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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

She won't take him back but the marines will....

Driving down the east coast, I found an organic coffee shop – for joy for Joi – with free internet access no less. As I attempted to connect with folks, a white womon who was probably in her 40’s but looked closer to 60, her voice trembling, her hands shaking, a belligerence wafting with her approach, confronted me to verify that it was my truck out front. She proceeded to report that her son was presently in Iraq.
I grasped her hand, told her how sorry I was, and invited her to sit down with us, glancing quickly at my sister who nods briefly, and talk with me. Tears pooled in her eyes as she did. Her hostility waned as we spoke. She shared how proud she was of her son, how he was defending the country, how none of her family were, the cowards,  and she was teaching her grandchildren (his kids that he couldn’t parent) to fight for america.
As we spoke, she painted a bleak picture of her son – he was a problem child, kicked out of school after school after school for fighting, for violence, for uncontrollable anger. She was even told by one school principal, she should be afraid for her physical safety. The schools didn’t want him, the city didn’t want him, she wasn’t supposed to want him, but the marines sure did want him – he was perfect for them. He ‘served’ in Afghanistan first, and now Iraq. He will probably re-up when the time comes.
She painted an even bleaker picture of her life – she took care of a father who was wounded in world war two until he died not long ago; then her husband, a Vietnam war vet batterer who fathered her children, who ended up an invalid from his injuries and was now also dying.
She did all this and survived while raising three children of her own and now two grandchildren.
Tears are suddenly released, dropping noisily on the formica table, as she reveals how afraid she is of her only son. She thinks he’ll come back more violent. His wife, the mother of his children, went underground, fearing for her life. Guilt floods her face when she admits to letting her son know where his wife was hiding when he came back from Afghanistan. He almost killed her.
She wouldn’t take him back but the marines would.
I sigh, holding her hand, telling her it is not her fault. She smiles bitterly and says “some american dream, eh?”


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