Many of us signed up for the military with dreams of honor and glory. We wanted to be heroes, wanted to emulate the characters in the moves or the video games we admired. Many of us signed up for other reasons, college, stability, healthcare, adventure; nobody however signed up for what we got.
Nobody signed up to aid in wars without need, or end. Nobody signed up to make the wealthy control natural resources, shipping lanes, and transportation routes. We didn't sign up to kill poorly equiped workers, and farmers trying desperatly to hold onto their land and thier way of life from the worlds most technologically advanced military in the history of mankind.
Not one person signed up for the death of their friends, the brian damage from explosions, the ever invasive and progressive traumatic disease we know as PTSD. We, the veterans gulf war conflicts, just as the veterans of vietnam and korea before us; were sold a faulty bill of goods. That sacrifice will not be felt by everyone, that if it was it would be over in an instant and you would be a hero, dying for a just cause. We know now that all of us were so very lied to.
For the last 60 years, this country has used its young men and women to further a hegemonic agenda. Stopping the spread of communism, empire building both militarily and economically, and finally protecting and expanding markets created by the capitalism which has become our only god. We were given great power and responsibility after the greatest war in human history. Instead of using it to create a better world, we extracted everything we could and shipped it back to the empire center. We took the minerals, the labor, the money, the freedoms of all peoples under our control to better ourselves. We became the very monsters we crushed years earlier.
Only now, after the resources are drying up and global competitors are rising do we see that this ride not only does not last forever, but we are reaching its inevitable end.
We as the Veterans of these foreign conflicts, who have seen with our own eyes the attrocities committed in the name of capitalism, who took part in the imperialistic wars for profit, who were bloodied, lost friends, struggled with suicide, watched those we love die. We are the ones that must show solidarity not only with each other, but with those we once tried to destroy.
This site is The Veterans Left, both because of the lean of politics and to reflect that we as a population shrink day by day. The horrors of war never leave us, the guilt never subsides.
As a result, this group we call our brothers shrinks every day.
We were sold as heros and reminded daily of our "heroic" actions by lip service and 10% discounts. Veterans make up the largest part of the homeless population in the us. Drug abusers are disproportionately veterans, as are alcoholics, suicide is at record rates between 22-23 daily, this doesn't even cover other deaths of despair like intentional car accidents, or death by cop.
We are an inconvient reminder that imperialism has a human toll. That capitalisim isnt what gave you an iphone, its what took our lives. We are a contradiction in our society that the populace must grapple with. Alas, many already have. Tying a ribbon around a tree and paying $2.50 for gasoline while walking past the mentally ill veteran sitting on the corner, using drugs to feel anything at all as his very soul was stripped from him years ago.
War is a Racket, its time we let the people know.