Monday, June 18, 2007

Bush and Cheney, Meet the Burkes

While so many blog our feelings about the war in Iraq, multitudes of other Americans, good people who love their country, are living with pain beyond words.

In the Boston Globe today, their story is embodied by the Burkes, George and Michael, father and son who served as Marines in Vietnam and Iraq, and came home wracked by post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Michael's story is sadly familiar,” Charles M. Sennott reports, “he has not been the same since seeing a friend killed in a roadside bomb blast in western Iraq.

“But what George, 63, is living through is part of something new--or rather something old that has returned with new force. Forty years after his tour of duty in the battles around Khe Sanh in the fall of 1967, he is overcome again by debilitating memories and nightmares from that war, symptoms triggered by televised images of the Iraq bloodshed, and by his fears for--and firsthand knowledge of --what his son was to encounter in Iraq.”

The head of VA readjustment counseling services confirms many such cases across the country--fathers who served in Vietnam having their PTSD reawakened by Iraq and what is happening to their sons serving there.

So now we have two-for-the-price-of-one tragedies, families in which the sins, not of the fathers but those who sent them off to insane wars, keep destroying American lives. Sleeplessness, nightmares, alcoholism, anxiety are their rewards for volunteering to serve their country.

In a just world, the Neo-Cons who lied us into this war and the new generation of Cheney nincompoops who want to invade Iran would be sentenced to live for the duration with the Burkes in Clinton, Mass. and see what patriotism--abused by high-level stupidity--has done to them.

Semper Fi.

1 comment:

Llyonnoc of the Woods said...

I see we're now going to extend the tour of duty of the guys in Iraq. Theses volunteers are being killed in their second and third tours over there while 98 -99% of their contemporaries are playing at home. The fundamental unfairness of the situation is astonishing. When has a country ever gone into such a war as this and required it to be fought by so few. If the war is so important to our fight for freedom, why do we not involve more people? Of course I know the answer, if we had a draft this war would never had started or if it did it would have been over two years ago. Semper Fi.