I wish that someday war would end. In the heart and soul of most people who serve they do not want war. However, we are prepared to fight it if necessary. War is a reality.
When asked to share a few thoughts regarding war, there were several ideas that surfaced.
It has been a long time since I’ve worn the uniform. I consider myself somewhat patriotic and I love this country. I am a Marine. Though given the prompt here, it is my intent to answer objectively and provide some analysis based on my interpretations of history as it pertains to warfare.
I am 45 years old. My generation is unique in that many of us learned of war from most, if not all, of our relatives — our grandfathers and grandmothers pertaining to World War II, and our mothers and fathers, many of whom may have served in Vietnam or certainly experienced the upheaval of that time. We have been surrounded by generations of wars fought with so many different enemies based upon so many different issues and perspectives.
For us — my generation — 9/11 occurred and for 20-plus years we had our own wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Overall the cost and pains of war have been, and are, real. In this present day, we only need to look to Israel, Palestine and Ukraine to see the present day realities of modern warfare. Often in the realities of war, no one is spared. Civilian casualties are a reality, including children. It’s sad, unconscionable, and heartbreaking.
Whether we like it or not, the history of human civilization has largely been forged by war. The United States is certainly no exception. Our nation was founded by way of a war of independence with England, and several wars and conflicts have involved our country since. It is my belief that some of our involvement in these wars and conflicts have been mistakes.
The reality of war that I’ve personally witnessed involves the mental and psychological toll it takes on our veterans. The mental health struggles of our veterans, including friends that I served with, are real. Several of them, we’ve lost. Depression. Anxiety. Traumatic brain injury, just to name a few.
There are real physical and psychological conditions that affect our veterans .Treatment, though improved, is still lacking. Suicide rates among veterans have never been higher.
I don’t have the answers here, though I’ve seen their suffering first hand.
I wish that someday war would end. In the heart and soul of most people who serve they do not want war. However, we are prepared to fight it if necessary.
War is a reality.
War is grounded in ancient and modern history, and does not appear to be dissipating any time soon. Thus, it is imperative that we as a nation have a well-prepared military that is prepared to undertake this toll. The cost is great and often politicized.
Though, in my opinion, the honor of those that take the oath prepared to die for our country is indisputable.
Pat Farley is a member of American Legion Post 191 in Webster City.