The Truth About War Heroes

The vast majority of war heroes are victims.

Indeed they are…victims of a lifetime of authoritarian indoctrination. Then used, abused and dropped like a used condom. The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits is the story of one of those lives. — jtl, 419

by Paul Rosenberg via Free-Man’s Perspective

For the past dozen years or so, Americans have been deluged with talk about “heroes,” and especially “our brave soldiers.” I was at a funeral recently, and was shocked to see the funeral director conduct a ritual: he had all past or current members of the military line up and touch a flag for the deceased.

This is not only stupidly out of proportion, but it is deeply damaging to the “heroes.”

As I’ve said before, I understand how young people get pulled into the military, and I do not think that they join because they want to kill. (Though some small number may.) So, let me be very clear on something:

The vast majority of war heroes are victims.

As it happens, I talk to military people, sympathetically. And I know the other side of the war hero story – the side that they don’t show on TV or when worshiping uniforms in churches, schools, or at sporting events.

Point #1: No one leaves battle whole.

Don’t ever imagine that soldiers come out of battle in any way better than when they went in.

No normal human can kill people without damaging themselves. Perhaps if you’re 50 years old and have to shoot someone who is clearly in the process of killing others, you can come out of it without permanent damage. At that age your character is already developed, and if you can honestly reassure yourself that it was necessary, you may be okay.

But if you think a 19-year-old kid, shooting at people he has never met before, who are simply driving down the street, will be okay afterward… forget about it – that kid will never be whole again.

And the same goes for the soldier who sees his friend get his leg blown off. Or, just having to go into situation after situation where that could happen at any time.

Crowds can chant “hero” all they like, but the soldier who was in battle has something torn in his soul.

Point #2: The soldiers know it.

Can you imagine the kind of internal conflict this hero worship inflicts on the 22-year-old ex-soldier? He’s praised as a hero endlessly, but he’s torn up inside, and sometimes when he’s alone, he cries and shakes.

This is what really happens:

  • The big, tough soldier hides in a bathroom and cries, because he can’t face going out into a crowd.
  • He wonders what was in all those pills they were ordered to take before going into battle.
  • He’s unable to make decisions for himself.
  • He has post-traumatic stress in spades but dares not tell the VA, because that would prevent him from owning a gun, and that’s the only thing that makes him feel safe.

And all the while, the soldier is paraded in front of crowds and publicly praised as some type of superior being, god-gifted with bravery. Could you live with that?

Is it any wonder that US soldiers are killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day?

Point #3: They are abandoned.

I recently had a talk with a friend who spent a full 20 years in the military, and we discussed these subjects.

One of the things that bothers me most is that these young men and women are sent into the hell of battle and then ignored by the Veterans Administration when they get back. I’m certainly no fan of government or its programs, but if you send a kid into death and destruction, you’re also honor-bound to help them recover if they make it out.

The VA is abandoning these former soldiers. I expressed this complaint to my friend, and he told me that it was worse, and more callously malicious, than I knew.

My friend is a decent man, and he does his best to help returning soldiers because no one else does. We discussed this at length, and I was pleased to know that he sits down with whatever few soldiers he can, and says this:

Yes, you’re fucked-up. After what you’ve been through, that’s what you’re supposed to be!

So far as he knew, no one associated with the VA was helping the returning soldiers one-to-one, only him and a few others.

So…

American hero worship is torturing ex-soldiers. It’s driving them to suicide. This mindless worship is good for the State, but it’s hell for the kids who were actually in battle.

Don’t follow that script. Have some compassion for the kid who was immersed in death and hell.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of the betrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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5 Responses to The Truth About War Heroes

  1. Gunny G says:

    Reblogged this on CLINGERS… BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    GyG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. ponyexpressafghan says:

    Interesting perspective, but I believe you are missing the mark. We miss it. That’s what tares us apart. Speaking from experience.

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    • “We miss it.” Yeah, as a result of a lifetime of authoritarian indoctrination.

      And speaking of speaking from experience. My Marine Corps career spanned some 35 years (with lots of broken and reserve time) and included two of the goddamned Yankee Occupation government’s un-necessary wars (Vietnam and Desert Storm). I just hope you are not as slow of a learner as I was.

      It took me 40+ years to figure out that nothing I had ever done ever had anything to do with “freedom” or “liberty” in America or “protecting the constitution” or any of that flag waving horseshit. Everything I ever did for the Marine Corps had everything to do with the aggrandizement of the state and the enrichment of the politicos and their cronies in the military-industrial-congressional complex. I was a brain washed dupe and so were (are) you.

      Eat the apple. Fuck the Corps.

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      • ponyexpressafghan says:

        Sir, first I am sorry that I may have offended you. Second, I realize that you have a long span of experience and opinion on the subject. Although, I would say every man is entitled to see things in his own perspective. This war is different, the military is different, and not everyone was and is the flag waving kid from “Born on fourth of July”. I myself was indoctrinated like you said in my youth because my father who is very much like you boasted patriotic themes and participated in past unjust wars.
        I am not trying to defend the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars, but let me say that I may have had different reasons for fighting to begin with. If it hadn’t been Afghanistan, I think I would have fought in syria, DRC, Sudan, or libya. It is a part of who I am. I did it for myself, as did lots of others. Now we have to move on and civilian life is horrible to transition to. Most of us get lost and don’t have a path towards transition, we fumble around. Some juggle with the results of the Iraq war with guilt and drink their losses away. Everyman though, can put things in perspective and realize the past is just that. The past. Bitterness never helped anyone. I write to find a sense of peace within myself, and it has. So have a nice day, and I hope that you have found peace with the past.

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  3. You didn’t offend me–I’ve heard all that same shit a hundred (or more) times before.

    “This war is different…”

    lol That is what every generation says about itself. You will hear it from your kids too.

    “…civilian life is horrible to transition to. Most of us get lost and don’t have a path towards transition…”

    That is because we come home to a place we have never been. No one but another vet understands what that means and we shouldn’t expect anyone else to.

    “It is a part of who I am. I did it for myself, as did lots of others.”

    lol but it is not really “funny” in a humorous sense. I have heard that same shit so many times…even said it myself. I used to say that the only reason I taught at the university was to get me by between wars. What a dumb shit!

    I “missed it” too. But, like any other addict, my first step was to admit it to myself –I went places I couldn’t have found on a map a week earlier. I killed people I didn’t even know, people who had never done anything to me or to anyone I cared anything about. And I did it on the orders of a shitbag that would not do it himself nor would he send his son to do it.

    Regardless of my own selfishness, it was murder–I was nothing but a goon, a hired gun, a hit man for the most dangerous criminal organization ever devised by mankind–aka the uS government. “THE BOOK” says, “Thou shalt not…” It doesn’t say a fucking thing about “seeing Sub-paragraph (A) for exceptions. Nor does it say anything about it being OK just because you are doing it on behalf of a regional monopoly on the use of force and violence (aka somebody’s government).

    And you are right. We each have to learn to live with it in our own way. Bitterness? Well, maybe but I don’t think so. What I feel is more of a fury of diamond like purity. But I don’t (or try not to) focus that anger toward anything or anybody except where it belongs–the modern nation-state style of government aka “The State.”

    “The State” makes war. People don’t. As a matter of fact, Randolf Bourne (I think it was?) nailed it when he said “war is the health of the State.” It is how states live and thrive or wither and die. That is why this site/blog is dedicated to the furtherance of Anarcho-Capitalism.

    Yours for freedom in our lifetimes.

    jtl

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