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The Realities of War: A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on December 10, 2014

Some Opening Thoughts Before Creativity Flows

I am not here to debate the morality or necessity of war. This is, in effect, a writing exercise, but like most writing that is done, it is an extension of the writer. My feelings and thoughts naturally crawl into my writing, like some slithering insect finding a crack in the door frame. It is unavoidable and I am fine with that.

My father served in five combat campaigns in Italy during World War Two. He would not talk of that experience, so great were the horrors he witnessed. The same can be said for friends of mine who served in Vietnam. They could not find the words to describe what they saw….heard…smelled….the fear that was their constant companion….and many of them turned to drugs and alcohol, while others had the need to unleash their anger upon loved ones.

War is hell!

We would do well to remember that the next time we are cavalier about sending young men into battle.

With that preface out of the way, I’ll share with you, through some creative writing, my thoughts about war. Both sections are from my second novel, Resurrecting Tobias.

Unfamiliar surroundings....fear at every turn
Unfamiliar surroundings....fear at every turn | Source
Resurrecting Tobias is available at www.williamdhollandauthor.com
Resurrecting Tobias is available at www.williamdhollandauthor.com | Source

Resurrecting Tobias

We finally reached the valley after a helicopter drop and two days of hiking. The lieutenant called out, “Smoke ‘em if you got them.” In theory, this was a fairly safe mission. Go in, see if we could retrieve documents reportedly left behind by the Third, and get the hell out as quickly as possible. There were no reports of NVA in the area, but that thought did not bring relief to anyone in our little group.

The A Sau Valley is twenty-five miles long, one mile wide, flanked by vertical jungles to the east and west. The main vegetation that day was elephant grass, in places chest high, making it damned nearly impossible to see ten feet. A bit eerie that grass, slightly swaying in a gentle breeze, deceptive in its calm appearance, sort of like a rhythmic dance of death. There’s nothing quite like marching into enemy territory and not being able to see further than a drifting fart in any direction, all the while knowing that if the NVA is there, they are having no such problems with sight. Your asshole puckers, your jaws lock, and you swear you can hear every single one of your heartbeats.

Sentries were posted while we all grabbed a breather and drank from our canteens. It was miserably hot that day. Bugs, sweat, dirt, rank body odor….it all added up to a lovely walk in the countryside.

Private Emmanuel Johnson, he of the two-hundred acre corn farm in Nebraska, needed to relieve himself, so he ambled over for cover where he could water the countryside. Unfortunately, he triggered a mine not twenty yards from where we were resting and then, as folks are quite apt to say in a similar situation, the shit hit the fan.

The first thing to happen, of course, was the obliteration of Private Emmanuel Johnson. Whatever memories he had of his time on that farm were gone in a blinding flash and an ear-shattering explosion. The next thing to occur was the NVA declaring open hunting season on our ragtag collection of misfits. From the north, the underbrush came alive with automatic fire. My hiking buddies and I dove for cover. I remember thinking I needed to be one hell of a writer to put a positive spin on this cluster f*%. I also remember looking down at my leg and wondering why there was blood oozing through my fatigues.

We were pinned down pretty damned good. We lost Corporal Hollis, from Lubbock, Texas, that day as well as Private Delaney, of Greene, Iowa and Private McAllister, of Walla Walla, Washington. None of them would see another birthday. None of them would kiss another girl. None of them would hear their mothers say “I love you” or sleep in their childhood beds ever again.

Our second lieu got on the radio and suggested the birds scoop in and pull us out as soon as was humanly possible, which they did forty-two minutes later. Those forty-two minutes were spent in what I like to refer as suspended animation. At some point, sound disappears, even though bullets are streaking by and explosions rule your tiny world. The other senses are on hyper-alert, and your body switches into cruise control. All of those hours of training override the visceral terror that you should be feeling. You are in survival mode, pure and simple.

My dad once told me he learned during World War Two that all thought of country and honor leave your head when you are under fire. All you are concerned about are the guys next to you in the foxhole. You’ve got their backs, and they’ve got yours. He also said there are no atheists in a foxhole. I understood completely what my dad meant. During those forty-two minutes, I am pretty certain a few prayers escaped my lips.

Never have rotating blades sounded as musical as they did that afternoon when the Hueys made their approach. It was not an easy extraction, but they got it done. Final count was four dead, three wounded, including yours truly with a leg wound that still hurts forty years later. But, hey….that leg wound had me on a transport heading back to the States two weeks later, the proud recipient of a Purple Heart and a gut full of disillusionment.

I killed a child that day. He came out of the brush as we were loading into the chopper. His rounds missed; mine didn’t. I still, today, can see his body writhing on the ground, the life leaking into the soil, another conglomeration of hopes and dreams decaying under the scorching sun. I went home. He did not, and hell yes, that made me happy. I was downright giddy knowing his future was non-existent, while mine still had a chance of happening.

That was then. Now…..well, the cost of taking a life is steep.

A brave man, my father, but he never spoke of war
A brave man, my father, but he never spoke of war | Source

Full Metal Love

Happiness is a warm gun….bang, bang, shoot, shoot. And none was warmer back in the day than the M16, my friends, a soldier’s best friend unless, of course, it jammed, and then jamming would be the keyword, as in jam it up your ass and hope you can fart out a bullet at fifteen hundred feet per second.

Kiss me, hold me, and never let me go. My dad once told me there are no atheists in a foxhole, and that may be true, but the number one object of desire…the number one object of devotion and love in a foxhole….is the M16. My rifle is my friend. My rifle is my savior. I will clean my rifle, sleep with my rifle, touch my rifle endearingly, and I’ll be goddamned if I’ll let the enemy have my rifle, for my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Huey, come to take us away oh Lord, come to take us away.

She’s sweet, my rifle, with a long, slender neck of steel, a butt of aluminum alloy and sweet plastic to lighten the load. She’s got a carrying handle for easy transport, a rear sight assembly for staring down the Cong, and she’ll spit out an M193 cartridge without bigotry or hatred. She is a fine killing machine, my rifle, and she makes no judgments.

You think Aunt Martha’s fruitcake is ugly? Take a look some time at a man gut shot by an M16 if you want to experience ugly. Press down on that wound, soldier…push those guts back in…get me a litter over here because there is no fucking way we are leaving a wounded man behind. Strap him on, push down, I said, on that wound. Don’t make me tell you again, boy! He’ll bleed out if you can’t push down hard enough, and then what’s his family going to do when he don’t show up for Christmas? Do you want that on your conscience? No you don’t, boy, so keep pressing down, and we’ll get you some help as fast as possible.

Shoot him up with some morphine, dammit, he’s hurting bad, and the Huey can’t get in because of the damned ground fire, and holy shit! Did you see that mushroom? They must be closer than we thought, so pick up that litter, you two, we’re moving out. Keep it level , and keep it at double-time out of here, down that path. Step it up, boys, step it up. Private Johnson needs to get home to his mommy, and we need to get the hell away from this killing zone.

I’m telling you, man, there is one in every platoon. ‘I don’t believe in killing…no way I can shoot someone else…they haven’t done a damned thing to me…. .’ But just wait until he’s staring death in the face, man, and you’ll see that pacifist unload a full magazine into a thirteen year old faster than you can shit a brick. It’s always the same and has been since the beginning of recorded time: kill or be killed. That is the only damned law of the jungle you need concern yourself with when the lead is flying and your future can only be measured in minutes.

God, country, family, fighting for freedom, my friend, that’s the bullshit you’ll hear in the States, but ask anyone in the trenches, and they’ll tell you they are fighting to stay alive. Nothing else crosses their mind when the bullets are buzzing and the sweat mixes with blood, and the groans of the wounded mix with the smell of shredded innards and released bowels, and the red, white and blue lies tattered in a puddle of red and brown.

Just fighting to stay alive.

And then it happens, silently in the night comes stealing, the numbness that takes over your whole damned being. Sure, you are alert for every broken twig, every flicker of reflected light, every change in nuance that could mean full metal love is about to pay you a visit, but the fear disappears, replaced with resignation.

This is the reality of shit, my friend. You are stuck in this steaming, festering, dehumanizing situation, and you need to just shut it all out, close the shutters, block out the emotions, and just put one boot in front of the other and survive. You are so fucking tired you fall asleep while standing up stealing a smoke break. You see the severed limbs, but now they have the same significance as a tree branch. If you smiled….and why would you?....your smile would have no luster, for the light has left your eyes, your heart, and your soul, and it’s just about safety mechanisms as old as mankind.

It’s not shock; it’s detachment. My body is walking, I can feel it moving, I can smell the death, and I can see the hatred, but it ain’t registering, and if it does begin to register, we just take another toke of that magical weed and make it through another click, and another, and listen for the beautiful sounds, the orchestrated melodies of the Huey symphony as it flits across the treetops looking for a clear field and extraction from another hell hole.

Just alive to be fighting. A switch in realities, don’t you see? The farm boys from Nebraska, the crab fishermen from Maine, the factory workers from Michigan, no longer who they once were, just shuffling along to the beat of automatic fire as it reverberates through the canopy, the smell of napalm in the morning, the taste of blood in the afternoon, the sounds of misery all through the night.

This is your reality now, not some goddamn family picnic or a shopping trip in your sixty-eight Chevy with the top down and your babe next to you looking so sweet and innocent and desirable, and look! Over yonder….is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s….

INCOMING!

And I’ll tell you something else, boys and girls. When the guy next to you has his head explode like a ripe watermelon, you stop and give silent thanks that it wasn’t you. There it is, the naked truth for all to give witness to. There is unbridled joy when someone else not named you takes a bullet or steps on a Bouncing Betty, because it means you cheated the system one more time, and praise the Lord, I say, and pass the ammunition, and that shit will seep into your very being, my friends. It will infiltrate your mind and cling for decades, because one more time your humanity took a broadside hit, and you were diminished once more in a cesspool of survival.

Me and my rifle, wherever it goes, everyone knows it’s me and my rifle.

And now I lay me down to sleep and pray the Lord my soul to keep.

Me and my rifle!

Take from That What You Will

Is war necessary? Or shall we just say war is a reality? This writer is sixty-five years of age, and I do not remember life without war. There are 7.2 billion people in this world, and that’s a whole lot of possibilities for disagreement. Toss in a pinch of greed and a dash of power-grabbing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for death and destruction.

I’m just tossing this out. If it sticks in your subconscious, then great!

Have a peaceful day.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, you truly used poetic license here and painted such a vivid picture. I can't help, but have loved your use of the Beatles song and still one of my favorites songs even knowing what it meant and stood for, but still. Thanks Bill and definitely am fan always of your fictional writing here - so can't say enough thank you for sharing. Happy Tuesday ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you are a doll, and thank you! I love creative writing. This is where I come alive as a writer. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Happy Tuesday to you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      War is a reality and it sucks. I pray for the day the warring stops. I know in my heart that will probably never happen. All I can do is keep the peace in my little corner of the world and hope it spreads.

    • bensen32 profile image

      Thomas Bensen 2 years ago from Round Lake Park

      Thank you billy again for sharing your thoughts with us, another great read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Sha! Keep doing your thing and we'll see if we can make a difference one person at a time.

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

      Thank you, Benson...I appreciate it.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 2 years ago from Texas

      This was an amazing read! As the widow of a Vietnam combat veteran, I know that much of what you wrote is true to life. War is reality, regardless of what one feels about it.

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 2 years ago from Madurai, India

      War is ugly and you have clearly brought out the meanness that lies hidden beneath all the hype billybuc. It is time we took action. Great hub, voted up and tweeted.

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

      Thank you country-sunshine....war is not pretty at all, and that's what I was trying to capture here.

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

      Thank you snerfu...I appreciate your visit.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      war = dehumanization. That is a reality that you caught perfectly here.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, this is some of your best work, here.

      Let me say, if anyone has not acquired the book, "Resurrecting Tobias"

      they are missing a gripping, powerful work of fiction.

      As you know, I have had my own delve into history. I was surprised to find that this world has been at war since the beginning of time. The

      archaeological digs have found skeletons showing combat wounds, from the earliest digs.

      We are supposed to be the smart 'generation', but very little has changed.

      We are not so smart, after all. As much as I would like to believe that

      world peace is possible, I have to say it is a pipedream and not a realistic expectation. Men are greedy, by nature; countries want more land, more resources. It has always been this way. I think women would make better world leaders. We don't have that male ego mentality.

      I'm just yammering on, here.

      War is hell, and you have captured the reality of war in your book.

      Great hub, Bill.

      DJ.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Incredibly intense. Incredibly sad. And very frightening! Thank you for sharing your take on this.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      The way you write is so captivating. You fill every sense a human can experience. War - a three-letter word. Just a puff of a word, yet it causes such horrible damage. Here in the U.S. we get nervous thinking about war. But, there are people in other countries who are born into and live every single day of their life hustling through war-driven communities. I can't imagine living like that my whole life. Yet, if we remain complacent, we will find our lives turned completely upside down, living like those who don't know life without war.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      How did you get the Amazon Buy button under the picture of Resurrecting Tobias?

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

      Eric, thank you....dehumanization for sure....if we would only learn.

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

      DJ, I do not believe world peace is possible. I wish I did...I once did...but no longer. Greed and power....they will always be the reasons why young men and women must die.

      thank you for your thoughts and friendship

      bill

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

      Thank you Randi. I seem to have an affinity for the dark side of writing. :)

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

      Marlene, you bring up a powerful point...yes, there are those who know war their entire lives....and we take our lives for granted, not realizing that it could all end for us....vigilance, reason...and dare I say love. :)

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

      Dr Billy, because my book is sold on Amazon. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This was gripping and intense.

    • Trevor McCullum profile image

      Trevor McCullum 2 years ago from Mississippi

      Dr. Bill these are some of the same thoughts I have garnered from my talks with friends and family that served in wars.

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

      Flourish, thank you very much. I tried to capture the reality of war.

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

      Trevor, the names of wars may change, but the experience remains the same. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Old Poolman profile image

      Mike 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

      Bill, nobody who has not experienced war first hand can even begin to comprehend what it is really like. Your written description is as close to the real thing as I have ever read.

      I really detest the fact that politicians who have never even seen a war up close get to decide if we have another war or don't have another war. Perhaps if they had personally experienced war it could sway their thinking to some degree.

      With that said I also realize that in some cases there is just no other way and that may be where we are right now.

    • Nicholas Pollock profile image

      Nicholas Pollock 2 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      War is usually debated by people who aren't directly involved and who argue from the point of view of ideology. Grand terms like "national security" and "freedom" are thrown about while soldiers themselves are reduced to statistics. Your storytelling is a powerful way of recognizing that the men and women who die in battle are entire lives unto themselves, and each one lost is tragic and permanent.

      I will always honor anyone who is willing to give their lives for others, but I will never agree that war is anything more than an ineffective short term solution. Maybe if more people realized the enormity of each life lost, we would think twice before we sent men and women off to die horribly. Words are powerful - they can numb people into catatonic submission, or they can wake people up to reality. Thanks for using your words for the latter.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Bill your creative writing has taken me to the action. Not a place I really want to be, but a place we all should hear about and see. Gruesome reality war, I look at it like a disease that we need to find a cure for and maybe one day we will. Very good writing Bill. Thank you. Jamie

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

      Mike, I sure hope you are wrong, but I suspect you are right. Thank you for your kind words about my writing, and I echo your statement that politicians who have never served really need to experience war before being so cavalier in their voting for it.

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

      Nicholas, that was an eloquent statement my friend. You said it all perfectly, and I agree with you 100%. Thank you for your kind words about my writing.

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

      Thank you, Jamie! We writers have a tremendous gift, and with that gift comes responsibility....to speak out against wrongs when we can...I can, I did, and I'm very happy you appreciated it.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I admire how you can write so effectively about something you abhor. I can't even try... ;-)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      War definitely is hell. When I see these brave soldiers returning home without their limbs a piece of me dies inside. When I witnessed the disgusting way the Vietnam Veterans were treated upon their return a piece of me died. Sadly, war sometimes cannot be avoided. This is one of those times. We need to stop the madness by fighting to win, not to contain the maniacs. If we make a game out of it, it will go on forever. Your writing moved me more than words can say./ Voted up and totally awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, we all have our strengths. You do research that I wouldn't even attempt....thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, that's why I write...to move people. Thank you for being moved.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Bill, practically everything you wrote here is a condensed form of what my husband tells me of the Vietnam War. The atheists in the foxhole, the having to shoot a child to stay alive – in his version the small children were wired to bombs and taught to ask for candy – it is a very real description. The only thing you left out was that the sharpshooters were from the Appalachians and the Ozarks because their daddies train them to shoot a squirrel through the head or a chicken through the eyes.

      As for the smells, to this day Mr. B won’t eat meat cooked on a charcoal grill. He left the room one family barbecue when my brother served grilled chicken. I don’t think I need to explain why.

      This is reality and you have presented it in such a manner that I hope some people take more than writing lessons from it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I've heard the same stories about Vietnam from friends who served there. Once you've heard those stories, or once you've seen the thousand-yard stares in the eyes of those who were there, you never again look at war the same way. Thank you for sharing that.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      War is hell. The battlefield became so real. I was a witness through your words. You are an awesome writer. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby! And yes my friend, war is a hell no one should ever visit.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hard and chilling writing bill, and so true too. I couldn't stop reading it, I remember my dad used to speak about his time in the war, but only snippets, it was years before I found out that he had been shot. my mum was always talking about being in the Airforce, but my dad, nothing, I can see why now, amazing writing bill, nell

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      This topic is most timely considering the events of the week around the globe. I can really see where your guy would love his gun in that situation, any guy or gal would. It puts me in mind of the sad fact such people are but pawns for others. If the others were the ones in the fox holes, just for that almost hour, I bet the wars would stop. Sadly, it's never the guys that fight, bleed and die that start it or end it, it's some suit that is so far removed as to feel nothing. It's a miracle humanity has survived this long really. Great writing, Bill.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      Great read Bill Sir. The instances of your beloved father and friends and thereby desription of war made me realise how cruel the acts of war can be. Felt I am a witnessee to the writing not absolutely naked but covered with teared cloths of embarrassment.

      A respectful homage to your beloved ones and a bifitting tribute to the rest is to make the world an abode of peace. For which war in any part of the world should be deemed as dangerous as small feuds to a family.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, thank you for sharing those moments with your dad, and thank you for your kind words. This is a topic that is important to me...war is hell.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, thank you! I would literally love to send all of Congress to the battlefield, and whoever survives can come back and write legislation...then they will have some credibility in my eyes.

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

      m abdullah javed....an abode of peace....I pray it will happen one day my friend. Beautifully stated.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      War is a necessary evil, but let's not fool ourselves, it is still an evil. Nobody wins, we all lose, we all have to live with the consequences. Resurrecting Tobias is one hell of a read, can't wait for your next book.

      My best always.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      It's a realistic, sad part of humanity. A great share, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you very much. The next one is a mystery and half-way done with the first write....very enjoyable so far. :)

      Have a marvelous Wednesday

      bill

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

      Thank you Michelle....sad part of humanity....that sums it up.

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 2 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      Billybuc, as always you have shared a vital part of life that many of us do not see and only get a horrible glimpse through the exact descriptions in diction like your own. Thank you for helping us see, hear, feel and almost touch this world that saddens us. We will forever be grateful for those who sacrifice their lives for us. I will always remember the words of your father…"There are no atheists in a foxhole." Powerful and such purposeful writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doris, thank you so much. No, none of us want to see this part of life, but I think it is necessary, and so I keep writing. I don't enjoy it, but I think it needs to be done.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Love your book, Billybuc. It's beautifully written:)

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Love your book, Billybuc. It's beautifully written:)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Yes, Bro. I've written two subtle pieces about this topic as it's so current. Like you, Bro, I'm no judge, someone else's job, just creating awareness. People suffer and yes, they die, too. Who knows the answer? Albena certainly didn't. But you have touched on some points: power; greed; man's inhumanity to man. True, not new. Let us pray ...

      Peace.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Mona. I appreciate that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And I appreciate it again. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Not new at all, Manatita, but lessons we seem to need told often, eh? Thanks my friend.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I second tobusiness's comment, "War is a necessary evil, but let's not fool ourselves, it is still an evil. Nobody wins, we all lose, we all have to live with the consequences." I am a third generation military brat. I have no illusions or romantic notions of warriors and war. My son wishes to be one and fight in one. I'm buying your book for him (of course I'll be reading it too). Fantastic post.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      iris, I wish it were not so, but I agree....and I hope your son chooses wisely and stays safe. Thank you as always my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You are courageous to share such a part of your life. A very worthy read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE! I believe writers must share a part of themselves.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      If only we could reach the war mongers with your brilliant writing. Is there anything worth blowing a man to pieces or shooting a child that is shooting at you?

      I've voted all but funny, shared and pinned. Everyone needs to buy your book for its raw look at life as it really is.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Mary! To answer your question no, there is nothing worth blowing a man to pieces.

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      All I can say is WOW.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      handymanbill, I'll happily settle for WOW! Thank you sir!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bro.....Had to push myself through this one. I hate .....really HATE anything to do with that nasty 3-letter word. W A R.........Won't watch war movies or TV programs, or knowingly read war stories (Fiction or NON)

      Of course you made it a bit easier for me just because you're bill and you write like the Master you are....

      Meant to tell you, I love your Book cover. Was that your own concept? Toby's got a sexy back side.

      Am gearing up to write my article on "Resurrecting Tobias." It may take a while. I'm nervous. Want it to be worthy. Have done some research so I don't screw up. Have to write my thoughts without giving away any details ....No Spoilers! Pretty soon.........UP++++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, the book cover was my concept and my back side. :) Thank you...sexy? We need to get your eyes tested. LOL

      Looking forward to your article about the book...I'm already blushing, but maybe that residual from the "sexy back side" remark.

      You are a doll.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      This is a really thought-provoking hub. I hope war ends one day, but reality is that there will probably always be a war going on somewhere. Best wishes.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't see it happening, vkwok, but one can always hope.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      What??! C'mon....don't EVEN.....bro. When did you have long curly hair? The '60's?? Wow..is my face RED!

      However, as long as I've stepped in it.......Yes, I'm getting older, but there's nothing wrong with my eyes, most especially when it comes to "men"..."backsides" and "sexy"....

      I'm sure Bev is not going to like all the sawdust you create widening the doorways in the house to get your head through!. I'm so damned good at getting myself in trouble...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LMAO...Paula, you are way too funny. Yes, long hair...60s...and now it's long again. Second childhood and all that. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      bill what a deep, raw reflection here my friend :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      War scars life for eternity and it still goes on relentless taking lives, breaking hearts. Deep and intense read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Frank!

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

      Thank you Vellur! That's what I was hoping my readers would see.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      An older friend of my father’s was an officer in WWII. His wife sent him books of poetry which he would sometimes read to his men in the foxholes. They were brave men, but scared shi-tless, not knowing if they would live beyond the next morning. The point was to reach into the humanity of these men, reaffirm and strengthen their camaraderie, and for a few brief moments, block out the hellish insanity that waged around them. Your outstanding creative writing is so realistic, Bill; it doesn’t read like fiction, but rather from a refreshing and brutally candid diary written by one who was there. When the fighting is over and the flags of truce and the conquerors fly, the hells of war never really end...its nightmare lives on in those who survive it. Magnificent writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, you said it all perfectly...the hells of war never really end. Thank you for your kind words and support of my writing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Bill,

      Poignant piece here. My dad was in Korea and Vietnam and suffered terribly from the horrors of war, although he did not come home with any outside scars. Sadly, his mind was battle-scarred, and as I child I heard him suffering with PTSD during the wee hours of the morning.

      Peace

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peace indeed, Faith, and God bless all the soldiers.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Both my brothers were in Vietnam and neither one will talk about their experience.

      Voted up, AI and shared

      Many Blessings to you

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 2 years ago from chennai

      Why are there wars? Why the loss of so many precious lives? What right do people have to take away the life of others? Ask the people all around the world, what they want most in today's modern world. They will say they want to live in a peaceful country. I dread the life of the innocent people thrown away as refugees from their own country because of some savage people. Right from the heart as usual, billy. A topic which I keep asking myself when I see the news about wars.

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

      Thank you for sharing that, Shyron, and God bless your brothers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, government leaders would do well to ask the question you just asked....I have the same dreams you have my friend. Thank you for eloquently stating them.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The peaceful day is only a result of those before us that made it so. Bless their beautiful souls for wanting to make freedom ring. If they didn't, where the hell would we be today? Exemplary work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Deb! The price of freedom is harsh. Let's hope we never forget that fact, and that we only fight for peace in the future.

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