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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

Friday, September 30, 2011

7 year soldier

We're hanging out at one of my favorite, most beautiful rest stops in Arizona, close to the New Mexican border.

I am attempting to blog, Kevyn and Peter are roaming around. They have "fixed" this rest stop, adding modern buildings, expanding and leveling/straightening out the driveway and parking area thru the stop, and adding chain link fences around the perimeter, disallowing strolls into the desert boulders that perch along the mountain sides.

I approach a young man in army fatigues. He is on his way to visit his family in Texas. I urge him to stay with his family - they want him here, not in Afghanistan.

He tells me he has been in the army 7 years - two "tours" in Iraq, one in Afghanistan. He has two more years to go.

His skin is glows like slightly burned butter, except around his eyes, which appear more hollow with every word he utters to me, politely, softly, stuccoed with "ma'am's". As he reaches into me, the grim dusty lines of his face magnifying as the boulders recede, he has two more years to go, where to go, he doesn't know.

I tell him to resist. I tell him most people in this country want him home, as his family wants him home. I tell him only Lockheed Martin and Chevron want him occupying other people's lands.

I tell him about GI rights hotline. Iraq Vets Against War. Vets for Peace. He thanks me, several times. I want to put him in the front seat and carrying him to D.C.


It is hot as hell. The needle looms closer to the "H" as we chug uphill, or I forget and heavy-foot it to 65 mph.

In previous times, the rest stops used to have warning signs, reminding outsiders we are traveling thru the desert and water is precious, imploring us to conserve water. The toilets used to be self-composting with more signs beseeching us to shut the lids, not to throw anything but tp down the only eddy of cool air in the desert along with questionable smells and maybe flies, if travelers left the lids open.

Now the rest stops are "modern", flush toilets, sinks with running water, manicured landscapes, some with that green grass even.

Such is "progress" in the u.s.