I was so honored that you shared your story with me.
I felt the trust, and the pain that you shared brought me to tears.
I hate hearing of how things were done that you cannot reconcile in your own mind.
But I love the fact you told me.
I hate hearing how you looked into that mans eyes, and didn’t speak the same language, but had to stab him and watch the life drain from his eyes, and now you see that in every dream.
The sounds, the smells that you describe I hear and smell in my sleep. I cannot imagine how you must have felt. The fear went away after a while. It didn’t matter if you lived or died, you expected to die.. and once you gained that perspective, you said it got easier…
You miss the brotherhood of the military. Putting your life in someone’s hands, while they put theirs in yours.
That brotherhood does not exist in today’s society according to you. And you miss it.
No one can understand what you did, because you morphed into a different person over there, so you don’t talk about it… but you did with me… and I was so honored.. Serving our country cost you your sense of well being, yet the honor you have still soars through your veins.. I see it in every movement you make.
You came home and drank too much.. said too much.. and got it shot back in your face… so you isolate.. you control your environment.. you feel as though there is no end to the pain you face. I hear you..
That million dollar question.. of did you kill someone.. is the most insane question to ask a soldier… What does that say of society today?.. What does it mean when you go there to keep peach and help.. and the only thing we are concerned about is did you take a life?..
It doesn’t matter the war.. the statements are all the same. The attitudes are even similar.. The pain from the 1940s through the 70s into the 90s and now in 2010.. it is written all over your face. The children you buried.. The faces you had to see.. The mothers and sisters who cried.. the friends you lost… The people you killed…
All I see is a man with a conscience, who cannot believe what he did in the name of war. The sniper who fought so his son would not have to.. cried the day he sent his son off to war… I see your pain.. and I hope you see our love and respect… I hope you see how the sacrifices you have made have NOT been made in vain… You are a hero.. by every standard by every deed.. You make a difference.. even today.. Telling us your story.. may be the only way we will ever see that going to war is not an answer. Don’t hide from us.. tell your story… whatever happened I am proud to have known you.. and proud to say you have become my friend.