Wednesday, August 10, 2005

personal reflections: from khe sahn to crawford texas

i think this will be a more personal post than some, so no caps, no real concern with grammar and correctness of any kind. political or other. just stream of conscience blogging...

why am i blogging about peace, women, and crawford texas? because of an 11 year old girl who still lives inside of me. that child of the earth detests the imbalance that picked up her brother from a mixed crop subsistence level farm in Indiana and set him down smack dab in the middle of south vietnam in 1968. there are so many elements of this i could write about, the economic/poverty draft, the exploitation of people by elite robber baron families currently embodied as transnational corporations, the massive global die-off (extinction) in which we are living and the role women must play to restore balanced information flow through some of the most extensive networks within the human system. but this week i am trying to build peace by framing of what is happening in Crawford ,Texas with my perspective and by, perhaps, returning a bit to the situation with the Raging Grannies arrest (did you catch them on the Today Show this past Monday?)in Tucson when they attempted to enlist in the Army.

our society doesn't like young women who see through the games and know about the unpleasant side of life. The hardness and consciousness with which these girls, such as myself, met others' gazes was most often misinterpreted and for that we were punished, one-way or another, for not being innocent or feigning innocence. the vietnam war stole my innocence.

that is the price I paid for becoming truly aware when I was 11 when I saw my brother on the six o'clock news from Hue, Vietnam and later that year when the pale skeletal shadow of my brother came home after six months of repair and restoration (a different kind of R&R) at Great Lakes Naval. He took a grenade in his back up under his flack jacker at Khe Sahn.
Blessedly many of my classmates did not have that kind of jolt into a more mature level of consciousness until several years after I effectively began seeing the world through jaded, if not adult, eyes. I still clearly see the image of the recruiter's car pull into my parents' drive way, not once but twice. (First time he was only shot in the leg (missed the femoral artery, thank heavens.) Living through the three minutes of hell before they get to the door when you are praying your loved one has "only" been wounded and isn't dead while watching your mother's face contort in dread and her eyes cloud with tears is not an experience I want any other human being to ever have to live through.

my brother survived; recovered as much as could be expected to, but now that he is older, his mobility is becoming problematic. i actually spent much of today with him as i flew to the midwest last week to take care of some family business and attend a high school class reunion. being here where those first impressions of war were formed while my friends are venturing to crawford has put me in touch with many original feelings about war and injustice that i hadn't experienced so strongly in decades.

i guess i am effectively a member of military families for peace. once a member of a military family always a military family.

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