By John Waters
May 07, 2022
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What is the final lesson you can share?
That we will continue to sort of stumble through questions about war, but never learn anything. For 50 years, I never spoke about war, much
less myself or what I did. I had nightmares. I had my inner struggles and inner demons and I had to overcome them in time, but by the same
token war was not something I wanted to remember or document. It was not until I got invited to speak to others about my combat experience, to
speak to groups of young people, that I realized I had a duty and obligation to reflect my true feelings and beliefs about war. The people
were so young. I recognized a duty to remind young people about the sacrifices made by other Americans, up to and including death, to make
life possible for them and others not yet born. When called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, some of us did, and they should be remembered.
Those of us who survived owe it to them, and to each other, to remember what they sacrificed.
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“A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the ‘United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.'” -Anonymous
Remember Heinlein’s Starship Troopers’ universe? One does not merely have the right to be a citizen and vote by virtue of what Heinlein called the mere accident of birth; rather, one has to earn this right through Federal Service that tested one’s ability and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the polity. Bet not a lot of vets would vote for all the undeclared wars the USA has been in since WW2?
That’s the book that made me an anti-war little L libertarian. And, I can empathize with Lucky’s realizations.
In my era, you had only two options — serve or Canada. There were no CO status being give out; akin to the “religious objector” status to Covid vaccination. My best friend from high school went underground and I never saw him again. My other friend went into the Army and I didn’t see him for decades. It was a terrible time.
And for what.
Just like all the “wars” since then, based on lies or egos. And, no one is held to account.
All the politicians and bureaucrats, who advocate for going to war in the Ukraine, should be given a gun and plane ticket.