I do not come from a particularly ‘war-strewn’ upbringing; yet, the military has always been a part of my life. Both my parents were in the Marines, my brother’s an Iraq Army Vet, my father in law was in the Navy around the time of Vietnam, my grandfather was in the Army during World War II, heck I was even born at Camp Lejeune a Marine Base in North Carolina. So while war has not directly impacted my life, it’s certainly colored my world. And war is traumatic. Life is traumatic.
Growing Into It:
My best friend growing up, Chris Johnson, had a father who was very much affected by his experiences in Vietnam. He would sit in his tattered armchair, two feet from the television, every weekend when I was over there and he would watch “Patton,” “Platoon,” and other war themed movies on repeat. Over and over and over. Mr. Johnson was the first one to let me in on the secret; “War is Traumatic.” So while I’ve never picked up a gun or suited up for combat or done reconnaissance through a mine field, my life has been decidedly influenced by war. Not unlike many other people’s lives.
What It Means to Be American:
In a way, war is traumatic is a large part of what it means to be an American. Since the beginning of time, “good,” and “evil” have been at odds with one another. So it stands to reason that appreciating, accepting, and dealing with the trauma of war is part of what it means to live in a free society. If there were no war, there would be no peace. Being an American citizen and living in as ‘free’ a society as we do is nice; taken against the backdrop of the trauma of war, all the luxuries we sometimes take for granted can be sobering.
Moving Parts Make Up the Whole:
One of the biggest caveats which far too many can forget about in the aftermath of the trauma of war are the huge number of moving parts it takes to execute a war. War does not come free; it takes the sacrifice of lives, resources, time, and tears to bring a war into fruition. When the trauma of war is taken for granted on the background noise of television news and ‘relative peace’ (in that there’s no war literally going on outside your window or with folks you come into contact with every day) it is done so at society’s collective peril. How long until every man, woman, and child will have to suit up in combat fatigues just to leave the house every day? The trauma of war is something we should never forget; the trauma of war is something we need always remember.