Saturday, June 17, 2017, 20:58
No musical score to motivate you to move safely forward into the fray, just the knowledge that your weapon has to be the 6 of someone else, so they can perform the same function! No soldier gives a shit about why a war is being fought; his mind can’t be focused on politics, he has to sign himself t the new dotted line. The line that says your ass is now on the line, and that if you get yours shot off, someone else will pay for your stupidity!
Awareness of your importance to the lives of others is a weight every few people can carry without it breaking them down at least a little bit. A man goes down, you blame yourself, it happens a lot, and there’s no training manual that teaches one how to deal with this aspect of warfare. A tank runs over a guy in the field, they don’t even know it, but them someone finds the body and the guilt sets in. how could he had been saved from this fate? And it’s usually a young kid, who should be at home trying to reach second base with his girlfriend, but no, he had to serve, and now, he’ll be called a “hero”
Why not call him a hero when he’s in high school thinking about opening a garage to fix cars for people at affordable prices or wanting to be a paramedic or a truck driver?
I can tell you this, being tough doesn’t mean that the men aren’t afraid and if they tell you that they weren’t, they’re afraid to tell you the truth, or they’ve become adept at lying!
War is frightening and it carries weight with it. You fire a weapon maybe thousands of times and even if you aren’t certain that you’ve hit your target, you sure as hell now that someone has been killed by bullets that have come from your direction, and enemy or not; you take it with you that you killed another human being, even if he was trying to do the same to you. We have to see the enemy as another human being, maybe then, we’d be less agitated to go to war to kill them.
They don’t have a clue who you are, or why you’re tearing their lives apart, all that they know is that your presence is destroying everything they’ve ever known and as you get deeper into the conflict, you carry their pain inside of yourself. Humans have no choice, we have to have compassion somewhere within ourselves, or all is lost!
Human beings look like human beings after their blood and their tears start t flow. Yo can imagine your loved ones being in a situation like this. Your mother, sisters, aunts, uncles, fathers, siblings, all running to nowhere, all frightened beyond reason, and all of them, unaware as to why it’s happening.
On the field of battle, the biases, the prejudices may still survive, but they lose their power, men who are from differing backgrounds and differing cultural norms become human males who love one another and care about the end-result for each of these former strangers who are now a part of who they are, for the rest of their lives!
Carrying the weight of another man’s life can make you aware of your strengths, but also you become keenly aware of your weaknesses and of your shortcomings. Training you practice on fake injuries and made-up blood and scarring, but the real thing has a sound and a smell that can’t be duplicated on the training ranges. Men are screaming, moaning and groaning and they look into your eyes to be their savior. You don’t tell them about the arm they have lost, or the legs that are no longer a part of who they used to be. Yo talk them into being calm, letting you treat them. Your best friend becomes that morphine shot that will ease their pain and allow you to not have to lie to the guy anymore.
Personal safety has gone out of the window, the saving of the soldier is paramount, it is the universal motivator that will not allow you not to go to that man and try to help him. Half of a body, a half of his head gone, it all means nothing next to returning him to where he can have a chance to survive and get back home.
You take this with you forever. The ones you could not save hit you the hardest. It’s not ego, it’s guilt. It’s the loss of one’s brother in arms. The loss of a father to his children and a husband to his wife, son to his parents, friend to his friends. Yes, this leaves scars on you and it leaves you with emotional disruptions no one can ever really understand.
If you’ve never been here; please, don’t go unless THEY become your focus! It can’t be about you, it has to be totally about being prepared to answer that scream for “DOC!” it must be an instant answer t the request for “MEDIC!”
This is “Safety First!” in action!
All that I can add to this, is that it DOES matter, and it DOES stick with you!
A story about war; no heroics, no medals to brag about, just memories of brothers who will always be a part of who you are, even if you never see each other again. A family who may be from every corner of this country, every cultural background, but brothers nonetheless!
Faces come alive that have long since ceased to be alive, but in my mind, will never be dead. War: death, deliberately constructed. And it is about love that becomes more potent and more expressive through teasing, pranks, and even fighting, but love that makes one willing to give up his life to preserve those of every one of the others!
Peace, the stillness of mind, dedication to health, to all of you.