I suppose I'm in one of those more serious and slightly emo moods just now, but I do feel I have a few feelings I'd like to share with anyone who gives a shit.
First lets get this out of the way. I am scared shitless.
We ARE going to Iraq, we've been reassured of that every day since the day we put our names on paper and raised our hands. But then again, that IS what i signed up for, but not without a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. I want to see countries such as Iraq living in more peaceful conditions. I wish that for all the world. Everyone should be so immensely proud of their country that they would not rather live anywhere else. Everyone should be overjoyed to know that their country is a land where their children will grow up, live their lives, and pass that life on to their own children and grandchildren.
If I were walking down the street of my hometown, having stepped out of my car to trek across a parking lot and rent a movie, and I were to be knocked to the ground and temporarily deafened before I could even realize that an explosion occurred, only to learn that people just like you and me have just been eviscerated or maimed, for ANY reason, I can't even imagine how that would make me feel.
How did everyone feel during the Oklahoma City Bombing? Or the events from September 11th?
This was Sept 11 for me. I was a sophomore in High School. I always went an hour early because my father woke us up earlier than necessary, and I had nothing else to do. So I'd go early and just waste time. Anyway, I had walked into my first class, to set down my backpack, planning to sit in the computer lab and mess around on the internet.
My history teacher, and also the basketball coach, who would normally have almost nothing to do with me, asks, "Do you know anything about what's going on in New York?"
Me: Uh, no. (Must be baseball season [yeah, I'm that oblivious]).
Mr L: There was a plane crash, and it hit one of the Trade Towers. Help me bring a TV in here, CNN is covering it. (Not exact quote, but close).
Looking back, it seems like the typical cheesy beginning of an RPG you'd play on your PlayStation on a weeknight instead of studying. Homeland is attacked and devastated, and you, the reluctant hero, must defend what is right, etc. I want you to know that it wasn't until I began typing this paragraph that I realized the irony of it all, and I don't have words for it. So we'll move on.
We hooked up a TV, and I sat in my seat, watching this news coverage. At this point, we thought that SOMEONE was a very very bad pilot, or had been drinking on the job. If I remember correctly, it wasn't until right after class actually started (well, the bell rang) that the second plane hit.
I don't know how many of you saw it happen live. I did. Can't imagine what it must have been like in New York, to see it in front of you. It was surreal enough over a TV screen. To them, the apocalypse had come. There was no logic for that. Our own planes, inventions designed to make travel quick and convenient, were crashing into these immense buildings, these huge towers that were a landmark for one of our most famous cities, that represents us. This city has the Statue of Liberty. Hell, the only reason they didn't crash a plane into THAT is because there aren't enough people in them. What moral character they must have had.
Then, we're told that the Pentagon has been hit. Another plane crashed midflight. What the hell happens next?
And amidst this, and I WILL use his name on here. I hope someone reads this and KNOWS who I'm talking about. Robert Eskew. Rob Eskew, while watching the news, makes SPLAT noises and thumps his desk while people fall out of the towers. This piece of dogshit, tweaker. This all-black clad, too much hair-gel, worshipping SlipKnot (not a bad band, but some of you can relate to run-ins with some of their fans. SOME of them). Some fucked up individual, another kid who seems to feel that he isn't part of this. Someone who doesn't understand that WE ARE ALL IN LIFE TOGETHER. If a tidal wave swept across out town, he would be just as affected.
But hey, its on TV, its not real, is it? I mean, come on. Death and destruction, its funny. They deserve it, right? Shit, how dare they go to work, trying to earn a living. Omg, lyke, they werk 4 corprate amerika, they r stoopid. I guess we defend the weak of mind and spirit, along with some VERY GREAT PEOPLE.
When I was home on leave, after my training in the beautiful Georgia, I met a very cool guy who was an 11B stationed in Hawaii. He had come back from Afghanistan. Go ahead and tell me that we shouldn't be fighting Al Quaeda over there. Please do, I need a good laugh right now.
9/11 pissed us off. To no end. No better way to stir a nest of hornets (I apolgize for the cliche. Email me a better one and I'll edit this post). Now just imagine if we were Iraqis. Follow me for a minute. We're people who call God Allah (for the most part, I'm sure there are other religions there, too, but bear with me). We're people who've been oppressed beyond any means that we, the US citizens have had to see. Generations ago, the African Americans had it VERY rough. But could this be worse? If nothing else, it must be on the same plane. I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure, but you can follow the example.
We call God by the name of Allah, and religion is still a large part in our culture as a whole, not as removed as it feels in the US. Our land has seen turmoil that has lasted longer than the names of our families. Our leader, sociopathic and selfish, has been removed. Now we're being offered this thing called Democracy, the thing that the US has adopted from the beginning. We too, can live lives based off our own ability, and not what we believe, or what version we believe. Where we came from, that will never hold us back. Where we are willing to go, THAT is the only thing that matters.
And people just like us, people we care deeply about, are being killed. Imagine your best friend, your father, mother, sister, brother, son or daughter. Imagine EVERYTHING that they are capable of, and everything that makes them a beautiful person.
And now imagine their lives WASTED, because someone else feels its necessary.
I'm sorry for being opinionated, but I really don't think that anyone can make that call. With one exception.
To preface what I'm about to say, I'm going to admit something slightly embarassing. As macho as we men are supposed to be, I can't hunt deer without feeling guilt that will keep me awake until I put me catch to use, by feeding my family. Its funny, yeah, but I feel a very heavy GUILT. Deer are a harmless and innocent species. A beautiful animal. I have to put a part of myself on hold to squeeze the trigger.
I won't put ANYTHING on hold for someone who is willing to kill innocents to attempt to get his view across (which, by the way, NEVER WORKS). I've spent many long nights awake thinking about this. I'm not a fan of killing. Other than movie violence, I detest violence. Its so wasteful. But if you're the type that will use another's life, which is NEVER yours to take, well, then you've wasted your own life, you've wasted who you are as a person, and you've forfeited your right for me to see beauty in your existence.
I've killed creatures who have done me no wrong. And life goes on for me. How do you think I'll feel to put people like you to an end?
If I have to endure PTSD and a lifetime of nightmares, even if it kills who I am as a person, I don't care, I will sacrifice it all. I will take as many of you twisted bastards down as I can. I only wish this page could be translated, printed off, and sent to your front doors, as a final warning before my unit deploys to do the job of a military, who contrary to popular belief, has a great deal of morals, unlike its adversary.
I'm sickened enough by the atrocites you commit in your own land. Do you think that while I have a single breath in my body, I will let you bring that to my home?