Title blurb

"From one LIGHT come many colors." ~GJ Dürrschmidt

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warheads to Ragheads: An Old Soldier's Rant

I have a sick feeling growing more and more in the pit of my stomach. I invested, sacrificed, twenty years in the military -- what should've been the best twenty years of my young adult life. I did without a lot, and forced the same upon my family as well, as I dedicated my time, energy, and talents as a soldier fighting to make the world a better, safer place in which to live. Many times I found myself placed in harm's way in the crusade to stop the spread of communism, and bring the evil Soviet empire to its knees.

My duty to God and country began back in grade school when I drilled along with the whole school on taking cover quickly beneath our desks, and how to hit the ground huddled and tucked away from a nuclear blast. Every day thereafter, I had been held hostage, along with the rest of the world, by the constant threat of a global nuclear holocaust, and the total destruction in hours, of a world that took millions of years to create. I went to bed every night resting on the hope that the powers that be would remain cool headed, be prudent, and exercise restraint.

As an adult, I was willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary, and place my life at risk, so that one day my own sons would never have to dive under a desk at school, and live well into their adult lives, daily under the perpetual threat of total world destruction.

Vietnam Era veterans, like myself, who served in the armed forces during the Cold War, lived under that hideous threat minute-by-minute, day-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year, in an ongoing battle; sometimes engaging in short duration, adrenalin pumping, front line confrontations, but more often engaged in the very mundane, tedious, persistent economic and technological exploitation of the Soviet regime, and its military machine. No sacrifice was too great. We believed it to be the ultimate form of world terrorism, but time would eventually prove us wrong.

In the end, or what was perceived as being the end, we were ultimately victorious over our enemy. Communism failed. The Berlin Wall crumbled. The Iron Curtain was no more. And, along with it all, the Soviet Union was finally defeated. Democracy and the free enterprise system ruled victorious. We in the military did our duty, to God and country, but I'm still not convinced the same can be said for the politicians and corporate power moguls, whom, we all believed were “minding the store.”

Once cleverly veiled from the public by the ever ongoing Cold War of ideologies, the greed and selfishness traditionally behind western political decision making, and specifically that of the United States, had suddenly been laid bare before the public. There was never a great and powerful Oz, but men in very expensive suits hiding behind the curtain, calling the shots in the name of "growing the economy" and massing personal wealth.

Let's face it, world bad boys like Noriega, Bin Laden, and Hussein didn't happen overnight, and solely on their own merit. No longer needed, these once prized puppets of the western military industrial machine, fell from grace, and were eventually disposed of. Was it to protect the guilty? You decide. But, one thing for sure, it wasn't before one, Bin Laden, got to lash back at those who had once empowered, and then betrayed him. We all painfully know the rest of that story. He successfully, and unchallenged, went on for decades to recruit and train a wide reaching fanatical following, with a mandate to unleash a new form of terrorism upon the west.

With all the great minds in all the super think tanks in this country, how could this present day Islamic extremist-based terrorist threat have gone unnoticed, and for so long? Or, had it? What's been taking place in the world since the turn of the millennium has many, if not all, of we old servicemen filled with guile and rage! It shamefully undermines the decades of collective sacrifice made to insure a safer, more peaceful future for our families, our nation, and the world. While we were out in the trenches taking the proverbial "bullet,” one has to wonder who was here at home minding the store?

Today, we find ourselves in a whole new ball game, and all the old bets are off. At least with nuclear warheads, we knew what, and where, the threat was. We knew when one was being fired. We could set up defenses. We had reasonable confidence that we could destroy it. But now that warheads have evolved into ragheads, we no longer know where the threat is, or when, where, or how it might strike. When you’re up against an enemy who is so fanatical, he/she is willing to lodge a bomb in their ass in order to inflict death and destruction upon innocents, we’ve become embarrassingly defenseless.

When we turn on the evening news and hear high level government officials telling us to exercise vigilance, and to embrace for  acts of terrorism here at home; when they tell us to expect any possible form of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, or combinations thereof, to be employed, and to expect mass casualties; and that it can happen in any city, any day, at any time; I say to these government officials, what are we old soldiers to do? Where do we report for duty? Where are our weapons against this new enemy? Where do we direct the battle? How can we save our children, families, neighbors, and communities from this heinous threat? How did you let this happen?Why were you not minding the store?

After serving our nation, protecting our way of life, and defending the Constitution, what has become our just reward? Now we can no longer sit openly in a public place, in hometown America, sipping a latte with friends and loved ones, without the fear that at any moment, some raghead may walk up carrying a backpack, and blow all of our beloved asses to kingdom come! Well, we certainly didn’t see that one coming. Good job!

~GJ Duerrschmidt

No comments:

Post a Comment