Afghanistan Posts

About that Onion/Click Hole Meme

triangle1

 

Honey, I love a bit of satire as much as the next person. I’ve even been known to employ it a time or two myself. But I realized a few years back that the kind of satire I was used to enjoying – that employed by wisecracking Southerners like Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Willie Morris, Barry Hannah, Rick Bragg, Roy Blount Jr. – was a far cry different than the kind employed nowadays.

My panties were jerked in a knot some years back when I spoke out about a book that millions found funny – Go the F**k to Sleep – but which I found to be decidedly not funny. As I pointed out in an essay I wrote for CNN, when one has been immersed in a story about child abuse, one is hypersensitive to the ways in which children today are being abused. One of which is the ugly, demeaning ways in which so many children are spoken to on a daily basis. So there was no way I was going to find a book that adapts that same abusive language and cloaks it as “satire” funny. I stand by my original assessment of Mansbach’s book: Not funny. Not in the least bit.

read more

Forgiveness: The Path to a Better World

Editor’s Note: The following prayer was given to me by a World War II POW I had the honor of interviewing many years ago. He spent two years in the German POW camps. Of the 27,000 Americans taken prisoner by the Japanese, a shocking 40 percent died in captivity, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service. That compares with just one percent of American prisoners who died in German POW camps.

A Prisoner’s Prayer

O God, My Creator and Protector, I know that thou art with me and so I adore thee, body and soul with complete submission to thy will. Thou hast save me from death which has overtaken many of my companions, and has permitted me to be taken as a prisoner of war, I will bear patiently and hopefully for the love of Thee, with all difficulties of my state. Bless me and my companions here, grant us to live in peace comforting and consoling one another with fraternal love and charity. Bless my country and my Comrades-in-Arms, give me peace and protect me from melancholy and despair and above all keep me from offending Thee. My God I thank thee for all thy blessings and I will try to serve Thee as St. Paul has told us “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation and instant in prayer.” Amen. 

read more

Honoring those other Veterans of War

 

Galloway. Moses. Me

 

 

Joe Galloway is a journalist, author, friend.

Joe Galloway is also a veteran of wars.  Several of them, including the ones still ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, yes, I know the war in Iraq is reportedly “over.”

Try telling that to ISIS.

The first war zone Galloway served in was never a declared war: Vietnam. Congress, it would seem, has been waffling on wars for as long as the US has been waging them.

This Veterans Day Galloway will be in DC speaking to the crowds gathered at the World War II Memorial. Later he will head over to the Vietnam Memorial Wall to be with the crowds there.

read more

Help a Veteran

 

Veteran

 

For the past year I have been traveling with a disabled veteran back and forth to the VA hospital in Boise, Idaho. This veteran lives in a remote area of Oregon, which makes Boise the nearest VA hospital for him.

This complicates things, naturally. Having veterans go out-of-state for care creates havoc on state budgets. We have long known that one of the problems with veterans care is that those veterans who live in the rural areas have a much more difficult time of obtaining consistency in care. They often have to travel long distances to reach VA clinics, or hospitals. Such is the case with the veteran I’ve been escorting. This is also true for Gold Star families – widows, mothers, children. The more rural a community they live in, the less likely they are to access the benefits afforded them.

read more

Purple Heart Recipient Jed Zillmer: An American Tragedy

 

 

His life ended in a one-sided shoot-out.

Police said he wanted it that way.

They said Afghanistan war veteran Jed Zillmer was on a suicidal mission: Kill or be killed.

He was allegedly heavily armed and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, although that had never been diagnosed.

Before a claim of PTSD can be confirmed it has to be reported – by the very person suffering from it. Go figure.

Zillmer had filed a claim. Said he’d lost a toe after his foot was shot during a gun battle in Afghanistan that took the life of one of his buddies. The nation awarded him a Purple Heart for the injury. The Army denied him disability benefits for that same injury. When Zillmer fought back – the way the military taught him to do – he was denied a second time, by a Federal judge. No conflict of interest there.

read more