Lately awareness about war and the military has tapped into my emotions even more than before. (Well, probably about as much as when my son was in Iraq.) I go to the movies, and in the previews they always have those ads about joining the Army, Marines, or National Guard, and tears well up in my eyes. Apparently this is something I’m supposed to deal with at this point in my life, and I keep asking Spirit to help me learn whatever I’m supposed to learn . . . or heal whatever it is I’m supposed to heal.
Today I read a wonderful tribute on a blog by a friend ( http://shadowmeteresa.wordpress.com ). She wrote about her dad, but she finished with a line that made the tribute so much more inclusive: “…for all those whose lives and families have become irrevocably altered by their time in the services, in ways that no-one ever talks about.” It so moved me that I could not deal with it directly at first, so I went out and cut berry bushes. [Some day I’ll write an entry about cutting berry bushes.]
After a while, I was able to talk quietly to myself about the thoughts running through my head — to listen, and talk, and debate with myself. I thought about how military service triggered problems for a very dear friend, and how that changed my life “irrevocably.” I thought about the people who are damaged on some or all levels (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) — not only those who serve, but their families, and friends, and the people who live in the area of war, or even just near military bases in some cases. I thought about how I have the privilege of quietly cutting berry bushes in my backyard because people were willing to die for freedom and safety for others. Which lead to thoughts of why people fight in wars or military actions — for the grand ideas? For their buddy next to them? To protect their homes? Because they will be punished if they don’t fight (back when we had the draft)? Am sure there are plenty of reasons I didn’t even think of. Then I thought about German soldiers during World War II, the U.S. Cavalry sweeping across the Native American Nations, the army that swept out of Mongolia many hundreds of years ago . . . you get the idea. Any time there is a “them” and “us,” someone gets labeled the enemy, and it really depends on your point of view. Whose motives are pure? And it’s never just the fighters who suffer.
In case I haven’t made it clear, I am thankful for the military, and proud of my son for serving, and I am thankful for all the sacrifices that have been made. But there are no clear right and wrongs here. I honor the memory of those who have served, even while I rail against the powers that ask them to serve for stupid reasons.
Still don’t know what I’m supposed to learn from all these thoughts, these emotions, but I did come to one understanding today. I am a healer — it is who I am deep inside, and I’m working toward manifesting that in my actions. So it makes sense that war, or any sort of harm done to another person (rape, child abuse, armed robbery, et cetera), would make me angry and sad.
This Memorial Day I give honor to ALL those whose lives have become irrevocably altered by the military (in service or not), in ways that no-one ever talks about.