Ready for Winter
is late fall in northern Minnesota. All the leaves are gone, the
ducks are coming down from Canada, and we have had that first hard
frost. Every year it is like a ritual you put away all the yard
tools, move anything that the snow plow might hit, and check out
the furnace. You also have to make sure you have plenty of fire
wood in case you need a backup heat.
veterans, it is not a time we are fond of: "firearm deer season."
Thousands and thousands of city dwellers will invade the northland
looking for that trophy whitail buck. The thought of thousands of
men with no real experience with firearms keeps a lot of veterans
inside for the season, and for many the report of a distant rifle
can bring back combat in a second.
year I think of the veterans in Afghanistan. Iím sure at one time
they too had their fall ritual, but now with years of war, first
with Russia, then ten years of civil war, and now with we Americans
attacking, everything must be set aside again in defense of their
homeland. There is no doubt in my mind that these guys must have
post-traumatic stress big time. Probably the whole country has it.
am sad, as I look out on the lake and think that like a broken record,
that we are once again attacking a country and the veterans of that
country are defending their families and homeland. The hate we are
building up in those people overwhelms me. I think of how I feel
every time I see a Vietnamese. Even after thirty years that hate
is still there. Oh, I can stop it, but for those first few seconds
of recognition, everything is brought to the forefront and I really
have to calm down. I think about the fact that I was the aggressor
in their country, and how much hate I still carry. I have to wonder
what a Vietnamese vet thinks about me.
we are lead into a war by a leader who has never been to war, and
that scares me, too. Men who have been to war know that there is
nothing good or just about war. Those who have never been, can think
of all sorts of "noble" things about their war.
someone to combat is a life sentence. That is why old vets can describe
their combat like yesterday, because they have had to relive it
in their minds hundreds of times. The people who live in a war zone
have that same monkey on their back. Only now it isnít just the
war vet, but every man, women, and child. If you make children hate
you by killing their parents, sibling, or best friend down the street,
you have a lifetime of hate to deal with.
bothers me also that we are the most powerful country on earth,
and we are taking on maybe the most pitiful country. It cheapens
what we are doing, and makes the defense of Afghanistan seem kind
of noble. This backward country is taking us on, Wow! Crud as it
seems, this vet can say that those people have "Balls."
I love America and our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our foundation
is what is good about America, and if other countries saw us living
by these documents, more of them would want to be like us.
we donít live by our own set of rules. We have become the warriors
of the world. We fight in Iraq, Somalia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Panama,
Granada, and now Afghanistan. We have become the world's aggressor
and that doesnít make friends. Countries are not our friends. Countries
fear us and do our bidding out of that fear. To tell you the truth.
I donít like us being the bully. I have to ask myself why we canít
lead by example rather than by bomber.
country that we have attacked with all of our "noble" reasons has
been subjected to terror. War is terror on a grand scale. Just introducing
troops in full military gear is a form of terror. We terrorize other
countries because that is what our leaders think is best for us.
Oh, they donít see it as terror because they havenít been to war.
George senior was, and maybe that is why he stopped us from going
to Baghdad. I think you have to go back to Dwight before you can
see a real combat vet. Combat doesnít make the man; it just sort
of tempers him.
our leaders are sworn in, they put their hand on the Bible and swear
to defend the Constitution. In that Bible is a commandment of God,
"Thou shalt not kill." That seems pretty clear to me. I donít see
how you can interpret that in too many ways, but we do, and that
is why we are in the fix we are.
Glaser [send him mail]
is a Vietnam vet and a volunteer in veterans hospitals.