April 29, 2008

The Military Family's Dilemma

Wachel on Wupert's upcoming deployment:

I feel like a colossal asshole for sleeping in a comfy bed with comfy pillows in a quiet room every night while these guys are out there sleeping on cots in tents and lugging around half their weight in body armor every day. I also feel like a colossal asshole for never worrying about this stuff before. Itís not like the war started the day Rupert got called up. I guess sometimes things just have to get personal for a person to wake up to certain painful realities.

It just sucks. Thatís what I know. I wish I had something profound to say about it but I donít. It just sucks. I never really ďgot itĒ when I heard or read about how deployments wreak havoc on the troopsí families and how that in itself makes it so much harder for the troops themselves. Oh, I get it now, way more than I ever wanted to. Iím not saying my life is havoc right now, far from it. I just finally get whatís so different about your loved one being away from you for this reason as opposed to other reasons like college or moving across country or whatever. People do those things for themselves. They serve in the military for everyone else, and itís physically, psychologically, and mentally a world apart.

And I tell you what, it makes me want to dismember people like [anti-troop idiot whose name Joy redacted for the same reason Rachel took out the link] (whom I shall not link to on second thought) and feed the parts to my dogs.

Holy shit, Rachel. My prayers with Rupert; you've really brought this home for me.

(Yeah; Imade a grammatical correction to the Lucas quote. I'll take it out on Rachel's request, if she can spot it. I know it was wrong to do that, but it was a weak moment. I mean, I could insert little "[sic]" notes into people's quotations, but that's, like, calling attention to 'em, ya know? It feels like a snide thing to do on a medium like the internet, wherein speed is so much the name of the game that even the very best bloggers sometimes . . . gulp . . . find that space aliens have inserted typographical errors into their work.

I could actually make a full-time job of writing discreet little emails to other bloggers, pointing out their mistakes. But no one would pay me, and even more people would hate me. So—no.)

Also: Rachel is reading Michael Yon's latest, Moment of Truth in Iraq. I can't wait to get my hands on it, but I spent this month's discretionary funds on a couple of tank tops in the first few days we hit ninety degrees here in SoCal. (Do me a favor: next time I brag about the weather here—which will probably be tomorrow—fuckin' shoot me. 'Kay?)

The Rach (aka The Rock) also recommends this post by James Aalan Bernsen on the surge.

About the suffering of military families—well, I don't know. I have discovered that when I turn on the "sensitive" switch I tend to melt into a puddle of sympathy, and I'm less effective as a human being. Just as I had to detach from squeamishness to take science classes, I have to detach from real human pain in order to (1) write essays about politics, or (2) write fiction about crime. (I remember having a stern talking-to with myself while I was doing research on serial killers; the careers of Ted Bundy and his colleagues make for tough reading if you are saddled with any compassion. I had to find the shut-off switch.)

I have no answers. I only know that I no longer have any inclination to prop up military leaders who cannot be coaxed into some kind of democratic inroads to human rights. Which leaves me hopeful that we can use capitalism to, um, give the Chinese government some rope. And it leaves me barely avoiding the dark pits of despair when it comes to North Korea.


And as a crime writer, of course, I will probably someday write the "detective nullification" plot that all the greats play with (even Dorothy L. Sayers did it once in a short story—though she condemned it in one of her novels).

But for the most part I serve the function of a traffic light, reminding my fellow creatures that—nine times out of ten—murder is evil.

Posted by Attila Girl at April 29, 2008 12:19 AM | TrackBack
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