It’s high time we ended the post-Vietnam obsession with Rambo’s rippling pecs as well as the jaw-dropping technological firepower of the recent cinematic version of G.I. Joe and return to the resolute, undemonstrative strength that Gary Cooper showed in movies like High Noon.
“The question that arose in my mind is, ‘Why is there so much suffering?’ Christianity did not have a satisfactory answer,” said Thomas Dyer, a former Baptist minister. Dyer is now the first Buddhist chaplain in the U.S. Army.
During his first two weeks back, my brother, the demolitions expert, plied me with photos of the carnage and mayhem wreaked by his platoon. Fifteen memory cards worth of bizarre and disturbing photos — half-naked soldiers dancing in the desert, a severed goat’s head in a noose, Marines dressed in traditional women’s clothing found following a house raid.
I wanted to hit him, banish him, to create a giant dent in his soul. But he wouldn’t care, wouldn’t budge. This is what the Marines have trained him to do — warp, destroy, and believe it is for good. …
Army commanders are failing at the day-to-day task of monitoring troubled young soldiers in their barracks back home, which is helping push suicides to record numbers, the head of the Army’s suicide task force says.
More than half of those surveyed say generally their children have coped well or very well with a parent who has gone to war. But one in four say the child has coped poorly or very poorly, and a third say the child’s grades and behavior in school have suffered.
Nearly 900,000 troops with children have deployed to war since 2001, and the Pentagon estimates that currently 234,000 children have a mother or father at war. The survey last year had a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points says Barbara Thompson, head of the Pentagon office of Family Policy/Children and Youth.
The Pentagon is “very concerned” about the effects of multiple deployments, she says. Children have classmates who have lost a parent, she says, “it’s in their face that it could happen to me.”…
And think of those whose parent comes home missing a foot, or part of a brain, or a personality…
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