Mr. Goss, our English 12 teacher, posted an assignment on his class blog that asked each student in the class to read classmates’ posts, find a topic about which they’re interested, quote them, and write about it. Sounds like he’s teaching them how to read, reflect, and respond. Thought I’d help out by participating in the assignment here.
Meg writes, “So our next assignment was to read a letter from a Marine who’s over in Iraq. I feel so bad for this man and what he has to go through each and every day. I’ve read some war books before and I felt sorry for that person or persons but not as much as I do for this guy. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s because this war is going on right now and now that I’m older I can feel for the person more. The way he writes makes me never want to ever go to war and it makes me wonder how anyone can bear it because I know I would absolutely hate it and probably would go crazy. I wonder how this guy will be able to function in society when or if he comes home.”
I also wonder how the men and women serving in a war (that I find extremely difficult to believe in and to support) will function when they come home. Someone close to me served for many years and I realize how difficult it was for him to receive recognition and support from the branch he served. After seventeen years of service, the military found it difficult to assume responsibility for any post-traumatic stuff he was dealing with–as if it could possibly be from anything else after 17 years of service. Our young men and women, who don’t know the system or are too young to fight for their rights, deserve treatment and care when they return, not just a presidential pat on the back (if even).
Several years ago, my husband and I went to see Saving Private Ryan. I found it excrutiating to watch because I was teaching young men and women who in a different day would have been involved in that war instead of celebrating their latest basketball victory.
Every statistic and soldier mentioned in the news, so briefly and without enough pause, is someone’s student, son, sister, friend, grandchild, spouse, or parent. Our decision makers MUST NOT take those lives for granted, or de-humanize them. Those men and women are working hard, every day, to do their best–we must do the same for them.
Thanks for adding your honest thoughts for our consideration, Meg!