Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It Just Blows My Mind

Here I sit, eating my breakfast and surfing through my favorite blogs. I really should run upstairs and get my shower, given that I need to be at work in an hour, but I've just read a blog post that I must respond to right now or it will torment me all day.

I'm proud to say that Janet Lee is an RN in the Nursery of the hospital where I work. She's a very articulate writer whose blog I enjoy so much. Her cat photos provide a lighter side to her more serious posts, many of which poke at politicians and our crazy society. Don't think I've read one that I've disagreed with. This morning's was no different.

In "Counting Coupe" (and BTW, Janet, that's "coup"!), Janet expresses her concern about her one and only child, a son who is on a Navy ship in the Persian Gulf, in a post about our fearless leader's preference for military measures over diplomacy. I love her phrase, "if Bush hadn't squandered all our good will in the world" - it's so accurate.

So what's upsetting me is the reply of her first commenter, a blogger with whom I'm not familiar. Having no children herself, Marcheline has written on her own blog a post to Janet about how her husband, a former Army Ranger, is a wonderful and fun-loving man as a result of his military experience: "I don't know another man on earth who is as tender and compassionate as he is, and yet I pity the person who would raise a hand to harm me or anyone he cares about."

Again - I know next to nothing about Marcheline so I hope she won't mind my picking on her. Since she's a blogger, she must be wonderful :) and a thinker, and yet I'm wondering how she's missed the fact that many of our Vietnam vets and many of the kids coming home nowadays from Iraq are absolutely haunted by PTSD.

I had several Ranger and Special Forces friends when I was in the military and yes, they were a wild and fun bunch of kids. The emotional damage they suffer now, though, breaks my heart. Remember John? He's a loving, compassionate family man and a brilliant writer - a friend whom I would also trust with my life. Some evenings now, though, he "patrols the perimeter" of his home, continually on the lookout for invading VC.

How can we continue to send our kids into these senseless wars, knowing how scarred they can be when they return? And why do we women still allow it? (I'm obviously including myself here.)

It just blows my mind.


Katharine said...

I am inspired to get off my behind and write that blog on Bhutan, a Buddhist country at peace with a national goal of happiness, and an election last week forming a parliament whose oldest member is 45, and most members are 20's and 30's. I think I'd like to see a US Congress with that demographic at this point.

I shall be writing this weekend!

JanetLee said...

Pat, I swear I left a comment thanking you for your kind words, but I did it in the morning after working so who knows what my fingers did on the keyboard in spite of what my brain was telling them to do.

But thank you. I'm so grateful that my son is on a big boat in the Gulf rather than a Humvee on the streets of Bagdad, so I sometimes feel I don't have much of a right to be publicly whiny about my fears. There are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children with much greater fears than I.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Kath - do get writing, would you? You've turned into a major slug.

And Janet, I’m sure your son is going to be just fine and return home – like Marcheline says – even more wonderful than when he left. You have every right to be whiny though! I would be a basket case...and I'm usually pretty laid back. I'll keep him in my thoughts.

Hopefully Marcheline wouldn’t take my post to mean that I don't support our troops. I very much support our troops. I just don't like the wars to which they're sent by politicians and bureaucrats who don't have a personal knowledge of the effects of war, or whose own children aren't being sent to do our dirty work.

pat said...

Thank you for the reminder/committment to ALL OF US (!) to take action today to communicate to our elected officials that we will activly work against their re-election if they don't end this war now.
The apthy/hopelessness of the American public is truly frightening.

Pat said...

Hi Pat! Good to hear from you. It's hard to keep thoughts of the war in our heads as we're going about our everyday business - but we have to, don't we?

Kappa no He said...

I agree. When I did martial arts we had a lot of Viet Nam vets. All of them were sweet and kind but they all had ghosts that were more horrifying than any of us could have imagined. A man I was very close to and kept in touch with for years after I came to Japan ended his life awhile back. The ghosts won. So sad.