Monday, June 12, 2006

Cognitive Dissonance Redux

There are times when Buddhist in me rails against the soldier. My faith is constantly at odds with my occupation. I believe, not in Good or Evil, but rather Suffering and Compassion, and as someone who pursues and seeks to attain greater understanding of the Dharma, I am obligated by spiritual mandate to help alleviate the Suffering of others.

But all I see around me is Suffering. Soldiers who hate their jobs, grunts whose lives and selves are subservient to an agenda. The soldiers suffer, and so their families at home suffer because of them. Suffering begets suffering. How I can continue to do my job without falling victim to the endless circle of bitterness that this job creates? Isn't that the question of Haditha? Wasn't that the question of My Lai?

At the enlisted level, it's easy to feel abandoned by one's leadership. The shit, as they say, always rolls downhill. How are we supposed to serve and die for an agenda whose proponents are not interested in our welfare? Why MUST "the grunts always get screwed?" To see the true cruelty and ignorance of men is to live on the bottom rung. Is a yellow ribbon magnet on someone's bumper supposed to alleviate my doubt?

Does anyone really care about us? We are young, we are poor, we are disposable. To think that anyone gives a damn about our Suffering, our own fears and doubts, seems foolish on some days. But what is the reason to fight then? Make no mistake, the draft is still in place. But now the draft cards have pictures of dead presidents on them.

We're all just Hellfighters now. Sure, we're heroes, sure, we're liberators, but when it comes down to it, we're still just part of the underclass.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

Powerful post. Nothing more vertical than the military I suppose. Org charts pounded in stone.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I care. Thank you for everything you stand for. You are a hero. And just remember - God gave you the right and the authority to say "NO" when those you have trusted to be leaders have betrayed and neglected you. We are all born with equal worth. Maybe God puts the strongest on the bottom so that we can show the top what humanity really is. You are a star. Hang in there, good Sir. I salute you.

4:21 PM  
Blogger cgg said...

I wish I could contradict you, but my fear is that you're absolutely right. What I can say is that blogs like yours give the rest of us a sense of what you and others are living.

6:07 PM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

In a military hierarchy in which leadership means increased responsibility, instead of decreased culpability... the grunts would not be screwed. Their leaders would actually take responsibility for the Hadithas, and the wars for false pretenses, and the Abu-Ghraibs.

But instead we have an increasingingly corporate government and military, in which those with the least power are the most culpable.

It's fucked.

7:19 PM  
Blogger brogonzo said...

Great points. It's hard to feel pride in one's work when you're greeted with a sneer as soon as someone notices your rank.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Softball Slut said...

Well I for one appreciate you, and so does my family and friends. I am but one voice among many, but it's a Loud voice.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous kesuka said...

I care about all of you fighting for what we are supposed to be about. I just hope that those who are above you remember who we are supposed to be.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous S. R. said...

I know exactly how you feel Freeman. Hang in there, it won't last forever.

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freeman. My son heads for Naval Bootcamp today. He signed on as a medic.

I hope he doesn't end up there.

Life is suffering..yes, but remember that the suffering is caused by attachment to the idea that something is supposed to be different than it is.

All you can do is meet each person each day with the respect due all people and do your best to do no harm.

I can't imagine how it must be there. We do care!! The yellow ribbons are worthless...is there a place I can send a care package?

email me PoetivityMe113@aol.com

Hold fast to the peace deep inside. Don't let the suffering and noise of war inside. I'm so sorry you are there...I'm sorry any of you are there...I hope it's all over soon.

5:34 AM  

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