Monday, March 24, 2008

Bush/Cheney War Crime: 4000 American Troops

I watched a clip from a soon-to-be released documentary, Body of War, detailing the extreme damage to a 22-year-old soldier on his 5th day in Iraq. His paralyzed from the nipples down; his skin sensory mechanism is non-functioning and thereby it cannot control his body temperature. He must wear a vest of ice packs to cool him down. Is he the 'lucky one' to be alive? Four thousand of his fellow soldiers are in the ground.

An interesting statement from a 90-year-old woman living in a nursing home comes to mind. She told my wife and me, "Most of the people here don't know they are here; they are the lucky ones. I do know where I am day after day."

I read that there are thousands of veterans of this war, young men and women, who now have a prosthetic arm or leg for the rest of their lives. Perhaps they are the lucky ones compared to those with severe brain damage or the ones with disfigured faces.

On Good Friday I volunteered for 3 hours at the Arlington West display of 4000 wooden tombstones on display in Toledo. One for each victim of the two Bush/Cheney wars. I saw through the blowing snow someone on the far side of the display, walking through row after row apparently looking for a name. I called to him, "Can I help you find a name?" He answered, "Yes, Sir." As he came closer saw his fatigues. "I'm looking for a buddy who was in my convoy he said," I told him that there was a book inside the tent with all the names." Oh, thank you sir," the young man said to me.

Two soldiers on that patrol were killed when their Humvee ran over an IED, he told me. "I don't know what state they came from, Sir; could you tell me the state so that I can find them?"

He told me that he felt so bad for their families and that he feels lucky to be alive. He found the names and the states and thanked us for 'what we were doing.'

Imagine that: 'what we were doing.' All we were doing is honoring the men and women who were not publicly honored when their caskets arrived in Dover. That political ban on photographing the coffins arriving back in the USA. The political stunt so important for this political war.

Off the young man went into the blowing snow, heading for the markers.

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