Living here in Oceanside, CA, home of the 1st Marine, I see personally the sacrifice the men and women in the service make and their families make. I see the strain on the wives trying desperately to keep their families from coming apart at the seems.
So, I respect and honor their sacrifice because they do put their lives on the line.
So, we finish a round of golf like I have never played. 3 birdies, 2 double bogeys, in all I shot 4 over par. It was my best ever. But I am going off on a tangent.
Well, he apparently is one of those who supports the war. I asked him if he had gone to enlist since the Army and Marines are having difficulty meeting their recruiting goals? He was incredulous. I asked him if he didn't see the hypocrisy in his "support" of the war? To which he responds, "Nobody put a gun to their heads. They signed up" . I told him what a cop out that was. That as long as it was other people doing the dying then his support was unwavering. I asked why he wasn't enlisting? Or, sending cards or packages to the wounded at Walter Reed? He was silent. He was angry. But he had no response.
Don't get me wrong. This is a really good guy but all his life he's been blindly parroting his father's and the GOP's talking points. I think yesterday may have been the first time he's even heard the "other side". I asked if he knew what the latest casualty figures were? He had no clue. I asked him how many had been wounded to date. He did not know. I asked him if he knew the date the war "officially" started?
He did not know.
I told him that unless you are prepared to sacrifice your own life, how can you ask someone else to? To which he responds, " They signed up for that". My rebuttal was,"Well aren't you a lucky motherfucker. You didn't have to make that choice did you? But those poor saps, well that's just their fate, isn't it?" With support like that, who needs friends.
In the end, we are measured not by our words but by our deeds. He told me that I was the one who was not supporting the troops. "Oh really? and because you want to keep them in that meat-grinder that you, yourself, do not have the guts to be in call that 'support'." He responds, "well you sure as hell don't want to go." "Damn straight, I don't. If it was up to me, All the troops and contractors would be on transports tomorrow getting the hell out of there. You're right, I don't want to be there in the worst way and neither do the soldiers nor should they be there. Not for this. Not for lies. Not to take out some two bit tyrant who posed no threat to anybody."
I finally told him, "War is the easy choice. Peace is hard. It takes hard work, it's frustrating. It requires patience and understanding. It requires introspection and commitment. It requires respect for others and respect for ones self. But it doesn't mean blind trust, either."
Steve, I have learned a lot from your writing. You set me straight on my "blind" hatred of the military. I see how wrong I was. I personally am witnessing the devastating effects that these deployments are having and the horrible disservice to their sacrifice for lies. Nothing but lies. Bush, et.al deserve impeachment, then a flight straight to the Hague.
One thing I noted in our conversation was the fear in his eyes. Fear of me, fear of being wrong, fear of the terrorists that could be around every corner. As sure as the day is long, this guy was scared. I just could tell his fear is driving him and he feels powerless. I hope I have at least planted the seeds of doubt so he can overcome his irrational fear that permeates his mind.