You were conscripted against your will or convinced by lies and deceit that the threat to all you held sacred was real, and grave, and imminent.
You believed that patriots must rally, sacrifice their life’s plans and dreams, enlist in the military or submit to the draft, to fight, and if necessary to die, in defense of the country you loved.
. . . before the final domino falls.
You were conditioned to forget all you had learned and held sacred, programmed a warrior, sent to a far off land you never heard of, to destroy and to kill in senseless battles, your life and well being threatened, your spirit a casualty, and many of your friends needlessly slaughtered.
. . . a war of "attrition," concerned only with body count, theirs versus yours determining the victor.
You experienced horrors that eroded your moral character causing you to act in ways that to this day weighs heavily on your soul, the shame and regret you suffer pervade and overwhelm your being.
. . . longing for a peace that only death can provide.
And upon your return, the government that perpetuated the lies and sent you to war, disavowed responsibility and culpability for their crimes against the other and their own and left you stranded in the jungle of your memories and nightmares.
But yet, for some, for those who have yet to see, despite all of this, your greatest complaint is that you weren’t allowed to win, whatever that may mean, as though winning was possible, and necessary, and right, and would have made a difference.
And so you misdirect your anger to those who saw the truth and sacrificed as well, they for peace and you for war. The final outrage, you allege, in your "victimization," was being spat upon and called a "baby killer" by some longhaired kid at the airport.
Camillo “Mac” Bica, Ph.D., is an author, activist, and Professor of Philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His focus is in Social and Political Philosophy and Ethics particularly as it applies to war. Mac is former Marine Corps Officer, Vietnam Veteran, long time activist for peace and social justice and coordinator of Veterans For Peace Long Island. He can be contacted through his website at http://www.camillobica.com.