My Grandsons

My two ten-year-old grandsons are playing behind me as I write this.  They are a carefree and creative duo full of inventiveness and curiosity. Right now they invented some string pulley mechanism to move their cars from the upper to the lower floor.

My wife called my attention to an OpEd in the local newspaper on the topic of the two wars going on in some foreign land as the boys played in the background.  The suicide rate among our Armed Forces continues to rise astronomically as the death toll has risen to more than 5,000, with over 35,000 with serious, disabling injuries.

The American citizens go about their mundane lives mostly unaware of the wars  ‘over there.’ They do, however, bitch about the Federal deficit as well as the lack of government services in their state and towns.  Do they realize the connection between enormous financial expenditures for those wars and the lack of money in the coffers for public services, Social Security and Medicare?

Eight or nine years ago there were other 10-year old boys playing together in another part of America.  For whatever reason, they decided to join the Armed Forces- perhaps out of a sense of Patriotism or, more probably because of economic opportunity. If it was out of patriotic duty, then they were snookered.  These two wars have little to do with ‘defending our nation’ as opposed to one for revenge and the other an oedipal response to his father.

Whatever the reason, these boys were taken from their homeland and put  onto some god-forsaken land to fight an old man’s war.  Hopefully, in the next 8 to 10 years, there will be governmental leaders who won’t send the children of the land to fight idiotic wars for stupid reasons.

Maybe not.


5 thoughts on “My Grandsons

  1. Hello Muddy,
    What a great topic of introspection and retrospection and really hits a nerve with me. Back in the early 1970’s, I joined the Navy out of some sense of Patriotism (all of the males in the family of my father’s generation served in WWII) but more to the fact of the lack of any economic opportunity at this time. I know well that those serving today will take every bit of 5 to 10 years to “Come Home” in there minds. Allow me to pass this poem that was published in 2008 that was true to my own life and happened in 2004.

    A soldier sleeps next to me,
    In an uncomfortable chair.
    We are both waiting for our flight,
    To take us in the air.

    He has done his time and headed home,
    His journey won’t be long.
    I’m sitting there next to him,
    In my mind I hum a song. ( note: all along the watchtower)

    He reminds me of myself,
    Of Forty years ago.
    War weary lines on his face,
    Delayed stress, his new foe.

    Aged beyond his years,
    He has seen things no one should.
    He has left those who would understand,
    The Band of Brother Hood.

    He’s supposed to start a normal life,
    But he won’t remember what one is.
    He will try to start where he left,
    The home where his parents live.

    Life passed him by when he left,
    Old friends have a life of their own,
    Everything is gone he use to know,
    He will feel lost and all alone.

    He will marry the first girl that he dates,
    And really needs to pass.
    They won’t have that much in common,
    The marriage will never last.

    People will tell him not to do it,
    But there is so much catching up to do.
    For now, all their faults he will over look,
    But in the divorce, he will get screwed.

    I almost woke him from his sleep,
    I wanted to give him my best.
    After a second thought I changed my mind,
    Right now, what he really needs is rest.

    When G. W. Bush (the Great Wimp) beat his chest with all the bravado equaling the lies that were being propagated, my oldest daughter, who just got married, had just got her college degree, and I knew she could have been drafted….I could not help but tear up just from the stress of that thought. (More to the fact, I sobbed) I took the time shortly after that and told her that if the Great Wimp Bush enacted the draft, I was going to send her someplace out of the country. I was not going to let the Great Wimp asshole squander what I had just spent 22 years investing in raising her.

    When you ask, “Do they realize the connection between enormous financial expenditures for those wars and the lack of money in the coffers for public services, Social Security and Medicare?” For many in the Tea Party or Ultra Conservative Dullards, the answer is “NO” because the key words here are to THINK of the CONNECTION and Fox Programming has not spoon feed them this thought.

    I truly hope that your grandsons never fight nor see any idiotic wars for stupid reasons.

  2. Yep, don’t count on it, M_R. It seems to me the best way to prevent wars like this is to re-instill the draft. Moreover, it is better protection
    for democratic republican government than the professional military that we have now.

  3. Hello Uptheflag,
    You bring up a good point….if sons and daughters are MADE to go off to war….maybe then the citizens will sit up and take notice on reasons for going to war. If you just have a few poor souls who enlisted or plus the private corporations of contract warriors carrying the brunt, then citizen will just go about clueless as to what is going on in the name of U.S. foreign policy.

    That being said, none of my daughters will ever go into a draft call up under the scenarios we have had in the last 40 years.

  4. I have to agree with uptheflag, what caused the outrage at the Viet Nam war was the fact that people were drafted. Chickenhawks such as Dick “I really AM a monster” Chaney and Ted Nugent did everything they could to avoid fighting, yet now they are so pro-American. They would change their tunes if their kids were fighting, or they thought they would have to fight.

    This was what the founders meant when they talked of tyranny and standing armies being used to oppress the people.

    Too bad that message has gotten lost in the noise.

  5. But, you know what?

    The politicians will not vote for a selective service bill.They are in the pay of the 2 percenters, and they don’t want their sons and daughters coming home in a body bag.

    Let me take this opportunity to mention again our military forces.
    Today, Fox is beating the war drums against China as it has been detected that China has an anti-carrier missle. Fox is saying that when there is another crisis over Formosa, the Chinese will be able to say to the U.S. “what are you going to do about it.” According to Fox Obama is letting China control the Pacific. I have previously stated that we need to follow the suggestions of Ron Paul and Barney Frank to close down our world empire of foreign bases. In addition, I go further to suggest that we should be eliminating most of our military services, except for the army and the coast guard. The carriers and submarines have been sitting ducks for years now, as the Russians know where they are. GPS and missiles make a navy obsolete. Our priorities need to be re-oriented. Look at it this way…Why do we have to have NATO and all our expensive military bases in Europe when the Soviet Union is no more, and Russia is no longer a threat? What are we doing there. Let alone, France and England both possess a nuclear capability. Let them assume the cost for some imaginary foreign threat…..

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