Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 536, September 13, 2009

"Spirits crushed so badly that the victims
have no way of knowing they've been crushed."

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Re: Andrew G. Eggleston Sr. sent you a message on Facebook...
by Brian Singer

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Dear Editor:

Andrew Eggleston is a friend of mine. He recently wrote a quick note to me asking, "You sounded a trifle pissed, you okay bro? I know its probably just SNAFU but you can comm with real people back in The World if you need to vent.

I began to respond, and by the end, I realized that I wanted more people than just my friend Andrew to hear what I had to say. I composed the following:

Dear Andrew,

Well, funny you should ask. Work is somewhat ok such as it is. I'm in the midst of a domestic situation that is causing me a lot of anger and frustration. I really do appreciate your concern, and at some point, I will probably go in to details, but the time for that is later.

Suffice it to say, that I definitely don't need to be here right now. For that matter, neither does anyone else. As if the thousands of young men and women who's lives have been snuffed out, and the many thousands more who will live with horrific injuries for the rest of their lives isn't enough, it angers me to no end how many more lives have been destroyed not by the bombs themselves, but by the continued one year on, one year off deployments.

Soldiers spend a whole year over here every other year. They come home, having witnessed the worst in humanity, and somehow have to find a way to carry on like it's business as usual with their wives and their children. But it's not business as usual. Husband and wife don't even know each other, and the kids just don't understand why Dad is so angry all of the time. So Dad spends his time at home working very long hours because his unit has to get ready to go back again in a year's time. Then, when he's home, he figures, "why bother even putting in the effort to get my personal life back in order, when I'm just going to have to come back to the fucking sandbox for another year, and any bit of progress I make will be completely destroyed?" While I'm writing in somewhat general terms, I realize I'm not fooling anyone. Yeah, I'm talking about me. But I'm just an example, a statistic. The military has done some kind of series of studies to determine if this ongoing war against the whole fucking world has had a negative impact on family life, if there have been increases in divorce rates. Lo and behold, they have determined that there hasn't been a significant increase in divorce in the military! Amazing isn't it? One of the things that has gotten a high profile however is the dramatic increase in the suicide rate among military members. Field grade officers down to the lowest enlisted members continue to kill themselves at alarming rates. PTSD? While that is a concern, unfortunately, it's become more of a political tool than an issue that has actually drawn any real attention. So, a soldier that is diagnosed with PTSD risks losing his civil rights (read gun ownership) simply because he has a hard time dealing with the shit he saw over here. I'll tell you what, I lie my ass off every time I get screened for PTSD because of that alone.

On top of this, let's pile alcoholism, infidelity, increased crime rates among returning soldiers, being labeled as terrorist subjects (see the report from DHS) and the list goes on and on and on. You've heard the joke about "the government created this problem, just wait until you see their solution" right? Well as if adding insult to injury to insult to injury many times over isn't bad enough, they have managed to fund this rediculous and immoral adventure by running the printing presses until they glow red with heat. The solutions? The treatment programs, the improve-your-marriage classes, the counselors, the medical and mental health professionals? They're funded the exact same way!!!

It's real easy to look at the body count. It's real easy to count the disabled and the maimed, the crippled and the scared, and the horrified. That should be enough to just end this stupid thing. But it's not. One of the great philosophers of the 20th century wrote, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." It's true. America was duped yet again, voting for someone who made ending this bloody and criminal war a major issue in his campaign. Yet troop levels haven't decreased, and the numbers of mercenaries participating are on the rise. The folks who put this guy in office don't care either. Where are the Democrats who supported bringing the troops home? Why aren't there protests in the streets? Where are the demands for accountability? They don't care. As long as they get their share of the stolen and redistributed wealth, the legal tender hot off the presses smelling of fresh ink, they just don't care.

So, on top of the physical injuries, how many young American men and women have to get divorced, suffer through infidelity and alcoholism? How many children have to look up at the shell of a man they once knew as their father, and wonder what happened? How many will have to go through life with employment debilitating dishonorable discharges because they screwed up when they just couldn't take it any more? How many torture scandals, truck driver deaths, foreclosers, suicides and embezzlement scandals is it going to take. How many fathers have to read about the birth of their first child in an email is it going to take before the American public finally takes to the streets and shouts at the top of their lungs, "enough"?

Your appreciative friend,

Brian Singer


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