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Baby Faces, Our Youth Sent to War

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posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 07:01 PM
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Those 21 and younger account for about 1 in 3 combat deaths. In contrast, just 7 percent of the dead are 40 or older....

I have seen the faces, and I must be old now. Because they all seem so very young, Too young.

In my 39 years of life I feel like I am still young in many ways, learning, exploring this human existance, searching always for meaning, understanding and wisdom. I have lived long enough to respect this life and all it has given me, and with satisfaction I can feel in many ways complete.

I have loved, I have traveled, I have experienced the joys and pains of raising four children.

Today I was given a dose of reality by one of my children. My oldest daughter has been in some deep depression for several days now.

I will try to make the long story short here.

Some months ago my daughter (unknown to me) joined a website for teens and was exchanging messages and chatting with other teens. She met one young man she grew very fond of. He was a U.S. soldier and was about to be sent to war in Iraq.

He had just turned 19 when they met online, and it was just a few weeks ago when I noticed calls from the U.S. Government on my caller ID. I was paranoid about these unknown calls from the Government. But later dismissed it. Come to find out the calls were from this young man my daughter had met online. They found ways to remain in contact over the phone, through e-mail, and when possible instant messenger.

Apparently sometime two and a half weeks ago the communications ended and that sent my daughter into this phase of depression. She was thinking the worst, I tried to keep her hopeful and positive.

It is clear to me now that my daughter and this unknown young man had deep feelings for each other. and when he returned from war they had plans to meet. All of this was a complete unknown to me.

She has now confessed all of this to me, and gave me a phone number to this young man's family, and requested that I call and ask about him as she could not bring herself to make that call.

I made that call and the news was bad, but not as bad as it could have been... The rest is very personal and private.

I have now had time to reflect on all of this, and I am overwhelmed at the thought of these young people who to me are still children in many ways and are being sent to war. When there is so much life they have not yet lived.

In a way it seems almost cowardly to send these young people to fight and risk the ultimate sacrifice, when they still live in a world of cartoons and video games, Perhaps war is just a video game to them in some twisted way.

Most of those who now fight and may die in these wars are not much older than my own children. That reality has hit home and in a personal way.

It seems we send our barely old enough in to fight and die first. Call me unpatriotic but there is something cowardly, tragic and so wrong in that.

Then again in a world of wrongs this may seem like the right way to do things.

Look at the faces, they are our youth. our sacrifice. Their sacrifice.

They are more than just a body count seen in a number on your screen, or in some document somewhere. They are somone's child. A person with potential and unknown contributions to this world.

God bless them all.

Gazz

[edit on 17-10-2004 by UM_Gazz]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 07:15 PM
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I feel for you I have 6 boys my self the oldest is 14 and I am starting to worry with all these conflicts that are going on.
But the reasion why younger people are used in wars is because us Older folks couldent hack the phycisial strain of combat .
I rember when I was In the navy is just turned 18 when i joined and thought the so called boot camp was a Breze maddy joing the army is harder? i dont know But back then anyone who was healthy could make it through there obstical corse lol.
Heck I had harrder workout hunting lol.
But im 40 now and the Idea Of running 10 miles Id probly keel over from a heart attack. Im older and I feal it miss being young.
the point is if the minum age was brought up to over 30 then half the guys would never make it trough basic . Thous guys who are over 40 mostly do veical duty and such as theyd never be able to slog it out.
The best way the world can protect our children From dieing in a war is to STOP having them because no matter what side your one it the young who do most of the dieing.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 07:35 PM
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I was seventeen when I entered active duty, eighteen when I first set foot in Vietnam and nineteen when I was wounded. My best friend, Dennis James Kane, was killed a few days prior to my being wounded. His last birthday was about one hour long.

We were on our way to Japan from California when the clock in the passenger cabin clicked over to 24 August 1968, his birthday. About one hour later, we crossed the international dateline and it was 25 August 1968. We had a good laugh, not knowing for certain that it would be his last. Of course, we were acutely aware of the risks, but we faced them with good humor, as I'm sure most of those who serve today do.

I would not change a thing about my decisions at that time and I knew Dennis well enough to know that he wouldn't either. These boys (and unfortunately, girls) are the ones to whom we owe the freedom that we enjoy today. We should be grateful for their sacrifice.


[edit on 04/10/17 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 07:49 PM
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The brother my father lost in Vietnam was only 18, the brother he lost in Korea was19 my father was 20 when he and his brother served in Korea, It did not matter that my father tried to make then understand that his brother was a slow person my father said he was terrorized and he wanted to be with his brother after training they were separated and within a year my father found out that his brother was killed in battle.

It is hard when you realized that it can be your own son dying.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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I was 19 when I joined up in the Army Reserve. It was not for the pay, or because I thought it was a social club.

Because we were part timers the Army squeezed the most out and into us in the time they had us. They tried to squeeze a three months basic into two weeks. I forgot what sleep was. Most of my ongoing training was like that.

When I was 25 I did something stupid, I took a bad tumble down some stairs at home and stuffed my knee. I tried to keep going with Reserves but I was not up to the job and was being carried by my mates. So I got out.

Would I go if I was called back. Yes, because despite all the good reasons not to be in Iraq or involved in the War on Terror, I can find in my own heart and mind , good reasons to go, to be there, to fight (and I hate fighting) that don't involve bogus issues like honor, glory, geo politics or economics or any of that elitist & university BS I'm hearing from both sides.

Would the Army have me? No, sadly because I am now a 36 year old with an arthritic knee and a heart problem and war is a fit young mans occupation (desired or not). It embarrasses the hell out of me, but only makes me angry because I'd swap places any day of the week with some 19-20 year old soldier who doesnt want to be there, if only to get the poor bugger out.

Okay, Ready take aim fire....."Shoot straight you b*****ds!"



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by craigandrew
Would the Army have me? No, sadly because I am now a 36 year old with an arthritic knee and a heart problem and war is a fit young mans occupation (desired or not). It embarrasses the hell out of me, but only makes me angry because I'd swap places any day of the week with some 19-20 year old soldier who doesnt want to be there, if only to get the poor bugger out.


I don't think you have anything to be embarrassed about. You joined and served until you had your accident. The only people in the world who have a right to needle the Reserves and National Guard are the active duty troops and even they know in their hearts that were it not for the volunteeer active Reserves and Guardsmen, their terms of service might never end.

This is the error those who mock GW Bush's service make and this is especially odd coming from a sector that usually despises the military and has done all in its power to make heroes out of cowards and deserters.

You have my respect for your service.

[edit on 04/10/17 by GradyPhilpott]


LL1

posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 09:25 PM
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That was truly touching. And I must say to you, our children come
through us... They are not ours for keeps.

I too have seen the faces of youth, the braces, the just out of high
school, and the no other alternative of some but to join the military.
Some so young it would break my heart at times, knowing they were scared,
but they never say a thing.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to give that Mommy hug, and
say it's all going to be all right, but you can't, not to a Uniform.
I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed the walks on a flight line
to a C-5, hoping they'd all come back, but knowing deeply they never all would.

I've watched with them the C-5's lift off and hear them say,
"That's the sound of Freedom" and smell the spent jet fuel on takeoff and hear them say,
"That's the smell of Freedom".
There was "Real World" for real, preparation for war.

I've watched the Honor Guard practice, and practice and practice...
outside the morgue...
Let's just say I've seen them go and I've seen them come...

I have a cup it says on "Operation Restore Hope"
(Somalia for those that may not know)



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 09:29 PM
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UM_Gazz,

I hope that the young man is ok, and I hope your daughter is doing fine, I have a daughter myself we parents have to deal with our children feelings, we have to give them support and love.

My grandfather was a dashing 19 year old sailor when he meet my grandmother she was only 14, back in those days I guess age was not and issue, she and him fell in love and married secretly, he went back to sea to never come back he left my grandmother with child when her parents found out you can imagine the surprised and the anger but soon to die down when they found out that he died my mother never knew her father she only knows that he was a hero.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:11 PM
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I found that very touching too UM_Gazz. It reminds you of the waste which is war, denying those young who never make it out the opportunity to experince life's wonders. Sometimes this is necessary, but that does't take away the fact that is still very much a waste.

Marg, both my Grandfathers served in WW2. My Dad's Father was a gunner on the HMS Indefatigable (aircraft carrier which was the first British ship to suffer a Kamikaze attack) in the Pacific, and gunnery officer on various destroyers including the second HMS Manchester which was part of the Malta convoy. Eventually it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat whilst off the coast of Tunisia. Many situations he was in as a young man may have resulted in me never existing. I am lucky in that he survived the war, and returned home.

Grady, didn't take you long to flip back to your "traitor, coward" mode. I have never before been more serious when I say this: out of respect for the original poster, and for the sake of the message this thread is making, please shut up. You have some serious problems.

[edit on 17-10-2004 by cargo]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by cargo
Grady, didn't take you long to flip back to your "traitor, coward" mode. I have never before been more serious when I say this: out of respect for the original poster, and for the sake of the message this thread is making, please shut up. You have some serious problems.


Thank you for your assessment, cargo, but I don't require criticism from you. I have my opinions and observations and while those of your ilk may not find them interesting, many more might.

At least, I know whereof I speak and can contribute my own experience to the discussion and I am proud to recall the name of my good friend who gave his life at the age of nineteen for the freedom of the world.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:28 PM
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Thanks cargo for sharing with us also, war can be hell but WWII was a justify war in which many countries came together to help each other.

For the rest of the wars I do not see them the same way.

And when it comes to Iraq, well I better don't go on that one. You are right, nobody has the right to call others cowards.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:29 PM
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My comment to you had nothing to do with your friend or his service. There are plenty of threads for which you can profess hatred for "cowards and traitors", just leave it out of this one. The end.



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I was seventeen when I entered active duty, eighteen when I first set foot in Vietnam and nineteen when I was wounded. My best friend, Dennis James Kane, was killed a few days prior to my being wounded. His last birthday was about one hour long.

We were on our way to Japan from California when the clock in the passenger cabin clicked over to 24 August 1968, his birthday. About one hour later, we crossed the international dateline and it was 25 August 1968. We had a good laugh, not knowing for certain that it would be his last. Of course, we were acutely aware of the risks, but we faced them with good humor, as I'm sure most of those who serve today do.

I would not change a thing about my decisions at that time and I knew Dennis well enough to know that he wouldn't either. These boys (and unfortunately, girls) are the ones to whom we owe the freedom that we enjoy today. We should be grateful for their sacrifice.


[edit on 04/10/17 by GradyPhilpott]


Man, thank you for this post. It is heartwarming to read it and I hope you dont get flamed for it but man I respect you more and more.




Originally posted by UM_Gazz


God bless them all.

Gazz

[edit on 17-10-2004 by UM_Gazz]


And God Bless you and your familiy also m8!

[edit on 17-10-2004 by edsinger]



posted on Oct, 17 2004 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by cargo
My comment to you had nothing to do with your friend or his service. There are plenty of threads for which you can profess hatred for "cowards and traitors", just leave it out of this one. The end.


Again, I do not require you to provide a list of appropriate content or vocabulary for my posts. I shall post as I see fit, so long as my posts fall within the limits of the terms of service. You are quite presumptuous.

[edit on 04/10/17 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 03:04 AM
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Um Gaz...the verse was very good. Thank you for posting it.


Grady....thank you for your comments. It is not my service I am embarrassed about ( I am personally proud to have made that choice) but my poor health as a 36 year old. Its something I expect at 63.

Anyways, peace to you all.


LL1

posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 07:18 PM
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I do hope that your daughter is doing fine.
And I have to say, it is so clear that you have written your thread
from your heart.
If this is of any help, tell her see all problems, not as problems, but as
challenges. When we view a problem as a challenge it helps put things
in prospective.
Challenges are a contest one is more apt to win, then seeing
things as problem, as problems are then seen/felt as a burden.



posted on Oct, 18 2004 @ 08:11 PM
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I would never have any contempt for a soldier serving in vietnam, they did their job and did it well. I only question those making the policies. Grady, are you saying that if we didn't go to vietnam we would not have freedom in America? I would agree that if not for soldiers of that bravery throughout the history of this country we would not have freedom.



posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 07:36 AM
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It is a very complicated world, indeed. So many things affect, contribute to, and alter what would normally seem to be a very simple issue. Take Vietnam: I still don't understand it, and I don't know that a lot of people (even those who served in it) *do* understand it. And, further, I don't know that understanding somethng is a requirement to being part of it.

Example: Did you understand your 11th grade math class as a requirement to being enrolled in it? Was it truly necessary? How would you have been a good judge of that yourself?

In this case, one isn't required to understand something (such as the conflict in Iraq or Vietnam) in order for them to have beliefs, values and committments to various things, including their country, God (or their higher power), and the system of values and the freedom inherent in our society.

Those things -- the beliefs -- are what drive people to serve, for example, in the US Military. Such as I did, such as GradyPhilpott, or many others on here. Who else will take up the call? I sure am glad that -- no matter what the outcome or result of the Iraq or vietnam conflicts -- that people (young men and women) will take up arms and act to defend what they believe is a just cause.

THANK GOD FOR THEIR STRONG BELIEFS.

However, the subject of what war is really about, or what human suffering is really about, is an entire other thread, I hope everyone realizes.

In the end, ladies and gentlemen, much rides upon your philosophy, religion, beliefs and values. Combined, they equal your opinion on life and the matters within it. Do not chastise someone because, when the call came, they picked up their duties without complain, and acted in a way they believed in. Perhaps by being there, we/they/us can contribute to the belief that involvement, rather than ignorance, will do something, rather than nothing.

I feel remorseful for the original posted and their dealings with the grim reality of life. However, I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing. How much more do you appreciate your daughter, today?



posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 05:01 PM
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I have a question about the stats.

1 in 3 combat deaths are people 21 years or younger, and only 7 percent are over 40.

What is the percentage of people 21 years old and younger that are in Iraq? I would think that the majority of the currently deployed forces are young, and the minority are over 40.



posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 05:58 PM
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Of course Sensfan.

In peace sons bury their fathers,but in war the fathers bury their sons.

-Croesus




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