For Memorial Day, The U.S. Army Asked, “How Has Serving Impacted You?” It Did NOT Go As They Had Planned…

Over this Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Army posted a PR video of a soldier telling about how his service has changed him. He said that it allowed him to “serve something greater than myself… The Army has afforded me the opportunity to do just that: To give to others, to protect the ones that I love, and to better myself as a man and a warrior.” They then posed the question, “How has serving impacted you?” I don’t think the responses they received are what they had in mind when they asked Twitter the question.

The responses were an avalanche of people — both soldiers & family members of soldiers — bearing witness to the trauma we inflict on our young people when we ask them to kill and be killed for the whims of the government. I’ve collected a few of the heartbreaking responses here for you to read and reflect on.

IMG_6494

I love this country, but you will never catch me “pledging allegiance” to the flag… Or the republic for which it stands. We are so very, very far from “liberty and justice for all.”

Many of those who responded spoke about the futility of war…

Many talked about how war eats people up and spits them out changed and broken…

Many soldiers spoke of the sexual harassment & assault they faced while serving…

Many speak to the continuing nightmares and trauma…

Some of the most powerful and heartbreaking statements were from the family members of soldiers…

And many more spoke to the fact that veterans are MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY to commit suicide than those outside of the military. Around 20 veterans kill themselves every day… And that does not necessarily count those who kill themselves in non-traditional ways, like high speed driving “accidents” or walking in front of a train…

There are literally hundreds & hundreds more. They should all be required reading before people enlist. To the Army’s credit, at least they have left the thread up, even though the responses are OVERWHELMINGLY negative. They posted the following comments:

Almost eight years ago I wrote a blog post (I can’t believe it’s been that long) that was titled “Sacrificing Our Children To The Nation-State”, and make no mistake: That IS what we are doing. In the essay Sacrificing the Sacrifices of War, Stanley Hauerwas writes, “No sacrifice is more dramatic than the sacrifice asked of those sent to war, that is, the sacrifice of their unwillingness to kill. Even more cruelly, we expect those that have killed to return to ‘normality.’” The greatest sacrifice we demand of these young men and women is NOT their time or their bodies or even their lives… The greatest sacrifice is asking them to sacrifice the part of our souls which knows we are not meant to kill each other. So as you kick back and grill some burgers and have a few drinks on this National Holiday, spare some thoughts for the many ways we have broken these precious people with our endless commitment to war… As well as our willingness to blindly venerate the people who have been sacrificed to the American War Machine. Happy Memorial Day.

 

Thank you for reading. Please honor these people’s service by believing the truth of the trauma that continue to face… Please go to the thread on Twitter, and spend some time reading their stories. If you’d like to stay in touch with me and my writing, you can subscribe to this blog, or you can follow me ON FACEBOOK and ON TWITTER. Take care of each other…

 

This entry was posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s