Thursday, September 13, 2007

5 / 27,506 / 3,728

5 Years
27, 506 Injured
3,728 Dead

This is a subject that I've been thinking about writing for a while now and with my recent separation now is as good a time as any. Those three numbers sum up our current operation in Iraq and the numbers will keep rising.

The thing that finally pushed me to write this is a show that I just watched on HBO called Alive Day. The term is something that we used to describe the day that you could have died, but didn't. I was a little skeptical about watching this show because I had a fear that it would be degrading to the service members and it would have a message attached to it; it didn't do either. The producer of the show, James Gandolfini, of Sopranos fame, did the best thing he could do. He shut up, took the focus off of him, and let the Marines and Soldiers speak for themselves. We didn't even see him except for a shot of every interviewee getting their picture taken with him. In doing this he gave the best publicity that any show could ask for, we tuned in to watch something with James Gandolfini and stayed to hear these amazing stories. The injured told their story of what happened and then moved on to their attempts to move on with life. They spoke of the confusion that comes along with their recovery and trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

In this hour long show I saw in those people the faces I've seen for the past eight years. I saw the face of friends that have gone and others that have yet to go. I saw the face of one of our students who didn't come home. I saw the face of a friend, with whom I spent many nights in Pensacola smoking cigarettes, talking about women, and wondering what was going to happen in our futures. He too did not come home.

The point of this is that I don't care what you think of the war. I don't care what you think of the government. In the end there are the people on the ground doing the dirty work. They are people just like you and me. "Without people we are nothing." Ponder on that!

Joe Strummer - Redemption Song