Selected Excerpts from Soldier’s Heart:
...As is the nature of powerful people who declare war, they do so at a cost while doing their best to keep their expenses down. Giving the soldier status or recognition can be expensive. Only so many land grants can be made. Only so many hands can reach into the money pot. For the powers that be, cannon fodder must be abundant, made less expensive, and have the ability to make money for those who make enemies of others. Governments claim to be moral if it is in their favor to do so...
...My first direct experience with government was when I was nineteen years old. I was told to report within thirty days of notice for military service. If I did not report as ordered, federal officials would come to my home and arrest me and imprison me. If I did not agree to go and kill human beings on the other side of the world I would be ‘deemed’ a criminal. Essentially, the government coerced me to kill for them...
...A weapon has a life within, a character of its own. It solicits use. It exudes fear. It aspires to create death.
The use of weapons is lamentable but there is a time for every purpose. Even the sagacious will use a weapon when given no choice, but they never revel in its skill nor exult war.
When what you hold to be most holy is attended by pain, destruction and death the spiritual expenditure is devastating. But one’s own suffering is minimal compared to beholding the suffering of others. The sorrow of experiencing human beings at their worst and regret of not being able to help the victims is forever carried.
In war you sacrifice ideals for personal existence and the rage of killing. The experience will be permanent. The hazard is not risking one’s life, but one’s very humanity...
...I sit in Brook’s office on a comfortable couch and vibrate like I just left the battlefield. I look at him. He looks at me. "Whew!" is all he says.
Now that I’ve told my tale, I begin thinking back on the darkness. Those moments I thought for sure my life was over. I prayed. My prayers seemed answered but I realize now that there were moments, some really long moments when it appeared that my prayers to a God went unanswered and I reached out to a Devil for help.
The atmosphere in Brooks’ office seems filled with a charged haze. There is an expansive moment of great empty space then I wonder and ask,
"Is it possible Brooks? Have I sold my soul...?"
A Call To Arms
Fools bugled by the laughter of Hell,
A herald to death in the unforeseen.
Righteous hearts, troubled minds,
Souls adrift beyond Heaven’s reach.
Pain’s companion, wandering, warring youth,
led by patriotic lies.
Hallowed ground beneath each footstep taken
In search of the past path of being.
Carefree and young, peace of mind, rift of care,
Who would dare?
Who would dare?
This war comes packaged with a warning label: Caution: Studies have shown there is greater than a 20% chance of becoming mentally disturbed by participating in this conflict.