Art by Rob Goldstein

Reuben Chip Santos, 1982-2009

This was the image that I had in mind when I wrote The Trauma of Betrayal. This is part of a mural on Shannon St. at Geary St. painted by war veteran Bryan Parker as part of  The Veteran’s Mural Project in Shannon Alley.

It is dedicated to Reuben Chip Santos who committed suicide in 2009 as a result of his service in Iraq.

What guilt and pain is so terrible that living is no longer an option for a young man?

It is easier to cope with the moral issues that arise from killing another person in battle when one can feel certain that one has fought in a just war.

These statistics were part of the memorial to Santos.

The Veteran’s Mural Project in Shannon Alley
These are the thoughts of some of the young men and women who are returning from Iraq.

I think we owe them a listen:

“…You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.” Tomas Young (November 30, 1979 – November 10, 2014)

My point in posting this is not to argue whether or not the Invasion of Iraq was
a war crime.

My point is that many of our returning vets think it was.

Their thoughts matter.

Torn ConstitutionThe Trauma of Betrayal


4 thoughts on “Reuben Chip Santos, 1982-2009

  1. People do not realize how much pressure that the VA puts on it’s troops. If you have a problem, they can and will lock you up. You have panic buttons in the room you have support groups and you have a VA Director for Mental Health making fun of PTSD. That lady makes 80K a year to drive veterans over the edge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If actions mean more than words then it is easy to understand why so many of our vets fall into despair.

      What we say about treasuring our Vets does not comport with what we do–it’s like the old saying: follow the money, spot the lie.

      If you already believe that your life was used as a pawn in a game that you aren’t playing then underfunded healthcare administered by an imperial agency is not very reassuring.

      Liked by 1 person

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