November 07, 2007
An Argument for Hell

The man, with the “Proud father of a Marine” bumper sticker on his shiny silver pickup pulled into my drive to buy a used extension ladder. He was a talkative, sweet guy.

Without warning he said, “My youngest son is in combat every day in Iraq. It’s near the end of his second tour.” His son was shot through his right shoulder not long ago, his dad said. Vitals missed. He was sewn up and returned to the front in three days.

He was supposed to come home near Christmas, ending his service in Iraq. But his second tour was just extended, and he was told there would be a third tour after a brief home leave. He’s been under fire, his dad said, for nearly two years already.

“He’s a Marine, you know, They’ve got to do what they’re told to do. It’s hard on us, being nervous all the time.”

As he backed out with the ladder I was thinking about the man who is ordering this boy to return for his third tour after being wounded. I was hoping there was a God, and a hell, and I was praying for that man to spend eternity there.



Posted by Bill Doolittle at November 07, 2007 08:51 AM
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I'd settle for him convicted on criminal charges, the kind where mandatory sentences (you know, the kind his party thinks are such a good idea) keep you from seeing daylight for the rest of your life--plus the sort of civil conviction that bankrupts him, his family and anyone tempted to help bail him out.

And a similar fate for everyone else who worked in the Bush West Wing.

Posted by: Molly, NYC on November 7, 2007 8:27 PM

And the man who now has an extension ladder needs a hug.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on November 8, 2007 3:25 PM

This is an outrage. The notion of keeping a wounded warrior in a combat zone for years is inexcusable, even if his injury is healed. Is it any wonder that enlistments are down so far? It is not only the lies that were told about the reasons for going to war, it is the callous attitude toward the troops that is coming from the White House and many in the Republican party.

I feel such sympathy for the father of that Marine.

Posted by: Cranky Daze on November 8, 2007 5:10 PM

I cannot help but wonder how many Tim McVeighs' will be returning from Iraq.

Posted by: E d Furmanick on November 10, 2007 10:35 AM

Oh dear. I hadn't even thought about that, Ed. In Iraq we have people who have gone through immeasurably much more battle stress than he did, while harassed by dominionist Crusaders in the officer corps and bombarded with Limbaugh on Armed Forces Radio.

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on November 10, 2007 8:50 PM
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