I'm just sick and tired of hearing this mantra of service members who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, etc. etc etc. What freedom is that? Freedom for a few psychopathic bankers and war contractors and their paid off politicians to make trillions off of the lives of our youth and to put us as nation into debt that we can never repay. Stick a Chinese made flag on the graves and falsely think this is a tribute.
Soldiers do fight for one freedom. To try and save their fellow grunts to be free to go back home alive and intact. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
How many times do we have to repeat the words of General Smedley Butler that "war is a racket?" You either get it or you don't. Most don't. Many are afraid of this truth, they don't want to know.
I'm not into bashing soldiers.Most were forced into it. My grandfather was in WWI, wounded in the head and gassed. Although not disabled, he received a $4 to $8 check each month for his troubles and for a farmer who often lived from crop to crop in the 20's and 30's, that money was often his only cash flow. He brought home a Luger that he took off a dead German, maybe a farmer like himself and I fondled that pistol hundreds of times as kid. War was cool back then in the imagination of a child.
My father saw the writing on the wall and joined the Army Air Force days after Pearl Harbor. He was placed in a radar outfit, had a couple of close calls with German bombs while in England but made it through unscathed.
Neither of these folks ever wanted to talk about their war experiences, my grandfather especially. He just said it was bad and refused to say anything else. Getting my father to relate his experience was also difficult. What he did say was usually about the 'good times' he had. Both went to their graves after a long life and as far as I know always believed the wars were just. They did not question their government and didn't want me to.
Vietnam was the turning point. We learned to question and were not afraid to do so. By age 14 I already knew something wasn't right. I could see in the faces and eyes of those returning. They were changed forever and not for the best. At age 17 my childhood friend Eric was killed exactly 3 months after setting foot in Vietnam. He got his name on a black wall many years later and that's it. I was pissed in 1969 and have been ever since.
Others I knew also died there or came back without a leg or without a heart. I've outlived many who returned and Vietnam killed them over here as surely as it killed them over there.
And yes, I'll say it. It needs to be said. They died in vain.
Our soldiers still die nearly every day. Still in vain. The myth of "it's for our freedoms" continues to this day and as with all false mythology, it needs to end.
I don't really know what to do about it. Just keep ranting and raving I suppose. Keep talking to our neighbors and friends about it even if they don't want to hear it, even if they are afraid of the truth. And especially try to discourage the kids from following in the footsteps of the deceived.
We can still have our war memorials and Memorial Day but perhaps the focus could be something different ... like Never Again.