War, what is it good for?

Ran into a 87 year old man at the health club a few days ago. Overheard parts of his conversation with others but didn’t catch all of it. Later in the locker room he told it to me. He’s probably told the same story thousands of times.

He was a B-17 pilot in WWII, got shot down returning from a bombing run. All ten crew members had to bail out. He suffered a broken leg, parachuted into Germany, and spent 1 1/2 years in prison camp. After being released he learned eight of his crew members didn’t make it. Looking at him tell the story, I could see in his eyes it was like yesterday to him.

I said, “My wife says ‘no one ever really recovers from war’.” He looked a bit startled, then agreed. He’s still processing trauma that happened over sixty years ago. How many others are like him, whether it be WWII, Korea, ‘Nam, Afghanistan, or Iraq? I lost an uncle in Korea and a cousin in Vietnam. Even now, those families can barely talk about it.

Are some wars ‘justified’? Probably. But the wars the US is currently waging sure aren’t. They aren’t even really wars, more like imperialist invasions for power and oil. “Just another poor boy/Off to fight a rich man’s war” as Steve Earle puts it. Join us on the March 18 Global Days of Action in protest.

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