Saturday, March 29, 2008

HONORING THOSE WHO SERVE....

[originally posted 3.28.08]

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I have thought alot about those who serve, and What they come home to. And because this War in Iraq was Illegally waged, and has been bungled on every front.....Those that have served and died there, can they still be honored and respected the way they should be ? I worry it will be like Vietnam, with Vets coming home and being disrespected....shamed.I don't have any good solutions or way to prevent such a pattern. They have not been welcomed home with jobs, or Housing or even Health Care or Mental Health Care.....And there is not even a Memorial to them, surely 4000 dead in Iraq deserve a Memorial, surely there is room in DC for a Memorial.....And Maybe even a Memorial for all the Dead Iraqis too.....

What do you think ?

*{ Click the Title : Trailer for "StopLoss" It is Theaters today....also if you have time do watch the New Frontline on PBS on Bush's War. On Cspan please watch for Lam interviewing Phil Donahue on his new documentary " Body of War". }*

27 comments:

enigma4ever said...

OOoooopppps,
I forgot to say that there should be a seperate monument to Afghanistan, and I feel that Afganistan is very much worthy of a monument, and I also think in history and the long run, it seems like those VETS are being respected more and honored more...( I don't think their mission has been "romantic" like Bush said).

Renegade Eye said...

Very powerful post.

The war is lost. The job of the next president is get the US out, and call it victory. The next president will use Iran and Syria to get the US out. The whole narrative of the US is being blown away.

enigma4ever said...

Renegade:
sadly I don't think the word "Victory" can ever be used...the Next president will have to very carefully repair so many relationships in that region ( around the world too), to even begin to hope for some sort of History of the region....I don't even know if we can ever be respected in that part of the world...The history, the cultures, the religions of that region have been disrespected.....harmed...I also need to add that the Memorial should also honor dead Iraqis.....

The Memorial should honor all those harmed and lost....how we honor what we have lost as a Country.....that is another question....

Christopher said...

I can't remember the exact number but, a huge percentage of the homeless in America are veterans.

One extraordinary accomplishment of that Republican asshole, Saint Ronald Reagan, was to make the presence of homeless in large, medium and small cities, a normal and accepted part of the landscape.

While braindead conservatives get weepy at the very thought of Reagan, I become enraged and I spit on his legacy. I saw the damage to this country from 8 years of Reaganism, informed by Bill Buckley's monstrous dogma.

enigma4ever said...

Christopher:
The Number are 25% (atleast) of ALL Homeless...1 in 4....I have seen all kinds of numbers ( I think that many are not accurate enough). The last one I saw was 250,000 ( that is the total including the Gulf War and Iraq- so that is not just an Iraq Number). Since 1994 there is now a total of more than 100,000 PTSD Disabled- and many of these are Homeless...and Jobless....

( I am putting my Post up tomorrow on the "Marlboro" man, Jame Blake Miller, of Kentucky who has been the Photo Icon of this war, he has a story...PTSD, loss of job, family, friends and health....I have held off putting it up due to some problems that don't matter right now....)

I too spit on Reagon ...and his friggin' "memory....
( for many reasons...mostly I was an AIDS nurse in the 80's.....so I have my own axe to grind on his "legacy"....)

Christopher said...

Enigma,

So you were in the trenches?

I was in college. The epidemic swept through my hometown of San Francisco and all we knew to do was participate in endless 5K AIDS Runs and AIDS Walks to raise money to help pay for patient care. I have an envelope in a box that must have 30 event numbers I either walked or ran in.

It was a terrible time and the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. Meanwhile, Saint Reagan and Witchcraft Nancy did NOTHING expect host fancy-shamncy dinners and buy $250,000 of new White House china.

Saint Reagan was a heartless, callous bastard and his wife is a cold, tarot card-obsessed bitch.

enigma4ever said...

Chris:
Ahhhh....the trenches...( that is an 80's term ;-)
I was in Nursing School, a young nurse in the Balto/DC area in early 80s...that was where I first cared for AIDS patients...they died so fast- and no one knew What was going on....I was in my early 20's- the same age as many of those first victims..and they were on the Oncology floor where I worked....then I went to New England and worked PEDS/PICU/ICN.....then by late 80's I was living in Seattle...and there- I worked it all - ER, Needle Exchange( one of the 1st in the Country), and an AIDS Hospice and then Homecare/IV therapy for AIDS, and teaching in Highschools- sex ed/HIV /STD classes....( Much overlap with all of these, I was also living in downtown Seattle- so I was also losing friends and neighbors while I was working as a nurse, trying to care for them....by the Mid 90's I had lost many friends...and hundreds of patients...By Late 1990s I started a Non Profit ( EV/Health and Community Health Issues) and moved by the Canadian Border.....I don't regret a second of that era , it was indeed a Battle....it was a Battle that meant something to me....but it saddens me that now I live somewhere where AIDS is flourishing Again....a new Battlezone...

It is ODD how we all have our Own History that Overlaps History...and Bad Politics and Bad Policy....Reagon has earned a special spot in hell, due to his policies on AIDS and Ironically Mental health...He is indeed a special Repug Icon....

enigma4ever said...

( BTW Chris..thank you for doing the Runs and Walks - they were an important part of the battle- keeping the Focus, raising money and education....there was also ACT UP....all of that was important...and so needed...)

Christopher said...

Enigma,

Back at you for doing the critically important work you carried out.

Things are so different now for folks that it's hard to believe how far things have come. I have to think we would be even closer to wiping out this terrible scourge if the Federal government wasn't squandering $12 billion a month on Iraq.

But heck, what do I know?

enigma4ever said...

Oh chris....there is Sooooo Much that we could do with 12 Billion a month...wow....We should blog on that WHAT would we do with 12 Billion...there are sooooo many things...But yes, AIDS would be at the top( AIDS/STD/HIV Teaching & education REALsex ed) and also Healthcare FOR ALL, Education Improved, new schools, and COLLEGE for all , VET care ( and care for their families),Housing Crisis ( why can't any of these people stay in their homes and rent??? this is like the 30's), Infrastucture - roads and bridges are in horrendous shape....., GREEN Energy- Wind, Solar, hydroelectric...etc etc....

ahhhhh the woman that lives to the Penny is dreaming big now......

thanks for your thoughts...you are always thinking....we need more Thinkers....

Anonymous said...

As for a memorial, I think the tradition is to have one when the war, or in this case the illegal occupation, is over.

Memorials are a necessary piece of honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and the Vietnam memorial/& traveling replica are such beautiful tributes.

Better than a memorial-- putting an end to the killing.

Both must happen.

Fran

enigma4ever said...

I just feel bad for the families...there is nowhere for them to go...and remember...even here they hold the Funerals at Highschools...so their classmates can com and because most of the parents can not afford them...and they go to the cemetaries- they are so alone in their grief...at a memorial they would be able to greive with others.....

I don't think it is a matter of waiting for it's over- I think it is more someone raising money and pushing for it...,,,I think...like WWII there was nothing because no one raised the money...Tom Hanks finally did...

I think if Bush had to look out the window at THAT memorial and the families it would be helpful...

and Hearing Bush describe it as a "Sucess" today....just about made me throw up...

thanks fran...

Christopher said...

I've read stories about kids duped into enlisting.

They're told they won't under any circumstances be sent to Iraq and once they pass muster, BAM, they're in the belly of a C-130 or C5A, on their way to Baghdad.

No wonder the military likes em' young. If it were you or me, we'd tell the military to go fuck themselves, but when you're 18, you put up with authority and do what your told to do.

Christopher said...

Enigma,

Check this:

http://www.dropouthillary.org/

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Gary said...

Sometimes it's good to wait for a while before committing memory to stone, but I agree it could be meaningful.

As for what these men and women need now - it does include lots of financial, medical, mental health, career and moral support and dignity.

This should happen even for those who have to go and fight in such a meaningless, stupid and ill chosen war...

an average patriot said...

enigma I just saw what christopher said and you know he is right. They just got my 18 year old who is stupid enough to think war is neat!
Anyway: They have not been welcomed home with jobs, or Housing or even Health Care or Mental Health Care. They will be mistreated by the Government but they will not be by us.
One thing I have learned from the nightmare Bush is that you can not rely on the Government but all this adversity has had a surprising consequence to me.
People are coming together! Whenever there is a crisis the Government talks big and does nothing and it is volunteers that save the day.
We are increasingly on our own though the Government is getting bigger. It is we the people who are going to come together to do the right thing and save the day for our own!

JollyRoger said...

The Iraqi vets? Never heard of 'em!

Chimpy has carefully avoided asking most of us for any form of sacrifice, and his MSM handmaidens are largely ignoring what is going on. This makes it easy to sweep his Glorious Oedipal Crusade on Iraq under a rug.

They call Korea "the Forgotten War," but at least people knew it was on while the shooting was still going on. A great swath of America pays little or no attention at all to Iraq, and they won't-till it's brought home to them in some way or other.

Cart said...

As a anti Vietnam type i was guilty of putting the blame in the wrong place at the time. Here in australia, where past wars are still glorified, some Viet vets are still frowned on by the returned services establishment, but not to people now. I'm referring to the ones who don't reflect their military past - bikers, homeless etc.
Oddly Korean vets are still not recognised and the current lot are seen as simply doing a job. Though to be fair the real emphasis here is on peacemaking and reconstruction.
But memorials are for winners I expect, like history.

enigma4ever said...

Cart:
Hmmmm, I don't think memorials are about honoring winners....they are to honor what was lost, what should have been, what is remembered.....missed....treasured....a son...a daughter.....a husband....Time lost....Tears....pain.....

But it is not about "victory" or "winners".....one trip to the Vietnam Memorial....seeing each others faces....tears....hearts broken...it changes all of that....

I have never been to the WWII Memorial....I don't even know if there is a Korean Memorial....

But we could Honor them best by taking care of them when they are HOME....and taking care of their families when they are gone...But right now it would be just a statue to Broken Promises I guess....

JOLLY:
Well, sadly it is a mess again...a HUGE mess, so the War is back in the headlines as it should be, with the Delusional King using the Success word...his Oedipal Crusade...... again....summed up so nicely by you...and sad but true...

JIM:
I am so sorry about your son....we are on our own...all of us...but in a way...we the bloggers are our own community...we can do good things, we can help each other...

Gary:
I know what you said is true....the problem is that they are forgotten NOW....and I don't know how we get the focus back on them...

Christopher:
My son is one that has been thinking about it.....to pay for college....to do "something good".....I have to talk him out of it every few monthes....Times are tough...it is so easy to lure them...."The Lure of Easy Money "....and lives that are not viewed as being worth much....12 Billion a month....to hurt our Greatest Resource...Our Young People....and send them into Hell....

Cart said...

Sorry Enigma, the winner statement was more about the people who dictate who and what is honoured rater than the events themselves.
It is a problem I have with organisations that tend to deteriorate into power groups rater than stick with their charters.
Vets groups and governments are the same when it comes to choosing who is worthy and who is not.
It seems if you honestly put your butt on the line for your country etc., the recognition shouldn't be conditional.

enigma4ever said...

Cart:
No worries...really....Tom Hanks and a good group of people raised money for the WWII memorial...and the Vietnam Memorial....more good people came together...( neither was really organized by traditional VET groups...and neither was really assisted by the Govt- except some officials went and "cut the ribbon" blah blah- you know the obligatory pageantry moment).....anyways...

It all depends on the people involved...when good people come together....Like Patriot said above- good things can get done....in spite of beaurocratic disorganizations....

I was asking more about the Honor part of the equation....I worry that the Iraq Vets are going to suffer the same fate that many Vietnam VETS have suffered.....lost honor....

enigma4ever said...

ooops hit publish too soon...

anyways....None of them should lose honor....but when Ignorant leaders wage senseless oedipal battles because of Voices in their heads....the fates have been cast.....

I hope you understand what I was saying...where I was coming from....

I don;t have "voices in my head" like dear leader...I have my blog ....and all of you ;-)
and I always listen....

an average patriot said...

enigma
Thank you! I was just talking to the son that is there now and he will be back in around a month.
As you know, I am very concerned about his EOD brother who may be there now but I don't know.
Especially since he let me know that as EOD he leads the caravans and looks for IED's and the fool thinks it's funny! He's heading to the Basra area too! Take care!

Christopher said...

Your son should apply to the esteemed film making programs at USC and UCLA.

They are very competitive but they are also they best in the world.

Plus, USC and UCLA are loaded and he should easily be able to receive financial aid to help defer the expense of tuition and room and board.

If he has either USC or UCLA on his CV, jobs will literally drop in his lap. Plus, he will enjoy the advantage of LA networking.

Smalltown RN said...

Although a memorial site would be nice...I would think at present the funds would be better spent providing support systems whether that be financial, medical, or psychosocial...we would be doing them a far better service if the government gave them their support that way...how can anyone expect life to be back to "normal" when you have just come from a war zone that is anything but "normal"...to ignore the needs of these men and women is a crime against humanity...and the public should be screaming from the roof tops that an injustice is being done...shame shame shame....

D.K. Raed said...

When you travel across America, almost every little town has its own WWII memorial located in some central town square or park. They are usually granite monoliths carved with names of every soldier who served that was born or raised in their area. There is usually some indication of which ones died in service, too.

The little towns did these themselves because a national WWII memorial did not happen for so long. It took time and town resources to put them up, but they did not want their own local soldiers to go unhonored.

For years now, the little towns have been adding monoliths of WWI, Korea, Vietnam & Gulf War I local veterans, whenever they can raise the money. Some towns have monoliths of local vets from the civil war & older wars, too. All names are carved in cold hard stone, many accompanied by personal touches like flowers or old photographs supplied by the current family members.

The saddest thing I've seen in the last few years is the new blank monoliths popping up next to these existing ones. They are just waiting for this war to be over so they can carve the names.

David G said...

Hey, Enigma, nice post but sad. What's really sad is that those who died and those who are injured suffered so that a handful of people could be ultra-rich. Their kids would never be put in harm's way!

Problem is capitalism, a system that rewards greed and diminishes the human spirit, turns it into an economic resource which can be exploited.

If we don't change the economic paradigm, it will destroy us!

Cheers.