This is My Weapon and This is My Gun

Airborne tat chest 2

It’s the mid 1980s and I find myself in Central America. I’m young. I’m passionate. I’m a Brainwashed Minion. A Pawn. A Robot. A Lean Mean Fighting Machine.

It’s hot. My uniform is soaked with sweat. In the distance I hear munitions exploding. I hear sirens. Helicopters overhead. Jets scream by.

I am counting boxes filled with bombs and bullets.  Ammo Detail they call it. I’ll be doing this mundane shit until they figure out what we are all going to do in this lovely Central American country.

Getting ammo ready for issue. How did I get stuck doing this shit job?
Like peeling potatoes or mopping the floor in the latrine. You have to fuck up to get stuck doing this shit. Soon, perhaps I’ll move to the front where the action is.

I finish loading boxes and sit on the ground and relax with my M-16 rifle.

This is my Weapon and this is my Gun, this is for Killing and this is for FUN.

I’ll rest. Rest and Wait. Wait for what? To fight maybe, to go home. I don’t know.
Being here though, gives me a lot of time to think, to confirm and develop philosophies.

I have butterflies in my stomach.

I am scared and excited at the same time.

I volunteered to fight for my country.
“Would you die for your country?’ has always been a morale boosting question.
Military men have asked me that many times.

And my answer is always the same:


“NO?” They blurt out. “WHY?”

They are always astonished at my answer and probably think I’m Communist until I tell them:

“Comrade,” I always begin, “I am going to Live for my country and give some other poor bastard the opportunity to Die for his.”

(What good will I do for my country, if I’m dead…?)

My, it is a spinning world. Spinning out of control in my part of the universe. I’m holding on tight. Keeping a strong grip until this universal whirlwind subsides.

I try to make the Calm in my mind. I try to subdue the tempestuous state in my world. My universe within.

I am me.
I am the Black Sheep.
I am the Shepherd.
I am the Freak Show.
The biker.
The once Born Again Christian, The Buddhist, The Taoist. The Agnostic.
I am the Spiritual One.  The Metaphysical Bum.

I am me, and yet I ponder:
Who am I?
What am I?
I am someone different to someone everyday.

One minute I am floating to earth having just jumped from an airplane… the next I am huddled next to a comrade in arms, listening to explosions.

I am violent and soft.
I laugh and cry.
Part of me is born, everyday, part of me dies.
Am I the same person I was ten years ago?
I dare say, Hardly.
Does anyone know who or what they really are?

Are we living or existing?



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Proud to be American? Why?

Support The Troops!  Why?


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We’re a bunch of brain-dead zombies who are easily trained to mindlessly do as we are told. Yet somehow, we usually think it’s in our own best interests. Or it’s our own original idea, “personal expression” when it’s anything but. You see it over & over & over again. (See politics, advertising, culture, etc)

    Monkey see. Monkey do.

    As for this particular training to promote mindless violence, it NEVER appealed to me one bit. Yes, I’m Canadian and not nearly as marinated in violence as Americans are. But a big part of it was good parenting. Between them and my grandma, they personally saw stuff during WW1+2 you shouldn’t even see in movies or TV. And they knew how it affects you.

    As such, they tried to keep me out of the line of fire, so to speak. I NEVER had a gun to play with and they kept me away from anything violent. Hockey aside, I was usually in bed before the violent stuff came on TV. I’m probably among the last generation who can say that. Since then, marketers, the Inter-Webs and just plain shitty parents has made “good parenting” the next Black Rhino. Even on network TV, you can now slit a throat and show blood spurting all over at 8PM…just don’t swear while your throat is being cut, cause THAT will get censored! And God forbid you whip out a titty, even after midnight!

    Boston Paul, you are completely right about NOT dying for your country. What the hell good does it do?

    1) You’re dead! Unless you dying WAS the goal of the mission, death sounds like failure to me. It also means that your country has one less soldier and one less citizen. People dying for their country sounds like a barometer of failure.

    2) There are few examples where ACTUALLY “dying for your country” is an appropriate description. Usually, you’re dying because some politico decided some political/economic objective was more important than the lives of you and your fellow expendable slabs of meat soldiers. It also means some of your commanders probably fucked up.

    Actually “dying for your country” means your country’s very existence must be on the line. Revolutions for not-yet-existant nations aside, that doesn’t apply to many combat situations. It ESPECIALLY does NOT apply to ANY actual combat the United States has ever been involved in. The ONLY possible exception to this was the War of 1812 (which the US started and Canada won 😉 ) As for the Cold War, America’s very existence actually was under threat, but only if it engaged in actual combat. Wisely, America chose not to participate. So, “dying for your country” was not on the table.

    In short, the saying is not intended to be taken literally, or meant to achieve a military objective. It’s designed to turn off your brain and turn you into a mindless zombie willing to support violent means, even if it means your own life gets wasted.

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