“There never was a good war or bad peace.” Benjamin Franklin
All we wanted to know was who the bad guys were. But nobody knew. We were getting picked off one by one, but we couldn’t find the bad guys. Someone who might be helping you during the day, might kill you at night. The enemy didn’t wear uniforms. Far more innocent people got hurt than anyone else. It wasn’t malicious. It was just legitimately confusing situations.
When you are driving to a meeting and a car bomb explodes, suddenly every car looks like a bomb and we were surrounded by cars. We were surrounded by people and anyone could be wearing a suicide vest.
One day we were driving to a small village to pick up a small Iraqi boy, we were going to fly him to the US for heart surgery. I am at the back of the convoy doing rear security, and this woman in a burqa starts walking towards me. I am shouting in Arabic for her to stop, but she keeps coming towards me. I am screaming at her and now pointing a gun, but she keeps coming, and I think she has a bomb.
I switch off my safety, and as I am just about to pull the trigger, she suddenly opens up her burqa and there is a baby inside.
War can often seem distant from us. Living in the safety of our life back here, we don’t hear about these stories and hope it never becomes ours. The truth is, when these men return home with PTSD, nightmares and an inability to live normally again, it becomes apart of everyone’s story in life. There is no separation.
Let’s not forget these men. Their pain. Their recovery. Together we can begin to heal these wounds.
28 thoughts on “WAR…. What is it good for?”
Years ago I saw this series of before-during-after images of soldiers. It is haunting.
It is MK. We may not get to change war in our world, but we can support and nurture those who come back emotionally and physically wounded from this experience. 🙏🏻
The situation they are in is horrible. And it is horrible for the people who live there. I am so very thankful this soldier did not shoot the woman only to learn she was carrying a baby, not a bomb. We really, REALLY need to help returning soldiers with their trauma.
It is awful for everyone Emilie. There are so many innocent people involved. There is so much healing needed. Thankyou 🙏🏻
Yes we need to remember that Karen. ❤
The title reminded me of this song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01-2pNCZiNk
I think unless we are affected it’s easy to forget. And yes that is the song I thought of too when I wrote this post! 💜💚
War and violence never fix anything, they only make things worse. I feel shame for the stance the US has taken since Korea. I might not know the answer, but clearly war has only exacerbated the problems and made us unpopular the world over. I often think that if we took the money the world spends on weapons and war and put it towards peace, education and infrastructure the world over, how positive that would be in creating a world that works for everyone.
Wise words Eliza and I totally agree with you. War has never been the answer and never will. Picking up the pieces from this tragedy however, will span a lifetime. Thankyou for being here ❤️🙏🏻
Thank you for sharing this story, Karen. It reminds me of a story with a worse ending that my father told me about Vietnam. The horrors of that war still haunt him 50 years later. With all the knowledge we have gained, one would think we would have evolved beyond war by now. I wish the human race would grow up.
So sad and so true Joanna. Accepting our choices, and working together to make a difference is what we can do in a positive way. Thankyou 🙏🏻
War is a primitive way of living and should not be necessary, but there are still extremists in our world and they don’t want to know other ways.
PTSD is terrible to live with and we can suffer from that by other acts than war. It is possible to learn to live and come through this condition, but it demands longtime treatment. I know by personal experience.
I agree Irene. There are many ways to receive PTSD and once we have experienced this difficult condition, you never forget it. I absolutely believe it is possible to heal and move forward too. Thankyou for sharing ❤️
I will not say, that is possible to heal totally, but it is possible to reduce the flashback attacks by professional help.
Yes each of us heal differently and in our own way and time. I’m glad there has been healing Irene. 🙏🏻
Thank you Karen
So painful. All of it.
It is and sad. No winners here.
i’m remembering those i served with
stationed in Japan & Korea
just after VietNam,
who were not let back
in the US as they had
may politicians send
themselves & their families
Wow David that’s so sad. There are so many stories. Each one changed someone’s life and the ripple effect is immense. Thankyou for sharing. 🙏🏻
The first few lines made my hair raised. The next few lines even hairier. The dilemma in rules of engagement, this is actually why I sort of understand cops. They go through the same dilemma as our servicemen do. I am not taking sides, just making a statement. I know our military service members as I also work with them across the globe. There’s definitely sacrifices they make every single day to protect. It’s a crazy world we live in. It’s like damn if you do, damn you if you don’t. Salute to our everyday heroes.
This is true Rommel. There are no bad guys or good guys. They realize this when they get there and everyone is trying to do their best with what they know. Trying to heal their minds and bodies from the trauma of war or from being a cop can take a lifetime. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙏🏻
And know, as G.K. Chesterton wrote: “A soldier doesn’t fight because he hates what is in front of him, but, rather, he fights because he loves what is behind him.”
Beautiful quote Alan. Thankyou 🙏🏻
I have one of these men in my extended US family…there really aren’t any good wars.
So true Helen. Healing from these experiences can span a lifetime. 💚
A good reminder–these things come at a price and many of us don’t pay it.
So true Kristine. Very sad. 💚