I’m a fire-breathing Democrat and a Peacenik at heart. I hate violent conflict, and would always rather find a win-win solution or at least one everyone can live with. With all the will in the world, that isn’t always possible.

I’ve known people who served in the Second World War. One of them always cried on the rare occasions he talked about firing his gun in battle. He never lost sight of the humanity of the poor kid on the other end of his rifle. He knew who HE was, and that let him know who the other guy was. Still, he also knew what he was fighting for, and that gave him the courage to break his own heart in service of a larger goal.

The war in Iraq was always wrong, but the men and women who go when and where they’re asked are NOT wrong. The people who work with calculation and efficiency to try to dehumanize them, who use them as pawns–THEY are wrong. The military men and women who remain human, who risk themselves every day to give the apparent civilian the benefit of the doubt–THEY are heroic.

Everywhere we have troops, there will be broken warriors. They’ll be broken in body, heart, mind, soul, spirit. But most will not be broken, because most of them will have friends around them who won’t let them be–not entirely. They can’t always keep their friends from being wounded, but they can and will help them stay, in all important ways, whole.

Thank you, all of you who serve with honor. Thank you, all of you who have each others’ backs. Thank you, all of you who never forget the humanity of the people you have to be wary of, and never forget your own humanity–the most important treasure you’re fighting to preserve.

I hate war. I wish the one in Iraq had never been started. But it was, and most of the people who are serving there are doing it for honorable reasons.

Thanks.

MA

writing prompt: If you’re for the war, write a good character who’s against it. If you’re against the war, write a good character who’s for it.

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