Saturday, December 4, 2010

This is War/ So say thank you very much...

In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason.
Ernest Hemingway

I kind of don't want to write this. I don't want to be mistaken for glorifying myself in any sort of a way. But I do want to tell you a story. About thanking a veteran not on veterans day.
When I was back home for a visit over the thanksgiving holiday, I took my girls to get glasses. After the appointment, and picking up the glasses which took FOREVER, it was finally over. We all headed out to the car, the big girls had already exited the building, and the babe and me were not far behind. The babe fell down, right by the door. As I bent to pick her up, an old man bent to help me with her. When I looked at him I noticed he was wearing a Vietnam Veteran hat.
So many emotions flooded my brain immediately.
Oh my god. What did this man do? What did he have to do? How many did he kill? How many of his brothers did he watch die? Who welcomed him home? Who helped him once he was here? What does he do with all of these thoughts that are in his head?
So many think that Vietnam was bullshit. I don't know. It probably was.
War is bullshit.
But it is real.
We do it over and over again.
I hate war. I see no need for it, but it MUST be human nature. It just has to be. That must be why we do it over and over again. Kill each other to solve our problems.
But who takes the time to think of the boys and now days girls we send to do our killings?
Did they want to? Were their fathers military men? Did they just want a good and cheap education? Did they feel a sense of patriotism? Or was there just nothing else they could do?
When you take the human emotion out of war, it just seems a whole lot easier. If you put your self in the place of these people who are actually doing it, in the midst of it, it is scary as can be. and totally heart breaking.

I don't know what came over me. I grabbed his hand.
Looking back, I bet that was hell'a awkward. Although I am a touchy feely kind of gal, I don't make it a point to grab strangers hand in the middle of eye-mart.
With all these thoughts that were flooding my brain, I stood there holding his hand, and said "thank you".
He said something along the line of "Oh I'll always help cute baby girls when they fall"
I said, "No, I see your hat. Thank you for what you did for us."
(I don't even know what that means!!!)
And then I cried. Like a fucking baby.
In the middle of eye-mart.

And then he did too.

And I will never forget it.

I don't know that man. I don't know what he did. I will never see him again. Probably. He was old. I just know we shared a beautiful moment. I know it felt good, crying or not. I know I went home and felt like a total jack ass for grabbing a strangers hand and crying in the middle of the sand springs eye-mart. But after a while of thinking of it, I am glad it happened.

Point is, if you support the war, or you hate the war, you should support your fellow human beings. Give them love. It feels good. It felt good to him, too. He told ME thank you. He told me I had no idea what that meant to him. He cried too. And it was beautiful. So say thank you. When you see a man in a hat that says veteran, just do it. You, I, we will never know the difference it makes.
The end.

All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.
Francois Fenelon

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