80 years watching wars, wake the hell up

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by AC

I posted this to facebook and it is not intended to be political, just an old guy sharing a few things.

I have been following the news like all the rest of you as well as watching comments. I have been on this earth for a while and many of my friends have left. What concerns me is words of war, words of killing and such. I would like to share a few memories if I may, take it as you will. I am beyond the point in life to worry about what you may think of me.
I was born, 1939 and it was the start of another world war. I had died in the First World War for that was the memory I had as a child, an abused child whom went from home to home as I had a town drunk as a father and no mother. You may now be wondering, what the hell do you mean dying, you were just born?
I would wake night after night trying to yell, don’t shoot me again, I am dead, I am dying. I would be crying as I felt the bullets impact my body as I had just fallen in tall grass, rifle still in my hand and me in a brown uniform. Dreams or real, I relived it hundreds of time, it was engrained in my soul, it does not matter.
I grew in the next six years and watched the end of this war being celebrated. In between, I lived with about 12 different families, some just women as the men were off to war. I watched as some would get a mysterious message and then break down and cry, I was confused. I remember women getting together talking of their men overseas, worrying if they would return. Women would trade flour sacks to make dresses with, they were all poor. I saw women give away mens clothing and shoes, their man was not coming home. I remember one women telling me and my brother while we looked up at her, her son’s soul came home, opened his door to his bedroom and closed it as she watched, she had tears in her eyes. I learned about drawing then, using cereal boxes with pictures of war, airplanes and tanks in the cardboard dividers as models.
The end of the war came and I watched grown men crying as were the women whom lined the streets of
Belding mi., they had the biggest damn fire in the middle of the park I had seen in my life, I and my brother then, were street kids. I saw my father for the first time in many months, staggering into the celebration, close to falling down.
Move ahead to me being 11 years old. I was now a part of a family of poor farmers, Ed was to be my step father, they fed us like they fed stray dogs, fattened us up some, then put us to work. Ed was a returning bomber captain, a pilot, a hero to some but not to himself. He told us of the hundreds of young men whom died in planes flying next to his plane and how the planes went down as shells exploded all about them. He told us of two of his cousins in his bomber whom burned up when his plane crashed in England, still laden with large bombs. I watched with big eyes as tears streamed down his face explaining how his bombs killed so many innocent people, it impacted me deeply.
I too became a soldier after the Korean War and spent 8 years in service, getting out before Vietnam. I was set back listening to career soldiers wishing for a war so they could be promoted, peacetime was boring to them, they got their wish in the end. Young men I knew, many my students fought in the Vietnam war, many not returning. This was a reflection of my beginning, being born in 39, history repeating itself. Before I end this, let me share one more thing. I grew up next to damaged soldiers from WW 1, some had no toes nor feet, they rotted off in the trenches, most were sour and withdrawn. For years I would wave at bitey, he was a sour vet whom smoked his corn cob pipe, sit on his porch and watch, his feet to crippled to carry him far. It was said he bit off his rotted toes while in the trenches with his teeth, thus his name. He never waved back.
Now I am seeing on line support for more killing, more war, the blind leading the blind, there is no sunshine at the end of this tunnel, just a door leading us back to the same circle to repeat the same idiocy. Take it for what it is, 80 plus years of observation.

I could add, I worked with a number of really messed up guys from the Korean War, it was not a war, it was political from their point of view and they watched and participated in slaughter from both sides.

Now been retired educator, fire and rescue, I look back and see so many more of my students messed up more lately in the Mid East shit, it goes on and on.

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