Thinking again of the boys of war

Today they brought someone home from Iraq, and his unit mustered at the Veteran’s cemetery here, and I saw them from the window of the train as it went from the Veteran’s hospital toward my home. And I thought of many things, especially of the costs of war, of stuipidity, and young men and how we felt when we fought it. Here is a little prose about that.

I find it terribly absurd to think that all my memories are real, especially those dealing with the times of war. I can remember when I would put on a heavy combat ruck and move through the most dense jungle on earth, cautiously and with much labor, traveling with young men like myself, moving less than a kilometer a day in search of ways to kill other young men. Daily, we would move against this oppression of infinite hardship, killing and destroying, being killed and destroyed in turn. Endless weeks of vicious boredom marked by a minutes horrible agony. How we joked of the ways we could suffer, and loved one another with a mean affection and a deadly touch.

Soldiers and fighting men we were, all from the ancient ages of 18 to 23, except the platoon sergeant, he was old, almost 30, and the Captain only a year younger. We had seen more violent death on our walks in this country club than most cops could claim; and in the third world squalor of the villages, more disease than most doctors even imagined. We had illiterate privates who could diagnose malaria, plague, polio, and 3 or 4 malnutrition diseases.

It came down to whatever we could handle, all the late hours of hanging out in our own skulls, strolling carelessly to the sounds of hidden memory. Denying whatever might cost. Most of the books deal with coping, with being able to handle life, belief, ability and desire. I thought in terms of revenge.

Once, we celebrated Ho Chi Minh‘s birthday. And then, he won.

About dragonpoet

But sometimes what you write is neither polished nor useful. Then it arrives here. With lots of sentence fragments and beginning ideas. If you wish, please comment on what you find. If you don't like the politics, don't comment. Here, we deal with the writing.
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2 Responses to Thinking again of the boys of war

  1. clartedubois says:

    I don’t know, but war seems always…
    As you write it, I can imagine it.
    As it seems the only way to see it.
    Yes, absolutely, as you say!
    But how can I be sure?
    I have not one single memory of it…

    Today is St Patrick’s day, not a significant feast for a Belgian.
    But with so many Americans around me, I was tempted…
    So, yesterday, I decided to go Irish.
    Went to YouTube and mySpace for Luke Kelly and Paddy Reilly.
    Now Paddy is my “friend” at mySpace…
    However, by a strange turn of events, as my research of joyous or nostalgic songs brought me to Joe McDonnell, today, I feel again the rage, the revolt and the sadness of 1981, when Bobby Sands and his pals died.
    I was 30, but mark my words, it seems so long ago, that I thought I was 16 when it happened.
    As I felt so utterly powerless.Then.
    And so, believe me, I wonder if I will ever hear an Irish song in innocence again.
    The Wolfe Tones.
    If I was a true Aisling, would they not be my truest friends?
    I went wikipedia to see the meaning of this word.
    Three days ago, yes, three days ago…
    Tell me, what are we supposed to feel when we come across Bobby Sands‘story, or the Fenian’s, deported to Australia.
    Or the Palestinians? who had tend their hired farms for centuries and from one day to the other? were chased from it because the owners mostly Syrians sold them to Jews, themselves victims of pogroms…
    And so many more…
    Are we not supposed to do something about it?
    But what?
    My dear Long Shiren, would you not feel like me…
    Powerless and utterly mixed up.
    Meanwhile, I remember another kind of story, also started in innocence…
    If you are a childless woman, once in a while, you will meet children and think…
    It happened only once to me.
    He is New Zealander, he was then 18, like you and your friends, then.
    Coming from such a peaceful country, you would not imagine…
    As you may know, things can happen in childhood and they too leaves scares.
    The fact is that we recognized something in each other and that scared the rotary family (the woman) he was staying with.
    So, the date we had was cancelled, if you can called that such an innocent meeting.
    As it was the 11 November, birthday of armistice, guess what happened?
    They went with him to the Anzac cemetery in Flanders.
    So once again the purest love was killed by a “war”. La petite guerre.
    And disgustingly on the back of dead men. Dead soldiers…
    Life is such a mixture…
    When the war in Iraq started, I read for the second time a book of James Michener about the VietNam’s called : The Drifters…
    It was uncanny how it felt like the same story.

  2. Tamper says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Tamper!!!

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