I gotta admit – the war (and there is a war going on) is really, really far away. Not just in physical distance, but in emotional distance too. The media isn’t doing much to really ‘bring the war home’, and for good reason. The economy is in a shambles, and who wants to hear bad news? Not the American People, no way. They’d rather watch reality TV.
It’s not that the war doesn’t feel like it exists. It’s there. But we have to get some perspective on a lower level, and make the ‘soldier’ more real. There’s guys running around the middle east, American guys, trying to keep peace in an unbelievably hostile environment. Hostile because they’re there? Sure, I guess that’s one reason the environment might be hostile towards the U.S. military that’s been busy rolling around all over them. Thing is, I think that the area is just hostile in general – each faction hates the other. The U.S. is just another faction to hate and shoot at. I don’t think that’s any reason to leave that area, although the reasons for being there in the first place is definitely suspect.
I don’t think I support the war, but as long as we’re there, I suppose I support the GI’s dodging bullets over there. I ran across a website called The Tension, a blog, that gives an interesting perspective on what’s happening over there. Far from being a political site, it concentrates more on a low-level perspective from the GI point of view. Day to day kind of stuff. Interesting, sure, but it accomplishes a more important task: it humanizes the war effort and shows what guys do when they’re there. That makes things so much more real, and I can appreciate that.
From there, I followed some links and ended up at an article about improving military helmets. This was from the Marine Times, which also has a variety of interesting articles and interviews showing that those guys in uniform are actual people that worry about such things as being able to shoot back when they’re laying down prone and getting shot at. Continuing that thread lead to this site that provides improved helmet padding for soldiers’ helmets. Take a look, read about it, and maybe make a donation. Seems like a worthy cause. Especially now that I’ve gotten a little more perspective on the reality of “the soldier”.
In the age of video games, it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that getting shot in war doesn’t mean your health bar goes down – it means that you are (potentially) in a shitload of pain, and vital parts of your body are destroyed. There’s no such thing as the 1-Man-Army, an army is a team, and the team works together not only to accomplish their objective, but to protect itself.