Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm killing my old myspace page; all I seem to ever get on it anymore is obama spam and friend requests from camwhores.  Still, I posted the item below last memorial day on the site's blog and wanted to make sure it was saved somewhere before I put the torch to tinder.  Enjoy.

Memorial Day 2008

"Unfortunately, many of the men who live through the war don't understand why they were spared. They think they are still alive in order to return home and make money and fuck their wife and get drunk and wave the flag.

These men spread what they call good news, the good news about war and warriors. Some of the men who spread good news have never fought -- so what could they have to say about the purity of war and warriors? These men are liars and cheats and they gamble with your freedom and your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the reputation of your country." 

-- Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

We live in a society that glorifies war and violence, for good or ill. You can't drive to the supermarket without seeing a magnetized yellow "ribbon" on someone's car. We support our troops. With magnets made in China.  Sure, it's tasteless and pharisaic, but what else is to be expected from our loyal public?

This is a hard day for me. I've spent most of my morning alternating between sitting on my couch drinking coffee and sitting on my porch chain-smoking, all the while trying to think of a theme to write about. Survivor guilt? Anger at more fucking "sales"? I'm at a loss.

I can't put into words the disgust and joy and hate and pride I feel. It all rolls around inside of you, and the edges are sharp.

I was in an APC in a town called Husaybah a long time ago. I didn't know it at the time, but I rolled right over a massive IED. I don't know why it didn't go off on me. What I do know is that a few minutes later, it exploded and killed a lot of men. 

I've been thinking about that day a lot ever since. I've been thinking about it a hell of a lot today. 

The day after that, still in Husaybah, we were in a blocking position on the outskirts of town. We sat in our APC and sweated until our utility uniforms were saturated. I watched a little girl in a filthy dress several sizes too small creep out of a house, barefoot, to stare at us. Afraid.

That is what War will always be to me. Burning men and scared little girls. 

I'm leaving to go to a Memorial Day ceremony in a few minutes. I wish I had the wisdom to say something that didn't sound cloying and forced, under the circumstances. 

All I can think of is: Remember them. If you do that, then it wasn't in vain.