Thursday, February 7, 2008

Citizen Soldiers

A young lieutenant told me today about how he watched a couple Iraqi civilians get blow up right in front of him from a bomb al Qaeda placed when we first arrived here. I guess I’m not the only one who’s seen death and destruction. I was pretty hard—prideful, really—when speaking about the ‘weekend warriors’ in my last writing. The truth is we’re all people, and we all change in some ways during war.

I’m reading a book about a young American man who served in the Office of Strategic Services as a spy in France just after the Nazi invasion and the subsequent attacks on Normandy, Utah and Omaha beaches. He changed—war changed him—and he wished he could go back to the ignorance and the innocence of his youth.

One of my close buddies I admire asked me if I were feeling depressed after reading my last blog. No, I’m not. After going home, I feel rejuvenated and content. I did feel that way several months ago—annoyed, frustrated and angry. Now, I’m just getting the ready-to-go-home feeling. I’m ready to go back when my time’s up. I’m ready to pack my bags. I’d prefer staying away from bombs, bullets and mortars, and bad guys and terrorists. I’d like to use my mind. I’d like to do more consulting.

In a way, I regret admitting my deepest thoughts and feelings on an openly public domain. One war reporter said several years ago that there definitely needs to be self-censorship; the public just isn’t ready to hear or know some things.

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