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Causing A Death: It Should Matter

Updated on March 23, 2015
So many lessons learned.
So many lessons learned. | Source
Life is not shades of gray
Life is not shades of gray | Source
A man who understood the price that is paid when taking a life.....my father.
A man who understood the price that is paid when taking a life.....my father. | Source

They walked together daily. Five men in their thirties, in tight group formation, strolling through the business district, rain or shine, they never seemed to be aware of their surroundings. If one looked closely at them one would see the blank stares, the eyes that did not see, the faces that held no recognition of the life going on around them.

They showed no signs of injury, no canes were needed, no visible scars apparent, just five men drifting through the landscape as others truly lived their lives. I would see them and yet not see them, like the wind blowing through the tree limbs. They were invisible to all, as if their bodies were held together by angel’s wings and the breath of death, rather than muscle and bones.

It has been fifty years since I last saw them….or did I really see them at all? How could anyone see them for in truth they were dead to us all, as surely as if they had been prepared by the undertaker and placed in a six-foot hole. I do not really remember when I first laid eyes on them nor do I remember the last time. I do remember asking my dad why those men were always walking around together.

My dad, a veteran of World War 2 and a man who had seen some serious fighting during five campaigns in Italy, said almost meekly that they were veterans who never returned from the war. A curious answer for sure and one I asked him about. He simply said that taking the life of any human being costs a man dearly.

Today, of course, I understand. Today I can still see those men, perhaps more clearly now than fifty years ago, for today I better understand the cost exacted when one takes a life.

WAR IS HORRIBLE AND NOT GLORIOUS

“It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow too fond of it.” Robert E. Lee, the refined, Southern gentleman and as fine a general as this country has seen, knew all too well the cost of taking a life.

My uncle, Mike Flannery, was discharged from the Navy during World War 2, classified as a medical discharge but in reality suffering from PTSD as we now know it. After the war he suffered through decades of alcoholism, finally getting treatment, and till the day he died he would never speak of the days spent loading the big guns, watching friends blown apart, slowly losing a part of himself during the war years.

I asked my father about that one day; I asked him why Uncle Mike seemed so reluctant to talk about his years in the Navy. My dad mumbled something about how those were tough times. Then I asked him if he had ever killed someone. He looked at me, looked away, started to speak and then stopped. Finally he looked at me again and simply said, “yes.” Then he got up and walked away.

My father was the bravest man I have ever known. Until shortly before his death when a heart attack made him mortal in his son’s eyes, I had never seen him afraid of anything. What I saw that day, the day I asked if he had killed, was pure and simple sadness. It was the words of Robert E. Lee in human form.

Taking the life of any human being costs a man dearly.

LIFE IS NOT A HOLLYWOOD STAGE

I grew up with a kid by the name of Jerry Petrich. We went to school together, played ball together and then college separated us as college often does with friends. Years later Jerry became a police officer. One rainy afternoon in 1978 Jerry was called to the scene of a bank robbery in progress. He arrived at the bank in time to see the robbers leaving the bank. He exited his car, knelt down behind the car door and told the fleeing criminals to halt. One turned and fired a shot and Jerry returned fire and killed the suspect.

Three days later Jerry retired from the police force. He had dedicated eight years to his job, protecting the citizens of Tacoma, Washington, sworn to serve and protect. He had spent hundreds of hours on the pistol range, honing his skills, preparing himself as best he could for a moment he hoped would never arrive. When that moment did arrive his skills served him well, protecting his body from harm. There was one part of him, however, that could not be protected.

A part of Jerry died that day alongside the bank robber.

I do not forget those people from my past. Each time I pick up the newspaper and read of a shooting, a stabbing, a suicide bomber or the death of an abused child, I remember back to the words of my father.

Taking the life of any human being costs a man dearly.

LIFE IS NOT COMPOSED OF SHADES OF GRAY

My son asked me once if I could kill someone. I gave him the standard answer that parents give, that if someone were threatening the safety of my family then yes, I could kill. I suppose those words are true for I believe I would do anything in my power to save a loved one or for that matter myself. But what would be the price to me?

We come into this world kickin’ and screamin’ and we hold onto life with a tenaciousness that is admirable. Perhaps that explains why taking a life affects us so deeply. We are all connected. Over six billion of us and we all have that will to survive as a common bond. By extension it would only make sense that we all understand the loss incurred when a life is taken.

Life is so precious, so sacred, and we hold onto it with every ounce of strength that is in us. We all love, laugh, cry and mourn. We all dream of happiness, go about our daily duties and try to live life to the fullest. We must be aware, then, that others are living in a similar fashion. Somewhere buried deep within us there must be an awareness of the sanctity of human life. How else do we explain the profound impact that taking a life has on people?

No, life is not composed of shades of gray. Life is vibrant colors, exploding hues of red and orange, blue and green. Life is not the childhood games of Cowboys and Indians or GI Joe; life is real blood, real muscle, real pain and real loss. Life is not about finding the courage to pull the trigger. Life is about finding the courage to live after the trigger has been pulled.

I do not understand those who devalue life, who kill as naturally as breathing. I do not want to know those people. We have nothing in common. Taking a life should be traumatic. Taking a life should leave scar tissue on the soul. Taking a life is unnatural and as such should deplete those who did so.

I would only change a small part of my dad’s words. Taking the life of any human being SHOULD cost a man dearly.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

For more articles about The Human Experience see the following:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/The-Human-Experience-The-Arthur-Boorman-Story

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/The-Human-Experience-A-Lesson-To-My-Family-About-Death-and-Love

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/The-Human-Experience-Brendas-Story

To purchase one of my Kindle books go to:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=William%20D.%20Holland

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    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      In my opinion, this is by far your best work. Shortly after my dad's 50th birthday, which also happened to be the year I turned 21, he sat down next to me while mom and my brother were out. And he told me about the day he was forced to take another person's life while serving in Vietnam. Then he finished with, "I haven't told anyone else that story, and I'd like to keep it that way." The day of his funeral, I shared his story with my family. You are so right on, it does cost a man dearly. And the taking of a life SHOULD cost a lot.

      Now you know me and how much I don't like heavy stuff, so I'll leave you with this: When it was getting to be time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was talking with my parents about joining the army. Dad asked me what I wanted to do in the army. Since I was a pretty darn good marksman (backed up with all my shooting medals and awards), I said I wanted to me a sniper. Dad laughed and said, "Well, you definitely have the heart and mind for it, you are a cold b*tch. Too bad they don't allow women to be snipers." I was bummed, not that dad had said I was a heartless b*tch, but because the Army was so shortsighted about women's role in the military. :)

      Well done, bigbro, voted up and more!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, your opinions mean a great deal to me. I respect you which is interesting since I've never met you. Thank you for your words my dear. And thank you for sharing a private remembrance about your dad.

      I'm not sure I agree with the cold bitch and heartless bitch descriptions; you see to have a pretty big heart if you ask me.

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Great hub on a traumatic subject.

      I think those who kill without much thought have lost something. They have lost their humanity. Whether done for thrill, revenge, or greed, they go through life with the simple minds of predators looking for the next meal.

      May we never find cause to discover first hand the trauma that goes with killing.

    • Sonya L Morley profile image

      Sonya L Morley 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      I also think that this piece is your finest so far - what a gift you have, both as a writer and as a kind, compassionate human being. Bravo Bill!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      I almost didn't read this.....the part of the title that says "....taking a life" made me pause. I knew it would be about death and I've had more than enough....and then I decide to read it. Glad I did. The story of your friend Jerry Petrich really summed up for me all the feeling and questions I've had about how someone can shot, stab, etc. etc. another person and walk away OK or not.... I often wonder about our police officers and I do know there are some who join to protect and serve for very admirable reasons, but there are some who don't.

      Your words about Jerry preparing for a day that he hoped would never come says so much. In this often violent world we need those who can protect us but my God at what price to them and to their families.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sonya, I really do miss you! It always makes me happy when I see that you have visited. Have you written lately? If so I haven't gotten notification of it. Anyway, your opinion is important to me, Sonya. I don't know why. I have never met you but I respect you greatly. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dee, it was a tough subject for me to write about. I appreciate your comment and I really do appreciate you stopping by despite your reservations.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tom, I echo your last words....I hope none of us ever has to experience this horror. Thank you my friend for your wise words.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Aw, thanks bigbro! :) The respect is mutual. :) I got a new heart when I went to see the Wizard. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....good old Wizard!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is where good writing comes from. Thanks for going through what you went through to put this on paper (computer) for the rest of us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, our experiences, as you know, are our best source of ideas. I appreciate your words my friend; take care and have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Fantastic gripping read Bill! I agree that life is preciou and sacred and should never be stolen by such selfish people. Everyone is someone's child. It's sad that some people can't see beyond themselves. Voted up and awesome. Take care, Kelley

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelley for taking the time to read. I felt strongly about this topic and it's nice that you stopped by during recipe month to read something that wasn't a recipe. :) I appreciate you greatly.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Bill - I agree that this was really great writing!

      I could kill someone if it was me or them or my kids. No doubt. Other than that - I don't really even like to kill bugs!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelly! I really appreciate the fact that you take the time to read all of my hubs. I wish there was that kind of loyalty throughout HubPages.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill, this made me teary eyed. Great work, I do not even know you really, but this one made me feel like I know so you much! Voted up, and shared!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I appreciate you stopping by. If this brought tears to your eyes then you are a man of depth and feeling and that means I'll follow you as well.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome Bill, anytime! And thanks for the follow, I appreciate it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh...:) Have a great weekend!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      "Life is not about finding the courage to pull the trigger. Life is about finding the courage to live after the trigger has been pulled."

      What a quote. Wow.

      This hub was excellent.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, thank you! I don't know how I came up with those words; obviously they meant a great deal to me and just flowed. I appreciate your words.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....This is powerful. I especially noted your comment about "ptsd," before it was identified as such......because my heart has always ached for our Vets who cam home with invisible wounds and scars, as well as visible.

      I do believe your average non-military citizen does not focus, nor even think about the hundreds of thousands of men & women who carry ghosts around with them throughout their life......

      And then....we turn on the local news, pick up the daily paper...and are confronted with the evils and brutalities of man upon his fellow-human. Torture, rape, murder, slaughter.....children dying at the hands of predators and abusers.

      We writers are word-smiths.....may have incredible command of our native language.......and yet, I cannot struggle and grope any harder ,to find the "words" to describe my horror, disgust, sadness, disbelief.......for such human behavior......What IS always clear and undeniably real for me, is the out-of-control, raging fire within my gut.

      Voted UP +++

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      I feel that life is precious as well, all life. Honestly I also have compassion for those like your friend Jerry it must be devastating to the psyche to kill another person. I appreciate how openly you talk about these very sensitive topics.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Just this past week, Bill, with unemployment claims rising again and a lagging economy, crime is rampant on the streets in St. Louis. A 14-year old girl, walking home, was shot in the face by an unknown assailant. She died 2 days later. A few weeks ago, a young policeman, responding to a burglary, was ambushed by the one of the robbers, who jumped up from a dumpster and shot the policeman 3 times, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

      Young men and women, who joined the military for diverse reasons, some for the bonuses promised or the chance to go to college on the GI bill, with the hope of a better future, are now coming home to no jobs, no homes, life with disabilities with little help from the government and broken dreams. Your piece, from the heart, is beautiful and sad. My dad served as an army medic in WWII, stationed in the Philippines. He never talked about what he saw. It seems "The Greatest Generation" believed real men bucked up, did what was expected and kept their mouths shut. But, on occasion I see one of the few remaining survivors and they are still moved to tears when asked about the war. Old now, with failing health, eyesight or memories, they remember every friend or stranger that died in front of them.

      I cannot speak for what goes on across the rest of the country, but in St. Louis, conceal and carry has been part of the growing violence in the city. Every day I see news of killings, all involving guns. RealHousewife recently wrote about an incident of road rage, where an elderly man cut off a pair of motorcyclists. One of the cyclist got off his bike, approached the car and the two engaged in an argument that culminated in the driver of the involved car shooting the motorcylist in the chest. He is recovering and no charges were filed, as law enforcement deems the shooter's actions justifiable. For the first time in my life, I will be afraid to come to the aid of another, as no one knows who is armed or not. The problem is that although citizens are always advised to call the police, I have seen too many reports of those who have chosen law enforcement as their career, trigger happy, be it with bullets or a taser. I don't have answers. There will always be war and there are circumstances where deadly force is the only option. And, as long as humans are making split second decisions that involve either, there will be tragedies with consequences that last a lifetime.

      Thank you, Bill, for one of the finest, thought-provoking, important pieces I have read in a long time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Paula, we share that fire. I have no words for the behavior you have described, the complete lack of humanity out there in the very real world.

      I know some who manage somehow to deny or ignore the inhumanity and blithely go about their daily existence pretending that these horrors do not happen...I don't know how one does that.

      Thank you my dear friend; have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlava, I was taught never to run from the ugly subjects...bring it out in the open, face it and deal with it. It's the only way I know how to rock n roll in life. Thank you!

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Bill, this is a beautiful, eloquent, and yes, disturbing piece of work . A story of the human conditions that rock one to the very core, as well it should. Though we now tout our once shunned war veterans as heroes, I believe we see only what we wish to. See only that with the honor we bestow on them, we somehow make up for their experiences. It is not often that the pain that will stay with them always is even considered. You have brought to the for front of our thoughts, the devastating cost to one's soul, when taking a life.

      I for one am greatly touched by your beautiful work of art. With tears still in my eyes, I thank you for your superbly emotional look into a terribly sad subject.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, M, such a beautiful comment. I, in turn, am touched by your words. How is it that I feel I've known you for a long time? Thank you! I tried to friend you on Facebook but there is no friend button on your page. Hmmm! Technology will be the death of me.

      Anyway, I am grateful that we have become friends. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, Amy, Amy! If there is someone else out there who writes better comments for you I'd sure like to know who that person is! :)

      My dad grew up in St. Louis and back in the 20's that was one rough city. It sounds like it is returning to its roots and that is sad and unfortunate. I can't imagine living in those conditions and I hope you stay safe and out of harm's way.

      It truly is sad the way veterans are treated today.

      My dad used to tell me that it wasn't country that he was fighting for, or some political beliefs. He said that once you are in battle you are fighting for yourself and you buddies in the foxhole next to you, that reality shrunk down to a five foot area. I understand that now.

      Thank you as always; you are a joy to know and I look forward to many more months and years of reading your comments.

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      It is a strange thing Bill. I too feel as if I have known you much longer. Seems we are quite similar in our beliefs and life experiences.

      I am not sure what is going on with fb. All kinds of trouble lately. It may be my settings. Are you under your full name? I will try to friend you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm under Bill Holland on Facebook; please give it a try to I'll click the "friends" button very quickly. :)

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Just sent it :D

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, we are officially Facebook buddies! Yay!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I just asked my students an ethical question on murder and having to kill someone to survive or protect their loved ones. It is a question that we hate to have to think about. You have written a great response to this question. You were blessed with such great parents who taught you well. Loved the video post. I agree with the casual facebook posts having to be written out. Love is not something to take so casually. (Luch's meowing was endearing in the background!).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, it is almost impossible to have quiet around this household. LOL Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      My dear friend, I too, wasn't sure what this hub was about, but you wrote it, so I read. I'm glad I did.

      I come from an Air Force family. My Daddy (natural father whom my mom divorced when I was 6) is a retired Major. He was a fighter pilot and flew in Nam. My Uncle John, also my Godfather, passed away this past December at age 82. He was a pilot in WWII. Several months before he died, he sent me a CD of over 2,000 family photos, including many from his days in the USAF. I cherish them and have used some of them in my HP posts.

      Uncle John also sent me his memoirs about his Air Force career. I'm ashamed now to admit, I've yet to read them. I will now. In fact, I will get permission from my cousin to publish his memoirs.

      In the 60's, when America's voice spoke loudly against Viet Nam (you and I both have posted our thoughts on that era), I was dead set against war and the military. I'm still dead set against war, but I have a tremendous amount of pride and respect for those who choose to put their lives on the line for the freedom and opportunity we take for granted. I've done a complete 180 on my stance of the military. Especially since the draft is no longer mandated. Those who choose this way of life are the bravest, strongest people who believe deeply in "don't do the talk unless you can do the walk". They are true heroes and an inspiration to ALL of us to fight for that which you believe!

      My Air Force heroes haven't taken lives by hand, up front and close, but they did what they had to do and that resulted in lives lost. I can't imagine living with that, but again, you have to respect those who have and don't let it ruin their own lives. After all, unfortunately, our society has made war necessary in order to gain and/or maintain peace. Talk about oxymoron, huh? In fact, I have a couple of early writings regarding the peace via war actions. Maybe I'll post them one day.

      You've once again inspired me, Bill, to write something new. The last was, "What Has Happened to Our Voice?", as the result of your hub about the 60s.

      This is a very important message you've put forth, Bill. Life isn't all about laughs and gardening and dreams. It's also about respecting and remembering those who make our dreams possible!

      Sending you a long, bear hug and a few tears of respect from Florida.

      Sha

      P.S. I'm sharing this one!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doctor; it's a pleasure having you on this site.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I have done a similar 180 about the military. I never had any desire to serve but damn, I'd hate to think of a world without those brave soldiers willing to sacrifice so I can spout out about freedoms.

      We have surprisingly similar backgrounds my friend; it is no surprise that we think so much alike.

      As always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and friendship.

      Blessing and peace to you this weekend; getting closer to July and freedom for you.

      LOL

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Working on it, Bill! BTW, with the changes HP has made to the appearance of our hubs, where the hell is the share button?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll be damned if I can find it, Sha! If this is an improvement I sure don't want to see them take a step backwards in their efforts. LOL

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      Billybuc, this is a grim subject, but you've given it thoughtful treatment. I think your father's answer -- "veterans who never returned from the war" -- is heartbreaking in its accuracy. I had an uncle in WWII. He helped liberate Nordhausen, a concentration camp for nazi prisoners who were too sick to work. My uncle never told his family a word about what he saw there (or anything else much about the war). I suspect he had PTSD.

      My father said that his personality was so changed, he hardly recognized him as his brother.

      I think this is one of the best things I've read of yours so far.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Molly, thank you so much! I know it was one of the most emotional hubs, for me, that I have written. I appreciate you greatly and have a wonderful weekend.

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      It took my son (teenagers always know what to do on computers) to find the share button for me. That and the up button.

      The up button is now a thumb up next to useful.

      The share button says hubpages followers just below Pinit

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well shoot, Melissa, I didn't know that!!!! Sheez, I'm always the last one to the dance! :)

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 4 years ago from Philippines

      We all have a dark side in our human psyche. We enjoy movies that glorify violence. Games are design to encourage battle and competition. Contact sports like boxing and the now popular Mix martial arts fights feed our blood lust. Go to any event and watch the crowd roar with approval every time blood is drawn. It is no different from the coliseum of ancient Rome. Societies are form with built-in defenses against outside intrusion. Waving the flag is encourage among our children and war is government sanctioned murder. Even the church bless weapons of destruction and the soldiers that use them. "God is on our side" and " We go into battle for the glory of God and country" are common cliché on both sides.

      BTW, I love "Siddhartha" . It is among one of my favorite books. Also enjoyed your armchair "ramblings" :) Peace and love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SilentReed, all excellent points and I thank you for those. I, too, believe we all have a dark side. Perhaps that is one of the defining characteristics of the human species, the conscious choice not to allow the dark side to become reality (in most people of course).

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      billybuc,

      This is a very true and wonderful, though difficult, piece of writing. We all have family members who always sat in the corner on holidays, never speaking or joining in the fun. When we asked our parents, they would say something like, "Uncle Joe was never the same when he came back from the war." I know a man who is a 7th degree black belt, who served in the Air Force in Vietnam. He tells few that he flew a bomber, and seems haunted when he discusses it the little that he does. He seems so ashamed, yet came from the Deep South and was so young, he did what people told him was the "right" or "manly" or "brave" thing at the time. War and violence are so glorified, and this piece has made it clear the high price we all pay when we kill, even if it is to save another. I would like to see this piece nominated as a Hub of the Day, rather than another stupid recipe or How To Give Your Dog a Bath hub. Thanks for your honest and thoughtful take on how deeply death affects us all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jean, I am touched by your words. I wanted people to know the price we pay and how disrespectful it is to glorify war or death in general. There is nothing pretty about taking a life, nothing glorious, nothing noble. It an act that may be necessary but it should never be glorified. Thank you so much for your support; I am humbled by your response. BTW...I have to admit I'm a little tired of the recipes myself. :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      i sit in my 6 by 6 room wondering what brought me here.

      Martin Kloess 33

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent comment! Nothing more needs to be said. Thank you!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      This was beautifully and thoughtfully expressed. Few of us really know, especially if we never were put into those situations, what we would lose in having to take a life.

      My dad was on the cusp of being drafted in WWII, but his age and being a father of two-- and the end of the war, kept him home, working in the shipyards. He was such a kind soul, I think he would not have been a 'good' soldier.

      My uncle, on the other hand, survived Pearl Harbor, served in the Pacific and helped to occupy Japan. He apparently did such a good job, that they invited him to the Korean conflict where he flew a medivac helicopter. He didn't talk much about any of it.

      After his death,which was s hastened by alcoholism, his kids found a hidden stash of carefully wrapped medals including a bronze star and commendations for heroism-- No one ever knew, and I think they did not hold any glorious memories for him.

      Whoever said "War is Hell", seriously understated.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I can't figure out how to "share" a great hub even though we have all these features now. I appreciate the way this piece was written without bringing religion or politics into the matter too. I went to "Forums" and "Suggest A New Feature", and was told we could share a hub with others that way. I hope you don't think me too forward for doing so billybuc, but you were so eloquent about life, without looking to blame anyone for the reasons, whys or why nots. This piece deserves attention.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      A very realistic view of the act of taking a life, Billy. It's easy to believe it would be a simple matter when asked, but nothing this final is ever as simple as it seems on the surface.

      My father landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and went on into Germany with Patton's tank corp. A very brave man--no doubt about it--but he did not dwell on the taking of life during his memories of the war.

      Not many true warriors do. A very revealing hub, and rated up as it should be.

      Randy SSSSS

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Jean, you can share by clicking the Hubpages followers which is now located under the pin it button to the lower right of the hub. My son had to direct me to it.

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      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Ahhh,

      Thank you. I ask my son so many computer related questions that I try to ration them, although he's always patient!

    • mwilliams66 profile image

      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      Ha ha, I got the answer from my son. Thank goodness for teens.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rochelle, thank you very much! There is no way for any of us to understand the cost that is extracted when one takes a life. Hopefully we will never find out. Thank you for sharing your memories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jean, I deeply appreciate your comment. I tried to translate emotions into words....anyway, I'm very grateful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randy, thank you! Many of us have fathers or relatives who served bravely and almost to a man they will not talk about those experiences.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jean, I'm lost without the help of others when it comes to the computer.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, my teen is now twenty-seven and he still rolls his eyes when I call him with a computer question.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      "Taking the life of any human being SHOULD cost a man dearly." I don't 100% agree. What about Luka Magnotta who not only killed his lover Jun Lin but dismembered him and mailed Lin's body parts to different locations. One of the locations was to a Vancouver school. If it is proved with out a doubt that Magnotta is guilty, I believe he should be put to death.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, I have no argument with that, but I do believe that putting him to death greatly affects those who execute him. I in no way am making a statement against capital punishment nor am I making a statement against soldiers. I am simply saying that anytime you take a person's life it has to cost you dearly.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill, I just wanted to stop by and say congratulations on this hub; it has been such a hit, and I am sure it has made a lot of people think!

      Awesome job, and have a great weekend!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      My friend Tom has many stories to tell. One being when his gun jammed while looking into the eyes of the enemy. thankfully a friend took him out. War is hell and I hate it, but i honor those who fought for our country. My friend also is the recipient of two purple hearts. His remark to me was , " It hurts to kill another" and i know it must. Thank's for your share..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, thank you! I look forward to watching you grow as a writer. Have a great weekend yourself.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, that's exactly the type of remark I would expect from any soldier or police officer...it must hurt to kill another or something is seriously missing. Thank you!

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      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome Bill. And thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate you!

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 4 years ago

      Dear Billy, I do not really know what to say. This article is so clear, dry, sad, real, disturbing, and remarkable. You shake our hearts and open wounds. I think so much about this topic which is so complex and delicate. There are so many questions I would have to ask. Thank you for writing about this topic. Voted up.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      A very well written piece Bill. Your father’s words are very wise.

      My grandmother had a brother who fought in WW1 and was never the same again. In those days they called it shell-shocked, and he lived most of his life after war in a mental hospital. Harry Patch, a WW1 veteran who lived to be 111, never spoke about the war till he was 100. He described it as a waste of time, saying that in the end all wars are settled round a table.

      My view is that each of us needs to address our internal war before killing will ever end.

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      Annie Fenn 4 years ago from Australia

      There is so much I could say regarding this hub, Bill, I could quite easily write pages and pages on this subject as it is something I think of a lot and I have thought about writing a hub on, and maybe I still will. The gist of my hub however is covered right here, for I also believe no one has the right to take the life of another. I cannot understand the mind of a killer and my heart bleeds for your father and for mine, as both fought in wars for their countries and both were expected to kill. My father was your Uncle Mike. For over 50 years PTSD plagued Dad and it was not until Alzheimer's freed him of those torturous memories that he finally found peace in his child's mind again.

      Life is sacred and I am appalled by the way killing is glorified in movies. I am also appalled by those who find humour in killing and death. I could go on and on, but there is no need, as I said your hub is to the point and says what needs to be said on this matter and I applaud you for stance and stand right beside you.

      This is an excellent hub, thank you for sharing. My votes and best wishes to you, Bill.

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      You father and my grandfather belonged to a lost generation of men of integrity and respect for life. I am sure that many of the horrors of WWII have died along with this exceptional generation as they commonly never spoke of the horrors of what they saw.

      On the flip side, I have worked in human services in one of the poorest counties in the nation. I have served batterers, child molesters, rapists, and murderers. While being in the presence of these people, ones skin does crawl, however there seems to be no remorse, conscience, or soul behind these quilty faces. In this area of poverty, drug abuse, and an overloaded court system, these people re-enter society quickly and just carry on. The community is just desensitized to the nature of their crimes. For someone moving to that area after living in an area where this doesn't happen day to day is emotionally taxing. For them there is no scar tissue, no sleepness nights regretting what they have done. It is hard to be the only one appalled by these horrendous crimes. Even leaders of these agencies will tell a person like me to not be judgemental. One day if I have ever come to terms with it I will write about it, but like you, I think the life of another is sacred. Great, great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my dear, it is a complex subject for sure. Thank you so much for reading my work; I love having you visit and Happy Birthday!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, those stories are so similar to all that I have heard, and I love your summation...true words my friend.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, I hope one day you write your hub about this subject. You are so eloquent in your words that I am already looking forward to it. Thank you gentle lady; I appreciate you more than you know.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I hope some day you do write about it. I have met people such as you describe. There is a part of humanity that is missing. Compassion? I'm not sure I have any for those people...I try, but....

      Thank you my dear; I felt strongly about this hub and it's nice to know it has touched the hearts of some readers.

      bill

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      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Such a poignant hub billy. We expect all these young men and women to protect us but don't really know what it's like to perform that extreme act of protection. They give so much (and get precious little for it, I think). However, I have known someone in the army who actually was looking forward to shooting someone; I didn't speak to him again after those words. Death is bad enough without causing it oneself. Voted up. Ann

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I will never understand the type of person you described....and I guess I'm grateful that I can't understand them. Your last remark was very meaningful....death is bad enough without causing it oneself...thank you for your comment and your friendship.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is powerful and in many ways -- ethereal -- worded in ways of the celestial spheres. "Life is vibrant colors....finding the courage to live after the trigger is pulled..."

      But I had to stop, go away, think and come back. As a mother and as a believer in the words and holiness of the New Testament and the Old Testament -- and the Book of Mormon -- with all of their accounts of war and God our Father and also Jesus Christ, His Son, knowing all things -- I do not believe I would suffer unduly emotionally if I had had to take a life in order to protect one of my children when they were too small to protect themselves. Now that they are older, I believe the same motherly instinct would kick in but I cannot picture a scenario as vividly as if they were little.

      My brother was in the Airforce as an officer -- originally as a jet fighter pilot and then up the ranks and in public relations during Desert Storm. I know for sure he would not have hesitated to do his duty in a war situation.

      War and self-defence and protecting our family are situations the Lord has sanctioned our taking a life if we need to.

      But I do understand you are talking about the walking wounded who saw so many horrific things and also sometimes civilians were among the killed. Not nearly enough compassion, counseling and support has been there for the troops as they come back to their home continent.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I must comment on Fennelseed's reply. Fennelseed, I've never heard such an eloquent or hopeful observance of how Alzheimer's relieves the mind of tragic memories. Most of what you read is how sad it is to see a loved one's memory fade.

      I think a hub expounding on your observation of the blessings of Alzheimer's might be in order!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you for a wonderful comment. I have no doubt I would defend loved ones and would take a life if forced to...I certainly hope I never have to find out.

      I appreciate your insight. Thank you for taking the time to express yourself so eloquently.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I concur with your statement completely.

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      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      This hub is yet one of your best hubs of them all Bill, I have never taken a life, and hope that day never comes if I have to do it to save myself or that of one of my family members as well.

      I like your fathers perspective on life he seemed like an honorable dude, and one who never lacked the moral justice or judgement of a true human being who cares, this must be why you have become such a caring man today.

      I too don't understand the whole senseless killing thing, and luckily I haven't yet witnessed anything of that nature neither. We both have been blessed because in today's day an age people kill for a dollar, or for somebody stepping on their shoes, or staring at their woman, or even more petty things, its just a shame.

      Voted up and as far as I can share it, I located this one from my website location I recently shared your hubpages feed on. Awesome work man!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I value your opinion greatly. I do not say that to many people. I sit back and watch people, listen to people, gauge them based on performance....and you, my friend, have quality written all over you. :)

      Thanks buddy!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you are one of the kindest, caring, loving souls I've ever met! Your concern is genuine, you write from the gut and despite all that is and has gone on throughout our lifetime, your sense of humor is right up front. I can't tell you enough how much I love and respect you. Pretty amazing for never having laid eyes on you! You rest in my heart and intellect, my friend. You are an amazing person!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Sha, there you go again making me blush! I hope you know I think you are pretty damn special too! :) I like the survivors, Sha, the people who have lived life, struggled with life, found perspective and came out the other end as a quality human being. That is you!!!!!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Did I tell ya, Bill that you are full of wise words and indeed blessed that you could uncover the chapters of your life wisely and with a positive attitude.

      This was a such a wise topic and your discussion sure nailed it. Voted up as useful and sharing it across.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, I do believe you have told me that but I'm more than willing to read it again. :) Thank you so much my friend; I need to pay you a visit now.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      This is such a thought provoking hub. And I agree with you. Taking a person's life for any reason should cost dearly. When it stops doing so, we lose some of our humanity.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! I would be concerned about anyone who didn't feel that there is a cost.

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      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wow, I had goosebumps as I read about your dad and uncle's stories. Thank-you for sharing this hub about war, family, and most of all our human connections. Take care my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Now, it's my turn to blush! :-)

      Happy Father's Day, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks, Christy! I appreciate you always....always...visiting and being so supportive.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great hub. My dad too I know killed in war but somehow I knew not to ask questions and he never once brought it up. A sadder thing is much of the killing did not have to be. Young boys forced to go kill is such a sad thing. Guess we were lucky our dads coped with their memories. Voting up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, for sure we were lucky! I'm not sure what toll it took on them in coping but they did manage somehow. Thank you!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Billy, I wanted to stop by and say that is awesome how many people you have been able to touch with this story. Maybe some people will be touched in ways you will never even see or know about until later on in life, if even at all. But, that is ok, it is still a tremendous blessing to be able to touch people, and that is what you are trying to do here(I can see that clear in your heart, even without even ever meeting you!) So again great job, well done! Consider yourself proud! :)

      You have done good with the portrayal of this story! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, you are a good man and I suspect a kindred spirit. Thank you very much and enjoy your Sunday!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks friend! :)

      Bill, you are very welcome! You enjoy your Sunday as well!

      P.S You should check out the new hub I published, I am interested on what people think of it(KUBB: A Game for all ages)

      And has promised, the serious, perosnal hub is coming tomorrow; I have just been processing it in my mind for clarity and thought :)

      I also want to say, thank you! You have been an incredible encouragement to me as new hubber to get my feet wet and express myself! So thanks Bill, my new hub friend! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I've saved your new one for tomorrow morning. I'm running on empty and want to give it the attention it deserves.

      You are welcome; people helped me when I started out; I'm just paying it forward as I expect you to do. :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Ok sounds good, and yes Bill, I will defnitely do that!

      I have all ready helped some people who have literally just started, so(a little newer than me) lol :)

      And I will continue to do so; I want to return the favors you and a select few have done for me; I want to do that for others :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Excellent hub sir. Life is very precious. Thank you for sharing this story and may it touch all its readers' hearts. Always, you're the best.

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

      Bill, I never thought of what I would do in th situation if I had to kill. I am sure my body would react in some way if such a situation did occurr...imagine!

      What I do know...This paragraph made complete sense to me and was probably my favorite message from you...

      "No, life is not composed of shades of gray. Life is vibrant colors, exploding hues of red and orange, blue and green. Life is not the childhood games of Cowboys and Indians or GI Joe; life is real blood, real muscle, real pain and real loss. Life is not about finding the courage to pull the trigger. Life is about finding the courage to live after the trigger has been pulled."

      Thank you Bill :)

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, a very interesting and thought-provoking hub. My grandfather serves in WWII and was liberated at Dunkirk so I imagine he saw some terrible things. My dad says he never talked about it though and I have heard other people say this about their fathers/grandfathers; I suppose I can understand why you would prefer to just let things be if you had either killed someone else or seen someone else killed. Your own life probably feels doubly precious.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I just read your hub from yesterday and now I want to play that game....hey, how about a hub from you about being an identical twin?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Spy! You are a blessing to all of us who know you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Audra! Your support and friendship mean a great deal to you...a great deal to me!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jools, I think that is definitely a reaction they would all have, how precious life is. I would also think there might be some guilt that friends of theirs died while they lived....so many conflicting emotions surrounding war.

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      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Bill, you have such a gift for writing something that inspires so many. Interestingly, as I type this, I'm using my dad's computer. He is on his way to the Air Force Academy to pick up my niece who participated in sports camps there. My dad served 20 years in the Air Force. I suppose that strict lifestyle and high expectations percolated down to me. However, it made me never want to engage in war and truly enjoy my freedoms in this life, even if that means I have hippie tendencies. :) In any case, I wanted to come stop by and see what this was about - I haven't had much time to read in my travels. However, I always try to take time out to read your hubs when I can because they're just so touching. Keep writing, my friend. You are an inspiration to all of us. Hubhugs and have a great day, big bro. :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hey, Bill I just woke up, I work the overnight shift; yeah that is a good idea about writing about my twin brother, I will do that sometime! Thanks Bill! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I would find that very interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cyndi! There are many Hubbers who I respect for their writing abilities but few I respect because of the person that they are...you are in both categories, the Daily Double! Thanks for the hug and continue to enjoy your time with family.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Ok, i just will have to think about it Bill, because I am not sure what I would write about it. But, yes i will write about it at some point! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, rest up my friend; you are running on fumes. :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hehehe, I did rest, from 8-130. I am well rested actually, I think! :) LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I worked the night shift for a year once and it was completely exhausting....good luck buddy!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I am ok with it for some reason, my body has adapted very well! Thanks for the good luck uncle Bill :)

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I came back for another read--sharing socially!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Audrey!

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      mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

      I'm back too. I've been telling everyone about this piece so it's time to do a bit more sharing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, it's always a pleasure to have you pay a visit! :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I don't know if it's my computer, but I've not been able to watch your videos because I can't get the volume up enough.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I don't know; the one person you don't want to ask about technical stuff is me. LOL Thanks for trying buddy!

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      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hey Bill, I just watched your video all the way through! You have a great presence! Very nice job uncle!:)

      And great definition of unconditional love, kudos to your wife! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks nephew! It means a lot to me coming from you!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Thank you for sharing this personal story. I can see you have reached out to many readers. I can't imagine what it would feel like taking someone's life. I'm sure many of the old men I meet at my job have had to deal with this, because they have been in World War II.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are very welcome, anytime! Loved your definition of unconditional love and just how personal you are! "Back to love, nothing more important, absolutely nothing more important....and if its love...if love is the priority, why do we not spend more time concentrating on it.... Why do we spend more time saving up money to buy possessions, when we could work one job and be with the people we love?" Excellent quote Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, thank you! Can you tell I was a teacher? LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made my dear friend, thank you! I haven't seen your face pop up lately on Facebook; I hope you are well.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome, yes I can definitely see that actually! :) Bill, I just liked your facebook writing page, where is your actual fb profile, or do you not have one? ok never mind just got your friend request hehehehe.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are moving at the speed of sound nephew; I'm trying to keep up with you.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Hi Bill, I know. I'm spending every minute outside now and enjoying the summer. Summers are short in Finland and people simply can't stay inside when it's warm outside. I'm not sure when I'll write my next hub, but I'm thinking of writing about "Nordic walking".

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hehe, sorry uncle :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, you have to get out and enjoy that sunshine for sure. Have a wonderful time!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      This insightful and haunting description you wrote about the 5 war veterans who always walked together 5 decades ago is the true face of PTSD:

      "They showed no signs of injury, no canes were needed, no visible scars apparent, just five men drifting through the landscape as others truly lived their lives. I would see them and yet not see them, like the wind blowing through the tree limbs. They were invisible to all, as if their bodies were held together by angel’s wings and the breath of death, rather than muscle and bones."

      Chilling and accurate and many of our current soldiers in Iraq and Afganistan are coming home indeliby scarred even when they're not consciously aware of how deep their emotional wounds are. Some will eventually receive help but many will suffer in silence.

      I agree with what others have written in the comments- this is a powerful essay and one of the best hubs you've ever written.

      Hub Hugs,

      Gail

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, thank you! It is a sadness that has been in the background for far too long. Awareness is the key and then action. I don't think people fully understand PTSD and how it affects these veterans. I hope this helps.

    • Laceylinks profile image

      Mary Green 4 years ago from Alabama

      I enjoyed my moments with Bill. Your thought-provoking comments on love were spot on and earned my daughter an extra "I Love You!" this morning. Thank you for putting your wisdom out here for us to enjoy and benefit from. Mary

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Lacey; I really appreciate your comment.

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

      Billybuc! Oh, if more people were like you, "What a wonderful world this would be."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dexter, it's great to see you again. I need to stop by and visit...thank you my friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, killing or taking a life is one big life changing step for the ordinary man but do criminals feel the same way we do? Because if they did most of them would not commit these senseless killing again and again.

      Voted up, awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I believe criminals are wired a bit differently from the rest of us and no, they feel nothing. That was the point I was making. Thank you for visiting my friend.

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 4 years ago

      What a beautiful and touching story. My father grew up in Greece during WWII and even though he was just a child, the deaths he saw and experienced still haunt him. War is not pretty and to take a life is something no human being should ever have to do. Thanks for sharing this amazing hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, thank you and it's nice to have you visit and follow. I appreciate you heartfelt comment.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      An amazing piece of work, so many truths. I believe mankind is inherently good, but life can change us, hardship, war, drugs, alcohol, pain etc... you're right, when we take a life we lose a bit of our soul, that is as it should be, even when it is done for the best of reasons.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tobusiness, thank you! I appreciate your thoughtful comment. It is a tough subject and yes, death sometimes happens for the best of reasons, but still....at what cost?

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      Incredible...the way you've touched it.

      I too have been in a situation once where I chose not to kill. Even today, thinking of that moment really petrifies me. What if?

      I know, for many it's a part of their duty but that too should mean something something to them.

      I've known an uncle of mine...who used to be really hurt if he had to take someone's life, be it the intruders planning to cross the border of our nation. He would fight for nation eventually...but skip the meal that night. I've known him since long and despite being in Army, he has a heart of gold.

      'up' and 'awesome'

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ashish, thank you so much! That is exactly what I was trying to point out...there are those who have to kill for our nation but it still must have an effect...it should.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      You are right Billy...you cannot take something that isn't in your power to give...that's why I feel serving our nation is a different thing...because then you're only a medium...which is compensated by 'doctors' working for the nation!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ashish, excellent point my friend.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      Thanks if I could really reach out to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ashish, I understand. Such is the at time annoying nature of HubPages, that we rarely if ever meet those who have become important mentors and friends of ours.

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      Very true...I've only recently joined HubPages and I'm really glad I came across this hub.

      Started 'following you' just now...and found some brilliant topics I'd surely like to read.

      Sorry that I skipped the 'fan mail' part...Please take this as one!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Ashish; thank you so much!

    • ashish04joshi profile image

      Ashish Joshi 4 years ago from India

      Thanks to you too for making me realize I'm not wasting my time here. I've got so much to learn here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ashish, you will do fine. We all start somewhere and we learn as we go.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I sense your nephew inheritance growing!

      Seriously, see what you have to offer? You've gained so many friends and people who look up to you, me included, as you know. Your brave decision to leave a secure job to become a freelance writer, subsequently leading you to HubPages, is part of God's plan for you. You speak from the heart, earn a living via your passion and you are still teaching, whether you know it or not. You give advice, offer friendship, but more importantly you teach self-worth, tenacity, strive and drive and nurture those of us who have grown to love you.

      God took you through your personal trials to see if you recognized what he had in store for you and whether you could ride the storm. You've come out strong and are now doing God's work. May we all see the day when we recognize the plan God has intended for us all along.

      You have balls and you have wings. It's on your wings I'm hitching a ride until mine are strong enough to carry myself.

      Now, may I say, with the following you have you need to strengthen your body to be as strong as your heart and soul. Give up the cheeseburger cassarole and eat your vegetables!

      Love Ya, Friend!

      Sha

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you can hitch a ride as long as you need to do so. I have to lean on some very loving people until I could stand...then learn to walk...and the journey continues.

      You are kind; you are a survivor, just like I am.

      love you too

      bill

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Dear billybuc,

      It is very nice to hear you talk (thanks for the video) and if I were in a class and you're my teacher, I would pay great attention to you and your topics. And here, your hub about "Life or Taking a Life" is very endearing. I love how you explained about Life, the ending of one's dear life (justified meaningfully) and the now famous words of your dad~ "Taking the life of any human being SHOULD cost a man dearly." Lots of poor lost souls wandering about with their own Life taken away from them abruptly OR the perpetual tormented Life of the sins they have cost one's life to pay beyond where great pardon awaits them.

      Voted up, billybuc! Hope your message about "LIFE" would blow the minds of many men and women around the world who still have not found the "value" for human life starting here in HubPages. Take care, great Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Coffee, those are very kind words and I thank you sincerely. Life is too valuable and too precious; if it is taken there must be a cost and the cost must be great.

      I appreciate your kindness; bless you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good evening, Billy,

      How precious life is. Those who dare to take another's life for no reason are beyond my comprehension. And yet it happens far too often. So often in fact that it is often barely a footnote in the news. Even those who go off to war, as you described your Father's experience, find the horror is long lasting and deep seated and leaves another life damaged and broken, a part of them dead, as you stated.

      I had a high school friend that I loved dearly, as a brother. He went to Vietnam and when he came home, I recognized his body but nothing else. The essence of him was gone. He fell into my arms like a small child and sobbed and sobbed as he spoke incoherently of his days there. I lost touch with him so I do not know how his life turned out after that. I pray he got help.

      Addressing this brings it front and center, right where it needs to be. Thank you Billy. Sending Angels your way....:) ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, there are those angels again. :) Thank you for bringing a smile to this old boy.

      I echo your words; I had similar friends who suffered more than we will ever know. There is a steep price to be paid when life is to be taken. Hopefully you and I will never have to pay that price.

      Blessings to you my friend, and have a wonderful holiday week.

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