Friday, May 25, 2012

My Memorial Day Question

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and I have the same question I have every Memorial Day Weekend: WHO WOULD EVER SIGN UP FOR THE ARMED SERVICES? Wait a second, you signed up for this? At eighteen years old you said, “Forget college, forget chasing girls on Friday nights, forget sleeping late on Saturdays and just being young and having fun, let’s go to war in Iraq?” First off, does anybody have any idea why we were ever in Iraq or are still in Afghanistan? On the news last night, I saw a clip of American Troopers stalking through the Afghan Desert, heads on a swivel, guns ready, waiting to shoot somebody or just waiting to be shot themselves. I guess the soldiers were guarding some desert-looking wall. Why? They literally looked like warm bodies with guns, sheep to the slaughter.

Don’t misunderstand me, I have massive respect for people who risk their lives like this, but at the same time, I don’t understand the mentality of a person who willingly walks into that life. That’s all I’m saying, I don’t get it. “But, Brian, the Army pays for college.” First off, that’s kind of untrue, can we just admit that and move on. There are hoops within hoops within hoops, i.e. they own you. Second, if you’re asking me what I’d take: college debt or five years in Iraq waiting to die, um, give me the student-loan debt, I’ll work it out. When I was a high school kid, and I saw that local recruiter, every instinct told me to stay away, because he was going to try to lure me into signing a piece of paper, and once I did, my freedom was gone. I treated that recruiter like a telemarketing Jehovah’s Witness.

“Brian, you’re a coward.” No doubt about it. The lion from the WIZARD OF OZ would make fun of me. I’ll take it. This is my life. I’m chasing my dreams; I’m living the way I want to live. I can’t miss a thing. Honestly, I don’t care about free and fair elections in Iraq. I’m sorry, I don’t. I want to be here, in America, the best country in the history of the world. I want to be with my family, my friends, I want to watch every NY Giants game, and wake up every morning in my own bed. In my mind, the Armed Services are like prison. I know that sounds disrespectful, I know. What can I say? We are living in a Capitalistic World and I am Capitalistic Girl (I mean boy). Sign up for war? Give up my youth and all that fun that goes with being young? Sorry, Charlie, the American Party is too good to miss right now. And I know what you're gonna say, you're gonna tell me if I want to maintain this American Party, somebody has to fight and die for it. Look, I'm not trying to go all Ringo Starr on you (peace & love), but why do they have to die in the dirt of Afghanistan? Is it about 9/11? Didn't we get bin Laden and everyone behind 9/11?

Which brings me to my final question: Does anybody have any idea what’s going on in Iraq or Afghanistan? Eleven years? What? Who are we even fighting? Why have 7,000+ Americans died since 2001? Do you mean to tell me all this death and war is to stop Al Qaeda and the Taliban? What does that even mean? Hey, Mom, your son just got mortar bombed fighting those guys from the grainy training videos who do the monkey bars and crawl through tires in the dirt with rifles. Sorry, I thought he was going to be a doctor or schoolteacher too, mom. That’s who we're fighting? We could be in Afghanistan for a hundred years, and some guy is still going to try and blow up a JFK-bound commercial flight or some major city’s bridge.

The American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI & WWII, those wars HAD to be fought, of course, they made America what it is today. But I have no idea why we went to Iraq and I have no idea why we’re in Afghanistan. If we’re worried about terrorist operations taking root, let’s protect OUR borders, OUR airports, and OUR roads, etc. In Afghanistan, we cannot win; there is no winning anything over there. We need to protect ourselves, here, on the home front. These American boys are like sitting ducks over there, just waiting to die. Are they heroes? Of course. Are the power players and politicians to blame? No doubt about it. But, to be perfectly technical, these young men & women did sign up for this. Nobody forced them, maybe outsmarted them, but not forced. That’s what I don’t get.

And maybe some of our brave, nineteen-year-old service men will be at Lake George this weekend, partying and having fun, and being young, home on leave, etc. But, I promise you, Lake George on Memorial is WAY more fun when you don’t have to go back to a war in Afghanistan on Wednesday. When this weekend is the beginning of a summer of part-time jobs, the beach and girls, Alive at 5s, just being young, it’s much better. That’s what I wanted for me. That’s what I want for my son when and if I have one. Is that selfish? It is.

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Brian Huba

1 comment:

  1. There are 2 rules in a war. #1-young soldiers die and #2 you can't change rule #1.