When I wrote for the Heroes

Varina's Moon Rising

I write poetry. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s even pretty good. Then there are the other times…

I tell people that there are days when I sit down to write a poem, and it’s okay. Sometimes pretty decent. There are other days when I sit down and WORK on a poem. Fight for it, syllable by syllable, line by line, dripping sweat and anger onto the page to make it happen.

And then there are days—O gods of the holy Words—then there are days when The Muse comes up and smacks you with a two-by-four and it comes out your hand like thunder and glory. Those days are what I live for. Days when it doesn’t matter where you are and what’s going on around you. Because the space in your head is like that sudden silence in the X-Wing when Obi-Wan’s spirit says “Use the Force, Luke,” and you can do…

View original post 870 more words

6 thoughts on “When I wrote for the Heroes

  1. Amen to that, Robert. I have ties to every single one of the Armed Services: my Father was a Coastie and then Army, my brother was Air Force, my best friend was Navy,another good friend was Marine Force Recon. My uncle was a firefighter in his day, and another good friend is an EMT. Every one of them ( and there are more) put it all on the line every day. Whenever I see someone in uniform, I take a moment to go up to them and say thank you, because we do not do it enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a niece who went to Iraq and from what I’ve heard was not the same person when she returned.

      I know that there are people who want us to think that the class system isn’t at work in driving the children of the poor and working class into the work of fighting our nations wars…But there is a huge discrepancy between the “official” story and what we can see with our own eyes.

      I have not met a military person from the working class who didn’t join because he or she thought it was a ticket out of poverty…

      Some people will vehemently disagree with me but ending the draft stopped being fair when the “voters” decided to dispose of the programs we had to give everyone access to educations and class mobility…

      I think that if we reinstated the draft people would think twice about voting for a government of war mongering chicken hawks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I grew up in the 60s and 70s, during the race riots and the Vietnam war. By brother enlisted in the air force in order to avoid being given no choice by the draft. We were fortunate that he was assigned to a stateside base and did not go overseas. But because of my family’s fears about that, I paid attention to what was happening, and what I saw sickened me. Not the war itself, sickening though it was, just not in the context I was focused on.
        What I saw was protest against the war, as there is today; that the war was wrong, that it was not our business to be involved, that we should pull out immediately. Again, much as there is today. But back then I learned that you can’t just “pull the troops out”; it’s just not that simple. Once you’ve committed yourself to a course of action there are certain responsibilities you have also committed to. War is not like a game of pickup basketball that you can just walk away from in the middle of the game.
        But even that is not what sickened me. What I saw was the way the protesters turned their ire not so much against the government that involved us in the war as against the troops who were conscripted and sent to fight in a world they could not understand. What I saw was the way our troops were reviled and actually spat on when they came home. Those men and women had been give no choice but to go where they were sent, and to do what they were told. Yes, there were abuses and outrages, but those were by individuals or small groups, not by the troops as a whole.
        Those men and women joined the military, however reluctantly, and they made a promise. They gave their oath to the lawful government of their nation, and most did their best to honor that oath. To be reviled and attacked by the very people they had been told they were protecting was devastating. Never before had there been so many people traumatized in the history of our nation, and then marginalized and ignored by the government they had supported and the people they had defended.
        THAT was what sickened me. I had never been ashamed to be an American before, but if those peoples’ actions — those of the protesters and the government — was what it meant to be an American, then I wanted no part of it. That was not the America I had grown up in, not the America that I believed in, not the America that I loved.
        And in some ways I am seeing some of the same things happening now. The protesters are not looking at the big picture about the ties and entanglements and politics involved, they just want the troops home. I understand that, but I know it’s not going to happen in a fingersnap, the way they want it. At least, thank all the gods, they are not blaming the troops for being in the war; they are placing the blame squarely on the government.
        My point of view is this: whether or not we consider this to be “a just war” is not relevant to how we treat the troops involved. They joined the military to defend this country, and they swore an oath to do so. An oath of fealty, just as in the middle ages: to go and to come, to do and to let be. They are doing what they promised to do, knowing that it could cost them their lives. Even knowing, in a less specific way, that they could come back maimed in body, mind, and spirit.
        In return, we have an obligation to support those troops, those men and women, both in the field and back home — and we are not honoring that obligation. The Veterans Administration is already grossly underfunded and understaffed, and the government continues to cut funding. Did you know that in some states there are NO Veterans hospitals? Only outpatient clinics. My brother, the Vietnam era veteran, lives in Montana. The nearest outpatient clinic is in Billings, several hours away from where he lives. The nearest VA Hospital (Medical Center) is either Wyoming or Idaho.
        That we have veterans living (if you can call it that) on the streets is a shame and a crime.
        I’m sorry, Rob; I didn’t mean to go off on a rant. Mostly it’s because I see how much we have failed them, and I feel I am unable to help.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The rant is well justified.

        What sickens me is that we have never admitted as a nation that the war was wrong, and the Generation that refused to participate in that “immoral” war seems perfectly fine with seeing the sons and daughters of the poor shipped off to a war of plunder based on lies.

        We hounded Richard Nixon from office for a break-in. Yet, GWB did far worse. Far, far worse…

        Oh look!…a Clinton scandal! shiny!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reposting this, Robert. That means more of the real heroes will see it and know that someone recognizes them. It’s the only thank you I can give them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Father was a fireman. It takes courage to place body and soul on the line for other people and the principle of living for more than self-pleasure. Firefighters, policemen, our military personnel give their lives to us and much of the aftermath of their tour of duty rests on the respect that we give them.

      This is why it is so important that we fully fund programs that are designed to protect the health and well being of these people and their families.

      It especially troubles me to see members of the armed forces shoved aside.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.