Litkicks Message Board Archive

Where is your encompissing vision?

Posted to Poetry and Politics

Polarised shades( Veteran gets rude welcome on Bainbridge )
can't keep out the hatred that slumbers beneath the surface of out domestic civility. More to follow.

An ex-Marine contact of mine writes,
"When are Veterans going to get together and agree on any one thing? I
think that so long as the "I did it, they should have to do it too"
attitude exists, this will happen forever. Once it is replaced with the "I
had to do it, but I don't think anybody should have to do it again" or "Let
it end with me" attitude starts, we can have hope.
(On visiting a VFW exhibit at the Wall, wearing a Vets for Peace shirt)... The welcome ... was so weak after the severe questioning as to whether we (Vets for Peace)
could even be there, that I left there remembering all the other times I
thought I should not tell new friends that I am a veteran or the Reagan GI
Bill cuts during my college days or the stuff that our returning Vets will
soon be experiencing. I think it's time we started finding VFW and other
veterans and discussing what we want for future veterans. Separation and
resentment or unity and perhaps some positive accomplishments for all
(Cliff Wells, USMC)

I personally was rebuked by my own family on coming home. First, there were no homecoming parades. My step-dad had sold my car while I was in Vietnam and pocketed the money. Then when I told them I was going to protest the war, they essentially disowned me.
I got my immediate family back, but my real dad's family is entrenched in their own sense of alienation as reactionary conservatives who don't want distractions from their fabricated reality.
No contact. I finally wrotye them a real letter expressing myself in positive terms and that was it, an unspoken goodbye.

I had no slaps on the back from anyone, except from the Vietnam Vets Against the War. My so-called dissident friends were all happy in their avoidance.
The silent majority was happy in their avoidance.

I got encouragement from Black Panthers, conscientious objectors, and war vets. Hippies were all too busy being happy.

I used Jane Fonda as a role model, as somebody who could be alienated and could return to normal life.
In fact, I used anybody who had been through shit and regained a sense on control in their lives as role models. Even a so-called Republickun(t) or two, my vet rehab counselor actually was the only one, but ten hut, you got to make exceptions everywhere.

Am invited to a Vets for Kerry meetup in September at a local VFW. It will be my first time inside one.

And yes, when the Desert Storm troopers came home to St. Petersburg, I went downtown and was there to greet them. The ones I saw were not smiling. They stood there looking kind of intense. But is was a welcome anyhow.

There will be differences of opinion. But civility is a hallmark of our domestic culture and somethings are sacrosanct. Now, if we could just turn that spoken-for civility into something more concrete, like works programs and genuine educational opportunities for returning veterans, as well as health care, and, yes, for the ones you will not see in any parade, the families of the dead, and the wounded.

My guess is that coming home to Bainbridge Island is about as good a homecoming as you will find anywhere, aside from the occasional asshole who gives all dissenters a bad name.

I would have shut her up personally, or rebuked her, and my guess is that her presence on such a small island wll not be welcome either.

But what can you say, above dudes, except for your words of outrage?

so it is that imagry in our heads manifests emotional sense.