Let’s imagine a young man that graduated from high school in 1998. He always wanted to be in the Marine Corps because his Grandfather told him all the stories of when he was a Leatherneck in the Korean War.
The young man, call him Tim, enlists in the Corps and discovers that he actually loves the service. Tim finishes basic and all his post-basic advanced training and marries his high school sweetheart, Maggie, early in 1999.
By 2000, Tim makes Sergeant and he and Maggie have a little girl. They live in base housing in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
On September 11, 2001, Tim is called into Platoon Headquarters. The Marines are on high alert. We have been attacked.
For the next two years, Tim and Maggie live together for less than a quarter of the time. Tim went to Afghanistan, came back, and was deployed to Iraq. Maggie, her daughter, and a new infant son were moved out of base housing to make room for the families of Marines waiting for deployment. They had to move in with Maggie’s parents.
Tim comes home, fathers another daughter, and gets redeployed to Iraq. Maggie has kids but no husband. Tim has war and loneliness; he doesn’t know his children.
Tim and Maggie were 20 when they married. By 2009, our high school sweethearts have turned 30 and they have had an on-again-off-again marriage that has produced children and frustration.
By late 2009, Tim is a Gunnery Sergeant. He has been awarded two combat medals and a Purple Heart for a minor wound from an IED that blew away three of his men. Tim is a lean, mean, Marine Corps killing machine with a Hell of a case of post-traumatic stress disorder cooking inside his skull.
Tim came home from Iraq after five deployments. He was living with Maggie and “her kids” at his in-laws. Both Maggie and Tim were relieved when he got deployed to Afghanistan in the 2010 Surge…
This story does not end well. Tim got shot real good to win his second Purple Heart. He got his million dollar wound, but it cost him his right foot.
By Christmas 2012, Tim and Maggie are divorced. Tim has been waiting 18 months to receive his VA benefits. He lives with his parents and drinks too much and smokes too much weed. The Marines are through with him, and he sees people get killed in his dreams every fucking night. Last week, Tim spent a good part of Saturday with the barrel of a .45 caliber automatic nestled on his tongue. Tim is beaucoup dinky dow and will never be whole again.
Maggie drinks and smokes too much, as well. Her oldest, Sarah, is 12 and already smoking dope and is just this side of “going all the way” with a pimply-faced case of testosterone poisoning named Rory.
Sure, sure…the story of Tim and Maggie was cooked up inside my commie, pinko, liberal brain, but it ain’t all that much fiction.
It’s time for America to try to make it up to the people whose lives we let two Presidents fuck up just so no one could call them pussies.
First, bring all currently deployed service personnel home. Fuck Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and pre fuck Iran. Let them eat oil.
Second, immediately approve all pending VA benefits claims. If a few service personnel get benefits to which they aren’t fully entitled, I don’t give a fuck.
Third, find and follow the lives of all veterans and make their lives as whole as we can. I don’t care if it costs a bunch of money. We stood by and let politicians send these poor people charging up Neocon Hill time after time…we owe them.
Fourth, quit blowing people up to get them to change their minds about democracy. It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing…it’s a complete waste of your time, and it annoys the shit out of the pig.
How many lives did we waste and ruin in our psychotic national search for revenge?
All I know is we can stop wasting an ruining lives today if our leaders have the stomach for it. It’s so easy for them to start a war, but they don’t seem to have the metaphoric balls to wage peace.
A quick note to all those racist motherfuckers that have signed petitions asking that their state be allowed to leave the United States of America…Fuck You. You sons of bitches helped screw up the lives of our military personnel by running around with your anti-Muslim boners…you can fuck well stay here and help unfuck these peoples’ lives as best as we can.
When you have helped fix all the shit you helped break, then you can move the fuck out.
Happy Thanksgiving; I’m taking next week off…unless one of you sons of bitches pisses me off.