070329 – Thursday – The Ground Truth

I watched The Ground Truth tonight, thanks to a friend who loaned me a copy. It’s a movie/documentary about the Iraq War from the POV of the troops who’ve come home deeply damaged by their experiences. I’ve talked elsewhere about my feelings about the Iraq and Viet-Nam wars but this movie made me see something I hadn’t seen before about my own experiences.

I was in the miltary during the Viet-Nam War and during that time, I decided the war was wrong and I chose to refuse to go to Viet-Nam even though it potentially meant prison and a dishonorable discharge.

In all the years since then, I’ve always been happy and perhaps even a bit proud that I stood up against the war and said ‘no’ when so many of my companions just let themselves believe the rhetoric and went along.

But tonight, when they were showing how very badly messed up so many of these people are by the things they did in Iraq in the name of their country, I realized that by refusing to go, I dodged a terrible bullet of lifetime guilt and remorse – though I’d never realized it until now.

When we’re young, our expeiences have an unreal almost pretend-like quality to them. The military, our marriages our early jobs – it’s almost like we’re still waiting to grow up and for things to become ‘real’. But, as many of these young men and woman have found out the hard way in Iraq and Afganistan, everything we do in this life is ‘for-keeps’.

One Response to “070329 – Thursday – The Ground Truth”

  1. Hiller says:

    Dennis, yes – it does make you grateful that by the grace of God you (and I ) are not carrying around the kind of psychic wounds these soldiers talk about. I do resent the recurring need in this country to go bomb and/or invade some far-away land in the name of the “domino effect”, “national security”, “weapons of mass destruction” or whatever the excuse this decade happens to be.

    Hiller