I'm sure all of you have been angered and pained by the anti-military activities of the Berkely City Council and the stupid antics of people like the mayor of Toledo. But maybe that seems distant to you. And yes, it's true that they are a small group who are just very vocal and recipients of a lot of attention, whose antics in most cases don't have much impact beyond their localities.
But not quite. There's a message going out, and it's being heard.
Chuck doesn't live on the West Coast and he's a long drive from Toldeo, but he's hearing it. He was wounded over two and a half years ago and recently completed what is hoped to be his final surgery (#35):
More and more often, those of us in uniform are being shunned. Reading commentary on news articles, it’s apparent that many view the military as a dreadnaught, bent on the eventual establishment of a military dictatorship. [snip]
I would be hard pressed to convince my son or daughter to defend them.
And so I am left a soldier who holds a large part of his nations’ population in contempt rivaling the scorn they hold me in. [snip]
I’m spent. I am exhausted mentally and physically drained as well. Pain and medication both take their toll, wearing me down until I just don’t want to resist any more… just want the niggling pain to disappear, instead of simply being kept at bay. I want to sleep without dreams, without memories that leave me breathless and awake; my heart pounding so hard I feel it will erupt from my chest. And then alone, awake, with my thoughts, fears, and regret, to suffer until I can at long last collapse—hopefully too tired to dream.
It must be the brainwashing and mind-control beams again… time to buy more Reynolds’s wrap.
Lest those who don't know him think this is typical whining from a typical whiner, I assure you I've never read a post like that from Chuck before. Just one more reason to despise those people with an intensity beyond my ability to express.
UPDATE: Counter-protesters will be in Berkeley today. My prayer is that they will conduct themselves with honor and integrity, and master the righteous rage that surely wells up in them.
UPDATE II: "Auld Soldier" John talks to Chuck, brother to brother.