Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Remembering remembering Afghanistan


During Bush 2 we had a neighbor from North Carolina, a Black man named Kelly who was a Marine (or was it Army) officer. He was quite skeptical of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he'd already served in one of them. He and his Korean-American wife (named Susan, of all things) had two, and then three, beautiful kids. He was shipped off to Afghanistan for many months; when he came back, nearly the first thing out of his mouth was a story about how he'd ordered his soldiers to shoot someone who turned out to be a "friend." Fortunately, the man survived. When I tried to resume our political conversations, he cut me off with, "that's politics, and I don't talk about that." Some time later, he and his family (were) moved to Virginia. I wonder how he's doing now. Another friend, a Vietnam vet, got an email from the VA about coping with mental distress at this time. I found the on-line version. How do you relieve the suffering you have caused to your own and to so many others? One resource listed in the email is the "George W. Bush Institute." I have their contact info, if you'd like to have it.
A current neighbor got airlifted out, and is in Qatar. His husband says he ok, but had to leave some things behind. I hope one of them is the poetry book I gave him when he said how much he enjoys reading poems.

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