As for Jeremy Feldbusch, blinded in the war, his hometown of Blairsville, an old coal mining town of 3,600, held a parade for him, and the mayor honored him.
I thought of the blinded, armless, legless soldier in Dalton Trumbo's novel Johnny Got His Gun, who, lying on his hospital cot, unable to speak or hear, remembers when his hometown gave him a send-off, with speeches about fighting for liberty and democracy.
He finally learns how to communicate, by tapping Morse Code letters with his head, and asks the authorities to take him to schoolrooms everywhere, to show the children what war is like.
But they do not respond. "In one terrible moment he saw the whole thing," Trumbo writes. "They wanted only to forget him."
In a sense, the novel was asking, and now the returned veterans are asking, that we don't forget......from http://www.duckdaotsu.org/
My father, a WWII POW, had a deep seated resentment for portions of the military and government based on his view of what it was like to have suffered as a soldier and what you could expect in return for your service. In time, I found that his feelings were well shared. A WWII vet could immerse himself in having a family and in work. They distanced themselves from the war. In time, their minds allowed them the ability to remember the times of glory, the times of brotherhood. Everything else faded into black.
My cousin went off to Vietnam in pomp and circumstance. Joining the Marines. The future looked golden. He returned home and died in his early fifties after years of alcoholism. At his funeral it was stated that, "Bobby, died of Vietnam."
There are people that I know and respect that are now immersed in the military and politics of the "War on Terror." I blog with several. One young gal has just shipped off to basics with the guard. Another blindly (in my opinion) worships the ideology of Ann Coulter and refuses to talk with me.
The war to end all wars was as ficticious as the war on terrorism. The shell game of words. War appears endless in world history and we seek more reasons to prolong its place and reasons to join in the fight. And then, we too soon forget the veteran, the soldier. We fight for freedom. To spread democracy. Are we?
I would rather take up arms against my government than allow one of my sons to join this fight against terror. The terror is in my own back yard.