For anyone thinking of enlisting, the video above is essential listening. It has the somewhat odd title of “Afghanistan veterans commit suicide from a good conscience,” but don’t let that discourage you. Partial transcript below.
Potential enlistees, don’t become a killer of people you have never met, about whom you know very little or nothing. More morality lessons here.
Hakim: Some people who hear your story may think your mind was weak; you wanted to commit suicide.
Nao Rozi: Veterans who commit suicide are not cowardly, they are victims of the war. They were persuaded to do things they didn’t want to do. Or, if they chose to do those things, don’t we sometimes regret things we’ve done, or feel ashamed? That was exactly what happened in my crisis. I felt ashamed. I regretted what I had done. … Life becomes meaningless. … You think you’ve done something such that you feel you no longer have the right to live. …
The U.S. veterans who have committed suicide had a conscience. They fought in Afghanistan and some killed or were killed. Those thoughts afflicted them day and night. I myself experienced them. When I was sleeping, I would wake up suddenly in the middle of the night shouting. It was not fear, they were nightmares. At times I slept walked. I even thought I was a murderer, though now I think I was not because I didn’t kill anyone. [But] even those who may have killed others should not keep thinking those thoughts.
Hakim: What message do you have for friends and for the world?
Nao Rozi: … How I wish that every human in the world would, just for once, sit down alone and ask, ‘What are we here for? How have we been deceived? How true to self have we been?’ These questions are important.
… I was a captive of the things I heard from society and the media, but now I am free!
Nao Rozi currently lives with and struggles for the Afghan Peace Volunteers, seeking a better life and a better world.