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I Am Bone Tired of War: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on November 13, 2014

Fact or Fiction? I Think You Know the Truth

Where is my baby boy? Where has he gone to, and who is this man who stands before me? He faintly resembles someone I once knew: same build, same height, but no, he can’t be, no way, look, look at his eyes, those aren’t the eyes of the child I nurtured. The life is gone, the merriment gone, replaced by a lifeless stare devoid of hope.

Where is my baby boy? The one who ran and laughed, giggled and was so full of life. Where can he be? I’ve looked everywhere for him, high and lo, near and far, but he is AWOL from those who love him, still marching through the sandstorms and the jungles, still fighting for his life, still hearing the screams of the wounded, and the beating of his own terrified heart.

Where is my baby boy? Trust has been replaced by suspicion; carefree replaced by regimented; hope replaced by resignation. At night I hear his cries as sleep brings nightmares, extensions of a war that will never end within him. He paces the halls at night, the sentry always on guard against imagined dangers, the war zone never far from his fractured reality.

Where is my baby boy?

This is what war looks like
This is what war looks like | Source

History Speaks for Itself

I am, in many ways, a product of war. I’m a member of the Baby Boomers, one of millions who were conceived and born shortly after the end of World War 2. G.I.s came home, met a girl, married, had children and began to chase the American Dream, a two-car garage, white-picket fence, steady job, friends, a few beers, and happily ever after. World War 2 taught our parents that war is hell, and may God have mercy on anyone who forgets that simple truth.

And then the Korean War happened, followed by Vietnam, and body bags piled like cord wood shipped home to families who lived behind those white picket fences, and suddenly that two car garage only needed space for one car, and citizens once again said “NO MORE TO WAR,” we’ve had enough, we’ve lost too much, could we please in the name of all that is holy just stop fighting enemies we do not see?

Well no, we can’t, because you see, after Vietnam we had Lebanon, Zaire, Iran, El Salvador, Libya, Sinai, Lebanon again, Grenada, Honduras, Libya, Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Philippines, Liberia, Kuwait, Iraq, Zaire, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Kuwait again, Somalia, Haiti, Albania, Congo, Cambodia, Kenya, Iraq again, Afghanistan, Sudan, Serbia, Yemen, Pakistan, Uganda, Turkey, Mali, Syria, and at least twenty other military excursions, leaving thousands of mothers to ask…..

Where is my baby boy?

A product of war and one of the "lucky" ones....my dad.
A product of war and one of the "lucky" ones....my dad. | Source

I Am Bone Tired Of….

After World War 2 they called it shell-shocked. Today they call it PTSD. Fancy, and not-so-fancy names, for the thousand-yard stare, the faraway look in the eyes of a soldier who is no longer in the war zone physically, but mentally is still waiting to feel the steel-jacketed round enter his body and extinguish all hopes and dreams. He flinches when he hears a loud sound. She ducks when a bird suddenly appears. Shadows on a playground are sinister, and all moving objects are potential weapons.

They are home but they are not home, and try as they might, they cannot reconnect with civilian life, for how do you explain the unexplainable to those who have never seen it? How can you love life when death is ever-present? How can you trust emotions when emotions only weaken you, and once allowed will only bring back memories of man’s inhumanity towards man?

We train them to kill, and when the killing is done, we expect them to smoothly transition into non-killing mode. We train them to see everything around them as potential targets, and then expect them to live happily ever after where no targets exist.

We ask the impossible of them, and then sadly shake our heads when they cannot give it to us.

Decisions Are Made

In the Oval Office and the Halls of Congress, in the Pentagon and the boardrooms of major corporations, decisions are made, calculations are figured, and acceptable loss is factored in, and then off to battle the pawns go, in the name of freedom, in the name of revenge, in the name of profit, but oddly the ones making decisions are never the ones losing their lives, and why is that we ask?

And more bodies come home, riddled with wounds, torn asunder by bombs, ripped apart by shrapnel, mentally and emotionally raped, and more parents ask the simple question…

Where is my baby boy?

My uncle, on the left, came back from the war half a man.
My uncle, on the left, came back from the war half a man. | Source

The Physics of a Bullet

Kinetic energy it is, a nice, tidy little name for a whole bunch of hurt. Take the bullet’s weight, factor in velocity, and toss in a pinch of gravitational trajectory, and we have some serious damage. As the bullet enters the human body, laceration and crushing wounds occur. Tissue and bone are punctured, anything in its path is crushed or pushed aside, and a cavity is formed, possibly thirty times wider than the bullet size. In less than a second after the bullet has entered, the cavity closes, but by then the damage to tissue, organs, and bones has been done, and we aren’t even talking about the shock waves that follow.

A 240-grain bullet (0.016 kg) travels 1,180 feet per second.

And then hits a body.

Hit a body of water hard with your hand and watch the effect. Shock waves will spread out from the point of impact. The same is true when a bullet hits a human body. The amount of damage also depends, of course, on what it hits. Soft tissues carries shock waves more easily, since bone is dense, but bones splinter, and then fragments travel through the body as tinier projectiles, and ain’t that the shits, folks, as one bullet becomes many, and now let’s design bullets that can cause the max in damage, the jacketed bullets, the hollow-points and so-called “soft bullets,” they flatten, they spread, they tumble and they fracture, and that means wider tracks and yet more wider shock waves and cavitation.

Cavitation….isn’t that a lovely word? What it means, of course, is a big mother of a hole, as in where there was once a fully-functioning body, now there is only ripped tissue wide enough to stick your hand in.

Where is my baby boy?

He’s in that field over there trying to stuff his guts back in his body cavity.

War By Any Other Name

So let’s clean it up, because war is such an ugly word. Let’s call it Operation El Dorado Canyon, or Operation Nimble Archer. Much better, don’t you think? How about Operation Earnest Will, or Operation Prime Chance? Sound good to you? Or name it after insects, like Operation Praying Mantis, or birds, as in Operation Golden Pheasant. Nice tidy little names that sound so lovely, but get down in the foxhole, and look at the wounds, and smell the discharged bowels and wipe the tears from the dead faces, and a name is just a name, and they all add up to death.

Where is my baby boy?

He’s not coming back, mom, and if he does, if he’s one of the “lucky” ones who actually touches back down on American soil, he’ll be scarred for life and never, and I mean as in not a chance in hell, will he be the same again.

I am bone tired of war.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dolores, it does seem to go on forever, doesn't it? Perhaps we need a different approach to world affairs???? Thank you for being here.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 2 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Bill, wonderfully presented and touching in a time when we are fighting a war that seems never to end.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Social. This is not one of my favorite topics to write about. In fact, it depresses me.....but these things must be spoken...written about...debated....awareness must be raised by those capable of raising it.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Your article is written beautifully--even though it's about such a gruesome topic. I always found it interesting that male soldiers are not asked about PTSD, but females are. Don't we love gender politics? I found your article educational as well--I didn't know the specifics about bullets!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lori. I personally don't think we will see peace in our lifetime. It's just not in human nature to live in a peaceful environment for too long...too much greed in this world I'm afraid.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I think I read this before. The list of comments is so long I don't know if I commented. I have always been thankful I never had to be in a war. But who knows with the way things are going if war will ever come to America. But I know PTSD and you described it well.

      The Bible says we will have wars to the very end. People want world peace, and don't we all. But people haven't learned anything in the history of time, they haven't changed enough for world peace to happen. It is heart breaking. Good work here billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Deb. We will always know war in this world. It's just who we are as a species. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly. Humanity seems to thrive on violence. Sadly, it always will...

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Right there with you, billybuc. I am tired and sick to death of war too especially wars that can't be won, with no reasonable goals and no end.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sanxuary, eloquently stated and I agree with you. Justice and equality are keys to peace. Your thoughts are right on....I can't help but think back to World War I and the brutality as modern weapons met outdated strategies....men who fought in that war said no more, we must never do this again....and thirty years later their sons did it again.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 2 years ago

      Always forgotten and never calculated is that bad ideas will create future bad ideas. Blood always equals more blood until we get tired of seeing blood. We stayed out of Bosnia and the slaughter never ended until America and Europe arrived. We had a very good plan and that was to simply stop the violence. Huge sums of money were invested to provide the basics. It worked well because they were tired of watching people die and there was no answer to solve the real problem of decades of historical injustice. The plan in Iraq was a horrible plan based purely on money and future market control. It left the vacuum of intolerance, injustice and no concept of equality. Add a policy that excludes others and now the slaughter has begun. Becoming sick of death is the biggest reason for ending any war. Even victorious we dropped the two atom bombs because we were sick of seeing our people die. We never fought the Russians after the World War because we were sick of death. People of course never stopped fighting and dying because those who do not fight wars have other reasons and never consider the repercussions of such decisions. The long term price of injustice adds up over time and usually returns at some point. If you can not bring justice and equality you have no plan for the future of anyone.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zackary, thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. It's always good to hear from the voice of experience...and thank you for your service to our country.

    • Zackary Lynch profile image

      Zack lynch 2 years ago from Southern Oregon

      Military service WILL change a person, sometimes for worse and sometimes for the better. The best thing you can do for someone returning from the military is to give them time. Old habits die hard especially when those habits are critical to your survival. The instant and aggressive reactions to loud stimuli, going from seemingly calm to pure rage within moments, these are things that are actually beneficial on the battlefield. When your life literally depends on those behaviors and psychological mechanisms for survival they become incredibly deeply ingrained in your psyche and aren't easily controlled. Things will get better with time, how much time and how much better they will get is different for everyone. Patience and understanding is what soldiers need when they return home. Great hub! I really enjoyed the read.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes indeed, Mel, and that just can't be allowed to happen. They paid the ultimate sacrifice. The least we can do is fulfill out promise to them. Thanks for your thoughts, Mel.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I'm tired of watching American boys go out and get shot up just to fill the fat pockets of the Dick Cheneys of the world. In my job I have had the pleasure of knowing many WWII veterans. I have heard their war stories, and I have also heard their complaints when the government they took a bullet and shrapnel for slowly cuts back on their veterans benefits. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, that is the greatest disservice we do to soldiers...not providing the help they need when they return. I hope to see this change in my lifetime. Thank you for caring and being here.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Sad but true Billy..there just is no end to it is there?? and many come back suffering PTSD and the irony of it is that if you are dismissed from service because of PTSD the powers to be often believe you've failed..the fact that they've trained you as a killing machine and if you are fortunate to make it back home alive you are expected to forget the horrors of war and get on with life..like normal, with very little support!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes indeed, Faith, you know all too well what this article is about. I think most of us have similar stories....the insanity continues and our families and friends pay the price.

      Thank you for sharing those raw stories.

      blessings to you always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, lovemychris. I've been preaching inclusion for quite some time, so I think it is only fitting that I practice it on my site. Thanks for the idea for a hub....I'll post it next week about this topic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I hang with quality people for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo, and I echo your sentiments. I'll go take a look at your updated poems soon...Happy Sunday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I love it when I get you wound up. Beautiful comments and there is nothing to add to them. Show me that our national security is threatened, and I'll sign on the bottom line. Otherwise, I don't want to hear about war for economic reasons or for fattening the pocketbook of the warmongers. I'm not interested and never will be.

      Have a great Sunday my eloquent friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DJ! I love your description of the world if women ruled it. Funny but also probably closer to what we would want....peace, sharing, much more acceptance....well, maybe one day we'll see it happen. It certainly couldn't be any worse than what we see now.

      Have a glorious Sunday my friend.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill,

      Ironically, I have been listening to Stevie Nicks' music here of late and her powerful song, "Desert Angels" which is about Desert Storm and the Gulf wars. It is very chilling when she sings out "Where is my father?" and "Where is my son?" and "Where is my husband" indeed! Music provides a lot of inspiration for me too when I write, just like in you using the words to Sound of Silence in your other hub.

      As you know my dad was in the Korean and Vietnam wars and he came home, but his mind was battle-scarred. The PTSD was terrible and I remember suffering as a child listening to the horrors of wars via his flashbacks during the nights. One of my friends' son came back from Afghanistan alive, but all of his buddies were dead from a car bomb attack. He survived but he has brain trauma and is not the same son as he was when he left. However, he is getting help from all of the wonderful organizations who are now helping with PTSD. They were not available back then for my dad, sadly.

      Sadly, there will never be true peace (just a false peace), until the Lord returns.

      Blessings and peace

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I would like to thank you ,billy...for demonstrating what frees speech is all about. Some of us cringe every time we comment, because we are waiting to be belittled and insulted, or just plain deleted from space (speaking for myself anyway).....and it's not a good feeling.....especially on a site for people who like to write...!! hello--ideas.....

      But we carry on anyway...because this is America, and we are supposed to be equals here. Plus, free speech is supposed to mean hearing things you don't like....but respecting the right to say it.

      So--three cheers to you! For treating all people and opinions with the same respect and dignity: salute

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I totally agree with you Bill. I, too, wonder when this war is finally over, and the hate that comes with it.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, I read this yesterday after working the night from hell, I thought I'd left you a comment, but the brain must have been even more frazzled than I thought.

      So once again my friend, you've surpassed yourself. I wish there were no need for wars, that nations didn't act like the school bullies, but with nuclear weapons aimed at the little guy next door. That one man did not feel the need to push religious dogma down another's throat. That we could learn to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. But I can't see that happening any time soon. You've given us a lot to digest. Exceptional work!

      I've updated some of my poems for remembrance day, if you have the time please take a look, it's titled, Poems For remembrance Day: Where The Scarlet River Flows.

      I hope you and Bev are enjoying the weekend and having fun, my best to you both.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 2 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill - This is one of your most powerful pieces, and I agree fully with every word you wrote. I also read the discussion with interest and agree with most of the comments. (You know my stance well enough to figure out which ones made me grit my teeth, but I won't elaborate, nor will I argue with them.) I got here a bit late because my freelance work schedule has me 'chained' to my computer chair lately, but I'm taking a morning off and reading some of my fave writers on HP.

      In the long ago past, wars were fought when an enemy invaded a country. The military (or citizens) fought back. That scenario progressed to allies pitching in to help those countries who would lose to monsters without assistance (WWII). But many of the 'military actions' that followed were fought for all the wrong reasons, including aggression for territory or resources such as oil. Those in control of waging war lied to the citizenry to gain their support and recruits to send off as the pawns needed for their plans.

      Hell, no, I'm not patriotic about it when young people of both genders are psyched up with rhetoric, trained to kill, and then sent out like game pieces on a board or violent video game to be maimed or killed for those 'wrong reasons.' Too many people who slap those 'Support our Troops' bumper stickers on their cars go home at night, kick back and watch TV with no thought to the horror of what is happening to those troops while they are sipping a cold drink and watching CSI.

      I realize the terrorism that infiltrates the world in a unique situation, and that one needs the allied force of ALL civilized nations to join in to battle it, not just the U.S. It's for certain that all of those countries will be targeted by terrorists, if they haven't already suffered murder and destruction by these monsters. That is what I meant by defending one's homeland and those of its true allies.

      I'm old enough to remember the madness unleashed by Joe McCarthy and his Communist witch hunt, the Cold War, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and much more (especially Vietnam, a war that never should have happened). These days Putin is dangerous not because he was/is a Communist and former member of the KGB, but because he is power-mad and out to prove his machismo in a territorial grab. As for China--another Communist bugaboo of our past--we now buy a huge percentage of their shoddy imports, and they own much of our national debt. As time and resources change, so do the game pieces on the board.

      I intended to write only a brief comment, but--as usual--emotion took over and words spewed forth from my brain into my fingers and onto the screen. So...while I'm on a rant, I may as well continue a bit further.

      Your chilling description of the destruction wrought by a gun on the human body made me think of all the deaths in the U.S. wrought by guns and the Wild West mentality of those who think every American (or at least those they consider the 'right' people to own guns) should have one, two, three or an arsenal handy. So, not only are schools and colleges extremely unsafe places to send our children and grandchildren, but there is really no safe public place left in America, and home invasions are the norm. The argument that the bad people will get the guns if the 'good' people don't doesn't hold water. The laxity of gun commerce and the ease with which they are made available to PRIVATE HOMES where they're used by many of those sick minds who use them on mass killings of innocent people tells the true story. Sorry, Bill, if this segment of my too-lengthy comment brings out all the people who disagree with me, but I do consider this issue an internal war. Feel free to use the 'delete' button!

      Exceptional work, my friend. Voted Up and everything except funny because 'funny' it is not! You've made readers think about this issue and discuss it. Now, pitch this one to a national magazine to garner a wider audience. And, while you're at it, go to that White House website and email it to the group that really should read every word.

      Jaye

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, you know my history and my take on war. The only people who do not have a son in these wars are the ones who scream the war cries the loudest.

      Sadly, mankind has not learned much through the millennium. Those who survived war, went on to make more war. It is the history of the world; it is the history of mankind. It is the male mentality of mine is bigger than yours and I will prove it. (Picture of V. Putin san shirt riding horse bare back)

      I know that those thoughts are not completely true. But, it is how I

      feel today.

      If women were ruling the world, we would be showing our grown children's baby pictures, swapping recipes and sharing new fingernail colors. Again, this picture may not be completely accurate.

      You have written a powerful article. Sadly, it will not reach those who

      need most to read these words.

      Some words need to be shouted from the roof tops. Some need to be shouted at Washington, D.C.

      Thank you for writing this, Bill.

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lovemychris, yes, they are going to pretend...some are still denying the Iran Contra mess, so why not this?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you lovemychris....great dialogue on this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again maxoxam4.....powerful letter for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you maxoxam4....I'm afraid it will continue, on all fronts...war is what we do evidently.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      War for profit! Who would have ever guessed, Mike? I'm being facetious of course. Thanks again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I echo those thanks, Mike!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, as always, I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'll let you and Mike continue your conversation.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Republican control of the Senate = expanded neocon wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming!

      — Ron Paul (@RonPaul) November 5, 2014

      ******

      Are people going to pretend they didn't know this.....

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      "Lovemychris - is there anything in your world that wasn't Bush's fault?"

      I'm not speaking of Bush, I'm speaking of his supporters, who were gung-ho for war until Obama got in....wonder how they explain the change of heart. And how real is it, when war-hawks now rule 2 thirds of America.

      I think America loves war, and treats war protestors as garbage. You know the macho term for it, but it's not allowed on HP.

      "I'm sorry but I have no respect for anyone who would run to Canada to avoid serving in our Military"--your last candidate for pres ran to Paris: who are you kidding!

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      Let's remember Tomas Young, an anti-war activist and veteran (1979-2014) when he wrote : "I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human moral consequences of your life lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done.

      You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans – my fellow veterans – who’s future you stole."

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 2 years ago from USA

      I never experienced war and hope I never will. However the suits in DC are targeting three fronts Russian with Ukraine, the Middle East with Libya, Iraq, Syria and China (with the uighurs US-financed revolt). As much as I want to yell I AM BONE TIRED OF WAR it seems that it will last.

      VERY GOOD HUB. THANKS.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      RachaelOhalloran - Great comment. History proves that as long as there are humans there will be wars. They do it for power, riches, religion, and greed. I think we all agree there is no real winners or losers of a war.

      Yet some get very wealthy from wars. Many companies face bankruptcy when there is no current war where they can sell their products to the government.

      One day we will most likely figure out a way to rid the planet of humans and then the wars will end.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Homeplace Series - Thank you for your service.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Old Poolman, peoplepower73 and others. Although I do blame politicians for the horrors of war, in fairness it was not all on them. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when my first husband went to Vietnam, the media fueled the recruitment and pleaded on our sensibilities to enlist if not drafted, to go fight "the baby killers." I do understand that the media was acting at the direction of government (hence politicians), but the horrors we viewed on our nightly news were not at the request of government. It was a war that gave unprecedented access to the front lines, journalists traveling with troops and sending home images that were and are still hard to wipe from our minds.

      To keep driving home the fact that those who put our troops into harm's way probably have never served in the military does nothing to deny it, after the fact.

      What we must keep always in our minds is that (as I said in my previous comment), war is a chess game to those who are in the Director's chair, be that individual politicians or the big man himself - POTUS. Until they all figure out that war is not the answer to all problems, war will continue.

      At our expense.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Old Poolman... for the record, I served three years of active duty military - Vietnam era. You might be a little more careful about pinpointing yout comments, when you have no idea what you are talking about. But, of course, that is already obvious. Sorry... just could not let your out-of-touch comments go unchallenged. ;-( P.S. I'm similar age, and many similar experience to you. Just see the world very differently. Please don't feel that you have "the truth" all to yourself....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I couldn't agree more, Mike. I couldn't agree more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peoplepower, thank you for the kind words about my writing. As for those in power, I'm all for requiring them to serve in the military before they are allowed to vote on any bill concerning war...might change a few votes now and then.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      peoplepower73 - A very small percentage of those who send our young men and women to fight a war have ever even served in the Military. They have no concept of the hell they are putting these people into. If they had experienced the horrors of war themselves it might make them less eager to do so.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 2 years ago from Placentia California

      Whew! Your use of visual imagery and the repeating of "Where is my baby boy?" at just the right times gave me chills.

      War is hell. There is no other way to describe it. But in this day and age, it has been abstracted by the media. We see a target in a cockpit display. Then some type of ordinance is launched and the target disappears. We may cheer to ourselves or just become complacent because that's the way it is today.

      We talk about Weapons of Mass Destrution (WMDs) as being something new. However a 50 Caliber machine gun is also a WMD when you are on the receiving end of it.

      I believe that if politicians had to send their sons or daughters off to war, things would be a whole lot different. But now the politicians have even privatized that part of it. Great writing, voting up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, eloquent as always. You have paid the price that you write about, and I love your passion and honesty...and I will always respect someone who speaks from passion and honesty. Thank you for sharing that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Damn, Paula, it is COLD! We aren't used to this in western Washington. The rabbits looked at me and threatened to form a union for better working conditions. :)

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      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I too was born in the late 40's, just in time for my generation to serve in Vietnam.

      My first husband died in Vietnam, two days before our son was born. My statements here are not talking about ISIS situation now (terrorism and beheadings as we've seen on the news), but Vietnam and Israel.

      I have nothing good to say about our government initiating war against any country, leaving behind men, spreading Agent Orange all over the place to affect the health of people on both sides and then spending years rebuilding the countries they went to war with.

      Many countries are still receiving $$ support from USA more than 50 years after the fact. One such is Israel. They get budgeted billions of $$ each year in the USA Annual Budget, hidden under many topics (rebuilding their cities, establishing and training educators, ongoing border and in-country security, supporting widows and children of slain soldiers, and umpteen other issues they say that they continue to need support).

      Then you have other countries like Vietnam who are languishing because their people - like some of our soldiers and families -- are not getting the health care they need because the USA continues to deny the effects of Agent Orange. Vietnam didn't get, and still does not get, the rebuilding and ongoing $$ support like Israel, and other European countries. Look over the USA Annual Budget sometime. You'd be amazed at the countries we support

      To claim victory when asked "who won the war?" is ridiculous. There are no winners, only losers - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, loved ones. They all lost someone whether they died there or whether just a piece of them died there.

      Someone wrote here in your comments that war creates peace. I heartily disagree with that.

      Peace after wartime is never going to be the same peace as before war time.

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Your animals are not too pleased with the sudden COLD? You should hear Sis the Tigress ROAR!!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Handymanbill, I was lucky too. I was drafted by then a month before induction my father died, and they don't take sole surviving sons in combat situations...so they rejected me in 1969, and the rest, as they say, is history. :)

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      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      It is a sad situation. I always felt I was lucky to not have to go to Vietnam. If it had not ended I would have been there . I had a draft number of 13 in 1972. It is a shame that people can not get along. Just wish it would all go away.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pax Vobiscum, Sis, and thanks for sharing your emotional thoughts about this. I don't write more about this topic because, quite frankly, it depresses me to do so. Selfish on my part, but there you go.

      Have a peaceful weekend my friend. It turned cold here...the animals are not pleased at all.

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      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh bill....war, our men & women in the military......perhaps the single most upsetting topic to me. This is where I rarely participate in discussions.. I become far too emotional. This is when I switch the channel (ostrich complex) and plug my ears.

      Recently, speaking of my Dad's military career, it hit me like a ton of bricks. As you write here in this wonderful & moving article, bro: We boomers began our lives during or just post WWII....meaning a huge majority of us had a military parent. During our young adult years there was Viet Nam and all of us were touched in some way by friends who didn't make it home. Then, my own son off to Afghanistan at the very start of "Operation Iraq."....the very WORST year from Hell in my entire life, I sincerely swear. It sickens me so. I relate to all you have shared with us. IMO, war needs to be spelled WARR....because it's the ugliest of 4-letter words. Peace, Paula..UP tweeted pinned.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I don't think there are answers. As long as there are humans there will be war...I just wish it weren't for profit. :)

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I obviously agree with everything you said but I have to say the line that really hits home, or should at least, "...but oddly the ones making decisions are never the ones losing their lives, and why is that we ask?" Therein lies the true insanity and it applies worldwide.

      Of course when we face enemies like ISIS all the rules of war are thrown out the window. There is no battlefield, everywhere is where they fight. Do I have answers, certainly not, but Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

      Voted all but funny. Shared too.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, MIke. I know where you are coming from and I will always respect your opinions. Have a great weekend my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy! I'm just trying to make war personal and real, rather than a sound bite on the evening news.

      billy

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hugs you send, Kindred,and hugs I happily accept. Thank you dear friend. Keep fighting the good fight.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lovemychris, I can't explain it at all. I'm dumbfounded that the American public did so....I simply will never understand it.

      Thank you for your heartfelt thoughts.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All of it was good reasoning and I understood it all, Brad. Hell, I've lived it all. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, excellent observations, all true, and I can't think of a damn thing to add to it all. Your last line was the crux of the matter, but sadly, it does continue.

      Anyway, thank you and have a great weekend.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Lovemychris - is there anything in your world that wasn't Bush's fault? I'm sorry but I have no respect for anyone who would run to Canada to avoid serving in our Military. I can understand why some feel they need to do that, but I still have no respect for them because someone else had to serve in their place.

      Any war is an evil thing but as long as humans populate the planet there will be wars. There will always be wars until the last human is gone. Would you rather we fight ISIS over there or have to deal with them here in our own towns and cities?

      A strong Military is truly our first line of defense. This administration has reduced our Military to an all time low and I think that was a bad mistake. It takes a great deal of time and money to rebuild the Military and at the rate ISIS is growing I'm not sure we will have that luxury.

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      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      A sad but so true hub Billy. I think we are all so tired of war wherever we live in this world .

      Another interesting hub which echoes the thoughts of many. Voted up for sure.

      Eddy.

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      Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

      Kindred, I can add nothing to what you have said here. You know that I share your feelings on the subject of war. Sadly, as long as there are egos and greed, there will be war. People will die or live in broken bodies and the rest of ask will wonder why? At what cost? I am afraid that our dreams of peace between countries was just that, a dream. It's a sad reality. But, perhaps if we keep talking about the destruction, we will plant seeds in future generations that with nurturing will end the madness. You kept it real in this hub for sure. Sending hugs!

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      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Here's what I take offense to: My uncle serve in Vietnam, got shot, came back home. It wasn't until his funeral that I learned he had been awarded a Purple Heart.....

      Started blogging in 06, after an innocent man was framed for murder--Lot of police and military types on the local blog, protecting the official story--and smearing anyone who dared question it. Inevitably, the subject of the Iraq war always came up. I mentioned what my uncle had said after he came home: "If our politicians ever lead us into another war, I'm taking my 2 sons to Canada".....maybe you can imagine the awful names my uncle was called on that blog....the disgusting insults and questioning his patriotism and his right to be here.--same thing we all got when we dared to question Iraq. So, when people say "he loves this country and our Military with all his heart"....Keep in mind--everyone else does too. And it's really been since Obama took charge that the anit-war sentiment by the police and military types has grown. I wonder how much is just because of that....cause it certainly wasn't there during Bush!

      So--now that we all agree war is hell, and war is a racket: somebody needs to explain just how they could vote more war hawks into positions of power!

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      bradmaster 2 years ago

      correction

      I meant to say that the cold war powered the wars that didn't prevent the spread of communism in Korea and Vietnam.

      It was the threat of China and Russia coming to the defense of these communists that prevented the US Military from doing their job.

      The politicians overrode the military quest of winning the war. My point is that we should never go into these wars without total victory as a goal. Because as these wars show, ending them without a victory just defers the it till the next war.

      If we could have won in Korea, there would have been less of a chance that China and Russia would try it again in Vietnam. And if they did try it, they wouldn't have won if the US politicians would let the military win.

      Getting to convoluted in my explanation, I hope some of my reasoning came through the haze.

      Thanks

      bradmasterOC

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      bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

      billybuc

      The even sadder fact is that the last declared war was WWII.

      That was also the last war, by any name that people were behind, at least until the last year when they saw the end coming near.

      This feeling created the cold war by giving away Eastern Europe to Russia. Before that Eastern Europe was invaded and occupied by the Nazis, but before that they were free.

      The Cold War was the power that prevented the spread of communism in Korea, and Vietnam.

      In any case, a full time professional military doesn't exist thanks to congress over the decades of cut backs, and cut spending. My point is that the military should be mainly filled with professional soldiers who choose to serve their country by making it their career.

      Taking young adults off the streets because a president decides he wants to make a lesson is life changing for them as it wasn't something they chose, it was a call to duty.

      Yes, we have special forces, but they are the minority in the military. The rest of the forces like the ones in WWII are a cross section of civilians that are just normal people that once had normal lives.

      Yes, they did great things, but the cost of lives was very high.

      Today, bullets are replaced by bombs, and the speed and shock waves of bombs are far more devastating to human life and limb.

      There is no indication that war can be eliminated or reduced as evidenced by the continuous wars that you have listed, but when we do go into these "wars", we should go in with the goal of winning, and making sure the threat that is posed has been silenced, not just rendered unconscious.

      Also, when a war is engaged, then congress should provide all the necessary backing in funds, materials, troops, and whatever else that can make it safer for the military. In the past, congress has denied, or deprived these protections for the troops. This should never be allowed to continue.

      Thanks

      bradmasterOC

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I'm beginning to believe that we are not smart enough...or not yet rich enough....but I agree, the madness needs to end. Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, as always, I respect you and appreciate you stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. I'll let you and Poolman go one on one for the rest of the night. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, Mike. I am grateful to him and all!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And sometimes, Vellur, the real problems begin when they make it back alive.

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      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      A powerful message Bill. Not a day goes by that we don't hear about some conflict somewhere in the world. It really is sad that war seems to be an acceptable solution to a problem. Are we not smart enough to figure out another way? This madness has to end.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Really? Why don't you approach a vet on the street and explain to him that he is now controlled by Fox news. I really take offence to your comment. My guess is that you never served your country or experienced the horror of war yourself.

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      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I was struck by the: we train them to kill - then expect them to survive where there is nothing to kill. Me wonders: We teach them to follow orders. Then, when they watch Fox News, which glorifies their service beyond comprehension, and they are told how to vote - we are surprised that that is how they vote. Just following orders, as they were taught!

      Another never ending vicious circle. One view. Thanks for the inspiration.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Bill, I will thank him for you. Thanks for thinking of that.

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      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Sad really sad and yes bone tired of war, as you say they are truly lucky if they get back home alive.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, do me a favor, and thank your son for me. I don't think he hears it enough. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Dora, for seeing sanity. I think we might be in the minority, but I'm fine with that....we'll keep adding to our numbers until we're the majority.

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      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      I have a son who served 24 years in the Army Rangers. He served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and countries many have never heard of.

      The Army didn't return the son I loaned them. He has physical ailments from years of jumping out of airplanes, and more metal in his back than you find in most cars these days.

      He and his team repeatedly risked their lives rescuing hostages who should never have been in the places they were captured.

      And he loves this country and our Military with all his heart. If he were physically and mentally able he would do it all over again.

      I have met many of the men and women he served with. They are some of the bravest and outstanding citizens of this country you could ever meet. You can bet when the voting booths are open they are standing in line to vote. Why you ask? Because they care which is more than I can say about a huge percentage of our citizens today.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "We train them . . . and then." Makes me wonder how many people see it that way, but it is the truth. "Not a chance in hell, will he be the same again." Thanks Bill, for pushing sanity.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      RonHawk, I might had that your comment is masterful as well, and I agree with every word you have written. World War 2 I understand...unavoidable in many ways. After that I have severe reservations and doubts about why we continue to fight wars and my favorite, "police actions." War benefits the rich and powerful. The rest of us pay the price.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PinoyMom! Writers can have a tremendous impact with their words. It is my hope that more writers speak out about this subject.

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      Ron Hawkins 2 years ago from California, United States

      My friend, Billy, this is another gem and so appropriate for this week. I agree with all that you said and much of what others have said. To that I'll add, not only war has become an extremely lucrative business for the so-called "defense industry", it has become a business for our political establishment on many levels. From the campaign bucks our politicians get from soulless lobbyists, to the political currency of bringing "jobs" to their districts for the business of war, grandstanding, lapel flags, speeches, and all the irrelevant ways of looking like they are doing something instead of doing their constitutional duties, it has become an obscene business. It is obscene when politicians on the pay of lobbyists or foreign countries vote for wars on dubious or fraudulent grounds, and then turn around and send our kids to kill someone else's kids in the name of "defending" our "liberties". Frankly, very few wars since WWII have been in defense of this country. The founding fathers are rolling in their graves for what has become of what they built. Furthermore, our leaders have masterfully isolated war from the masses as much as possible because that's how the citizenry cooperates and doesn't scrutinize. That's why I'm for reinstating the draft, and raising taxes during the wars instead of rolling it into the deficit just as during WWII. When people feel the cost of wars in human life and dollars, they are not as quick to jump on the war bandwagon anytime some crappy little third world dictator acts up or anytime there is trouble in someone else's backyard. When did we become unpaid policemen of the world for which we pay with our lives and tax dollars? We may get the SOB but if the cost is our sons and daughters turning dead, maimed or forever mentally damaged, such causes stand against all reasons, moral or otherwise. Thank you for this wonderful read.

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      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Sir Billy for sharing your life experiences and I'm captivated with your writing style so as it's content. This must be read by many. Our heroes from war must be given good recognition, still we owe them the beauty of peace that we have right now. They are the one who sacrificed their families and friends. They were not recognized properly and some are forgotten as time pass by. God bless our countries and I wish that each war would stop.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, when our leaders actually have to fight...that's my answer for you. If we are attacked I say fight...if we are trying to increase our profit margin, I say enough!!!!! thank you dear friend

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lovemychris, I have a hard time finding any fault in what you just wrote. Big business equals war in my book. As long as we have to protect our economic interests we will keep sending kids to battle.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rap, I'm with you every step. We have a populace who would rather watch the adventures of Honey Boo Boo than stand up for important issues....and that may be the worst testimony ever against our country.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, I have no answers, and it is true that we have enemies who don't value us anymore than a bug...but I also know many of our "incursions" are economically-driven, and that is unconscionable. I hope we find answers soon because this needs to end.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I wish every senator and congressman could read this, heck, I wish the President could read this. Another of your best. I have a friend who still sees the phychiatrist monthly due to PDST after fifty years, the thought of hunting or shooting a gun never enters his psyche. When will our leaders see the evil of war? Shared on Twitter..

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, you said it...power and greed. Most of these wars are economically-driven, and that is a horrible reason for people to die. I don't have answers, but I have a voice, and I'll keep using that voice to speak out against this lunacy. Blessings to you my friend, and peace be with all of us soon.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I'm sick at heart because of people like your husband. I've lost too many friends to war. I'm singing to the choir, I know, but I don't know what else to do about it. Blessings to your husband. Please tell him for me that he is appreciated greatly.

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      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I'm sorry, but its hard for me to believe Americans don't want war, when they gave the Senate to Republicans, more than likely making John McCain chair of Armed Services...

      That signals one thing, and one thing only: more war.

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      Rap 2 years ago

      It's so strange that I read this right after learning that one veteran I've followed died on the day before Veteran's Day - Thomas Young - Body of War - www.democracynow.org. I did not hear this on the corporate owned media, you know, the one that doesn't sponsor democracy, the very "thing" that our troops put their lives at risk to fight to protect. I still do not see the covered caskets dominating our daily news, nope, instead it's the trivial things that never have or will matter.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I, too, am sick of war. I saw the film Fury yesterday and the brutality and ugliness of war came through. In order to kill another human being you have to kill a part of yourself. Having said that billy, this crazy world we live in won't allow us to stop. People are hell bent on killing us, so please tell me, what are we to do? Up and awesome, billy.

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      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Wow! Did not think that it hit you as hard as it hit me. That's why I wrote my grim poem, Bro. That's why I wrote The Sad Face of War. A few thousand years and quite a few repeats including my own country - as you mentioned - and we as humans still ain't learning.

      The message of Christ still eludes us: Love. Where is it gone? Power and greed, Bro. I am so happy that at least one American is taking a stance. God bless you Bro. So many more needs to be inspired. We as humans are so interconnected it's amazing! If only we all knew this!

      An incredibly well-written article. One filled with passion and a touch of poignancy. I pray that you have many readers, Brother Bill. Much blessings.