On my brother's entertaiment center sits a piece of rusted metal. Most wouldn't notice it, others may even try to throw it away, but to my brother it means so much more. In that piece of wadded up metal tells a story of how he and several other soldiers almost lost their lives due to an IED on a road in Iraq. I can't imagine what that must have been like that, the noise, the smoke, the chaos. I know he helped with a hum-v, the casualty in the vehicle did not make it, he helped remove the body. It affected him on many levels, especially since this soldier, shared the same rank, position in the vehicle. even last names. Again I can't imagine.
My brother is a third generation soldier. My father is a Vietnam veteran, and my grandfather is a Korean veteran. My father never wanted the Army life for his children. He never wanted us to go through what he did.
But my brother went to Ground Zero after September 11th and felt compelled to join the Army, just as my father felt compelled to do so many years ago. They both thought they were doing the right thing, not knowing or not caring what it might do to them, what they were sacrificing or how long their sacrifice would last.
My father still has nightmares. My brother's have just begun. They did what they thought what was right. Their souls are now shattered because of the things they had to do. They are the walking wounded, ghosts flying about, the boogey man around the next corner. All we can do is be there and try to understand. All we can do is be there and try to understand.
Think about that the next time someone tells you that war is the right thing to do. Think about the piece of folded up blasted rusted metal that sits on my brother's entertainment center.