War Crimes, Assault, and other wonderful things….
As many of you already know, my eldest son went to Iraq in the Army a few years ago. He and two other young men ‘re-enforced’ a unit that had served together in theatre for several years. He had a hard time fitting in, and never talked much about what had happened. (Unless he was drunk, high, or both.) It got so bad that he accused his command seargent of trying to get him killed, was proved correct by the military police, and quickly (and VERY quietly) rushed back stateside and released from the service. Over the last year and a half his PTSD has gotten so bad that he has spiraled down into drug use/abuse in order to fight the nightmares. He has started writing ‘his story’ about what happened there. And I am angry. And hurt. But mainly ANGRY.
I’m not going to go into many details, don’t worry.
Aparently after arriving he began to undergo hazing from the regulars. Not the “Ha ha, you have a sign on your back!” kind of hazing. More like the broken ribs, broken wrist, black eye, split lip, bruised, tell-everyone-that-you-fell-from-a-truck kind of hazing. They repeatedly beat and humiliated him at every opportunity. They hurt him. Not just physically (which is bad enough) but emotionally.
One early example: On his 3rd day, several of the “men” gave him a cup of coffee. He thought they were being nice. They weren’t. It was laced with exlax. When he went to sleep (before it took effect) they plastic wrapped him to his bunk and placed him out in front of his tent for the next five or so hours. While he shat himself. And they laughed. They finally cut him loose and let him wash, then punished him for being late to formation. It just got worse from there…
He asked me,” How could these guys do that to me? They were supposed t o be my brothers. Instead they….” and his voice dropped off as he began to weep. Again.
All I can do is hold him and cry.
And inside my heart a fire burns hot and hard.
(The War Crimes part coming up soon…)