BuzzFlash Reader Letter
October 4, 2002
Muffle The Hypocrites With The Truth of War
BuzzFlash Reader Letter
Dear Congressman McDermott,
Although this is addressed to you, I'm sending this to those who purportedly represent us, the citizens of Washington State.
Thank you, Mr. McDermott, for speaking out. I wish many more would come forth to explain the effects of war and sanctions, to those who would hide from military service but preach its evils, just the same.
For weeks, I have thought of words to send. I'm afraid though, I cannot speak without strong emotions coursing through my words, for I am a former Army Brat, the child of a Special Forces soldier.
This past summer, I cried when reading accounts of murder by those who live on my former home of Ft. Bragg. Some even sharing the work space, the name of my fathers battalion. I love the Special Forces family, for they have been that for most of my life, bestowing upon me the values that make me up. So I wept when these soldiers took the lives of their children's mother.
And I've wept so much since Bush II took office. This America, whose landscape I have seen, and touched, and carried in my soul- is not the America I have known and always loved. It is not the America with which my love affair with freedom, choice, and justice, was sprung and grew to such depths that it hurts me to look at it now.
But I am not writing you to tell you of my youth and idealism, which is both inherent in it's nature and taught, by being a child of the 70's and 80's, and learning of sacrifice, honor, but most of all, Justice. I was the first generation to see what desegregation really is. I have honored men and women who have sacrificed to give me the life and opportunities I now enjoy and hopefully, my children will come to someday know. Hope... it's the gift we give our children.
As the daughter of a Special Forces soldier -- I have had the opportunity to travel the world and learn about so many wonderful cultures. But I've also seen the shadow of war following my family, move after move, base after base, and the constant fear of wondering if my father would come home in a flag covered box. We knew when my father had just returned from a mission of death. It was in the narrow gleam of his dark eyes and the tone of destruction he used to call my name. It was in the beating of my mother for whatever insult he felt at the moment. It was in the way he threw the furniture about the wall, or me, if I were nearer. It was in the slobbering wet cries of my father's guilt for those innocents he had killed, their eyes still burning into him. It is now in the ghosts of his dead friends, whose lifeless bodies he carried through the wet jungles of Vietnam, and now live on in his written tales, stored somewhere in his desk. It is in his hurt, when his son joins the Army- for as he says, "I did what I did in hopes that my children wouldn't have to." His past idealism has now become the screams and sweat pouring out of him in his sleep. And being his daughter, it haunts me, as well.
My father is functional, he has had a long career in the military and enjoyed some of the luxuries in civilian life, unlike some of the other men and women who are too ill to enjoy life. But he still screams and the affect of war has penetrated generations of our family. As I sit here re-living my childhood events, my stomach turns and I tremble... War, dear sir, is not only about those who risk their own lives, its affects are evident in those they leave behind.
And this is why those hypocrites who scream for the blood of some unseen villain, except through a television screen, must be muffled by the truth. Those who were "too busy" with other agendas, while my father earned his purple hearts and stared into the eyes of those innocents who were perished by his gun; those who cry out, "traitor" to the peace makers and the truth seekers -- let him who has not been on the front lines and screams vengeance, let him go first and tell us about the value of war.
Lika Smith, Army Brat
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