Thursday, January 26, 2012


These people fell out of the sky on Jauary 26, 2005. I knew some and others names I learned that I had known but would never know. The night was cold, I remember waiting for what seemed like an eternity for a helicopter to descend from the night and ferry us to a last mission after completing what was the hardest challenge any of those men who had survived the battle would ever face. We waited in lines known as (chalks) of about thirty men to a bird. My chalk was one of the last to load and looking back I must have seen the doomed flight take off. We all held the fear that leaving the city of Fallujah was too good to be true and thought that the last flight seemed an appropriate trap for irony; I remember that many of us had talked about it.

Earlier in the day I talked to a friend that would fall out of the sky with the rest. Jafarkhahnitorshizi had the longest last name I had ever seen, and communicated to me how he could not wait to leave the fucking city. About a year before the crash and during our infantry training “Cheesy” and I had dug a hole and spent a cold night together in the frozen hills of San Diego California’s San Onofre within the confines of Camp Pendleton. Being inexperienced we had been taught how to ask a challenge password to every person who passed our defensive position. We waited in holes that we had dug and stood atop our cultivated dirt for approval, with our faces covered in camouflaged paint like the real infantry Marines we hoped to become.

Word had spread that our commanding officer was coming up the line and I told Cheesy that I would challenge our Captain. Cheesy tried to plead sense to me, explaining that such a thing could turn into an awkward situation but when the Captain came up the trail I asked, “How are those Lakers?” Stunned the Captain looked bewildered at the question as I shot him with a blank round. The Captain inquired as to why I would think it appropriate to shoot my commanding officer and informed me that if he had been a foot closer he would have shoved my rifle up my ass. I told the Captain that he did not say the password and that during the battle of the Bulge of World War II German Soldiers penetrated allied lines by speaking English and dressing like American soldiers. The Captain looked at me curiously and reminded me that shooting the commanding officer was generally not an accepted form of testing the challenge and pass situation. Cheesy and I survived and we laughed and retold the story to our infantry instructors as they had to know after hearing about a rogue fighting hole.

I think about Cheesy and my other friends who were cheated by fate like they were still here today. So many Americans never have to feel this dark feeling because we volunteered and they did not. I hear a landing helicopter but I do not remember the confusion. When we had completed our ten day mission in another Iraqi city I finally read the killed in action list of those who had perished in the crash. Friend after friend passed by my eyes and I died again inside. My family thought I was dead, but I had lived and another family would bear the true burden of war while the others carry on. So is America.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Devil In Your War

He speaks to a young man washed in his friend’s blood, “Revenge.” The young man kills his friend’s killer and is left with the corpse of a stranger. Never having had the chance to explain to his friend’s killer what great damage this enemy corpse had done to his outlook on humanity and life, the young Marine pulls his dick out of his pants and pisses on the corpse of his friend's killer. This is a piece of war, not all of it but at the same time it is a microcosm of what war is; human beings pissing away existence.

Protected people will protest the horror of it and this is the great gift of protection and detachment from the human condition. A warrior’s ethos revolves around the death of his friends until it becomes him. Pissing on the enemy corpse is his way of telling his friends that they mattered. Something dark lurking in the shadows of mud huts and blowing sand sticks and though a human being might have mistaken themself for something omnipotent, the reality sets in and their reaction is a result of electrical impulses that are completely rational. Irrational are the people who believe that killing can be clean and acceptable. Irrational are people who carry on with their lives and cling to slogans like, “Kill them all!” Irrational is war.

It is all nonsensical and do not be too quick to judge a person that you have no connection with and a person who shares the same qualities and possibilities that you would if you found yourself under such circumstances. I feel a great sadness for the Marines who pissed on their dead enemies because they will be tried under law to make a point when what they require is understanding and therapy. It is my belief that their action was rational and that it is war that is irrational.