Last Friday, I was talking with my aunt as we made tamales. My uncle, her husband, is going to the VA for some assistance. She said she saw an Iraq vet there last week who is missing a part of his head. That image has stayed with me for days.
That image especially creeps in my consciousness as I read "Fiasco" and watch the daily tragedies unfolding in the Middle East. What is it like for this man who went to do his duty for country and came back without many of abilities? Why is it we, as a country, don't have to make some sacrifice in this war? This war in Iraq has gone on longer than WWII and yet there is no collective gasp at the loss of life, limbs and brains by a some of our fellow Americans. There are, however, attempts by the Republican bullies to make us afraid.
We should be afraid of everything, toothpaste will blow us up and let's not even talk about those expensive lipsticks. There are a lot of people who have criticized the vile and disgusting displays by that sick bastard Cheney and Ken Mehlman who say sick shit about Ned Lamont, the democratic process and the outcome of a fair primary in Connecticut. If you are not familiar, check out AmericaBlog and the DailyKos. My point is this country is quickly degenerating into a large sandbox, complete with bullies and cat shit.
I return to my vision of this young man in the VA. As no one asks or offers sacrifice, what becomes of him? Does he have a wife, girlfriend. siblings, parents? He has people who care about him, no doubt, who will be forever impacted by this radical curve in his path. So the ripple effect takes place and we can't hear the cries, the agony of this war because it is drowned out by cowards and bullies who wish to change this uncomfortable subject to something more to their liking. Even the cat shit is easier to discuss than the part of this man's head which was left in Iraq.
But this man is brave. He has come back and is living his life. Braver than those in office. Braver than some of us who don't want to be inconvenienced at the airport. Braver than those who think that Bush will keep them safe because it is easier to believe his lies than ask questions.
I refuse to be afraid of those terrorists. I refuse to give in to Bush's lies. I refuse to be manipulated. I will be brave like that man in the VA.
I wish I knew his name.