A Veteran from Gulf War 1
Hi, I am a Marine Corps veteran of the 'first' Gulf War. I was a SAW gunner for a scout team on an LAV-25 (in pseudo-civilian-ese, I toted a light machine gun as part of a 4 man team that rode in a light armored reconnaissance vehicle, which was armed with a 25 millimeter chain gun/cannon). I have never written publicly about my 'adventure', but have wanted to for a long time.
My tour was short, and except for a few firefights, fairly uneventful, but enough to realize war kills souls. Mine included. Reading Stan Goff's letter this morning, I found tears in my eyes. I've tried for the last ten years to get my heart back, to feel good again, and the truth is, it's always temporary. The rage and the fear remain.
As this new war started, I freaked. I could make no sense of the obvious lies that precipitated this 'war'. As the machine chugged forward, though, I lost my cause. I became apathetic, and began to think maybe it was all for a higher purpose, that somehow my fear and rage and sleeplessness and emotional death had been brought about by something meaningful. I wasn't convinced, but was becoming open to the idea, as I felt more and more hopeless that no one would listen, that anyone that hadn't been there couldn't comprehend the mistake of war. So I've got more to say, at some point soon, but for now I just wanted to thank Stan for his courageous letter and to let him know that it brought me back to earth.
War is a horrible last resort and the ultimate irony of America - we raise our children to love, to share, to not hit or be violent to each other, only to be dumped into the US military mindf**k machine at puberty ("Army of One", "A few good men", etc..), and learn kill, kill, kill; no mercy; this training will save your LIFE, private! Argh!
Anyways, thank you Stan, and thanks to everyone at this site...
PS: Stan's comments about being 'chumped' really apply. It's exactly how I have felt...