybe big mistakes in judgement, or maybe it's even just the smallest little decisions that get screwed up, but eventually all of the mistakes add up and someone dies.

I don't know if I've captured my thought here, but I've been thinking about our Military suicides and what it might be like to be in a place like Iraq and how horrifying it must be and how that horror could come to dominate your mind and actions and the only way to end it would be to become inhuman or get away . . . . . . . somehow.
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fenriswolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. a lot of military veterans end up living their own private
nightmare. Images scarred into their brain that won't go away, or memories of actions that were takin in the heat of the moment. a good book to kind of understand it would be heart of darkness.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Maybe Iraq is even worse than most previous experiences for American Military
because we were lied into it. They find themselves involved in indescriminate killing for . . . . ?
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. They expected to be treated a heroes
instead they found themselves in Urban warfare.
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ptvet Donating Member (215 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Dave Cline
Was the former President of Veterans for Peace and with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He was a giant in the veterans and peace movements, taken directly from the link below. I only met him once, but even with that, he left a lasting impression....

The link
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thanks very much for the information.
I heard an Iraq veteran somewhere (Air America Radio? or MSNBC?) recently say that the death of a friend of his was not something he would prostitute for general consumption, and then he went on to discuss veteran's issues. Having seen death, in my family, up close and personal myself three times now, I soooooo very deeply appreciated that attitude toward it.

Death is sacred.

And yet "we" regard it as entertainment. I watched Tears of the Sun recently and thought that thought once again as a "soldier's" "death" was studied by the camera. I know it's just a movie, but it SELLS and this does happen in the real world. And Tears of the Sun is just one of thousands and thousands of examples. What does this mean?

Though I personally disagree with the moral choices that take a person to a place such as Iraq, I do not dispute that FREE moral choices, ***whatever*** an individual's decision becomes, ARE the basis of morality. The problems are related to whether these choices are, in fact, Free or not. This means not encumbered by ignorance, falsehood, social pressure, economic need, ir-responsibility or the abdication of personal responsibility to act on one's moral choices, emotional deficits, prejudice, or any of the other myriad things that can bind one's ability to choose.

I mention all of this, because my understanding of veterans is beginning to evolve. I don't think I will ever regard them as the glorious stereotypes that are socially required (people join the military for ALL kinds of reasons). But I am starting to form a new perception of at least some Veterans and it has something to do with . . . . . . well, I'm not sure yet, but, ironically perhaps it does have something to do with REAL Freedom, not the cardboard cut-out idolatry that we are sold.

I think I will go read about Dave Cline.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. I do not know why they kill themselves, but I know something about death in war
Edited on Sat Nov-17-07 12:36 PM by ThomWV
Why does anyone kill themselves? Who can ever know? I'll make this observation though, if you ask to hear the story of how they got there from every man in your local jail I can guarantee you that family problems and alcohol will play a big part in most of the responses you get. I suspect suicides would give similar responses if they could.

If you ask how men die in war that is quite a different matter. My war was a long time ago and it was just as different and the same as our current war as any other. They are all the same. In war men die by bad luck or because they are stupid or a combination of the two. One day during my war a patrol was moving up a trail when it was ambushed from ahead. About half the men jumped to the right and about half to the left. Everyone who jumped to the left was mowed down by machine gun fire, they all died. Everyone who jumped to the right survived. Bad luck, good luck. Two guys just stood wide-eyed frozen in the path. They were both killed. Stupidity.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you for this story. I will think about those guys on that trail.
We're having some dispute about religion in my large family; I will share your story with them.

I agree with you. If I had to make a decision as to what the absolute most real source of ALL of our problems is, I wouldn't say Republicans, or neo-Cons, or trans-National corporations, or _______________. I'd say something very serious has gone wrong with America's families, hence the drugs and alcohol and many other addictions. Most families are raised around all of the same stuff, some raised "conservative" some raised "liberal", many survive and continue to develop psychologically and physically, others don't. Question is: Which families, functional or dysfunctional, have reached critical mass at this point in our social history?
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