Dear brothers and sisters,
I am writing to you on this Veterans Day not as foe but as friend. I am penning these words with a heart toward convincing you that any commands you obeyed and the services you rendered were a detriment to you, your brothers and sisters, and all the people of the world. It is not my intent to be ugly, to shame, to condescend, or incite you to anger or the desire to hurt me. I only wish to connect with you on a humanitarian level, thus I humbly request your attention to my perspective, to my truth. With that said, the things I say will not be easy. They do not come easy, either.
Some of you will be reading this note from the confines of a wheelchair, from the safety and antiseptic ward of the hospital bed where you may be recovering from an explosion, from the shrapnel that pierced your flesh. Some of you may be processing tumultuous memories and nightmarish flashbacks with a therapist, as you are forced to relive the death of your comrades or the enemy insurgents you slayed heroically in combat. Some of you, luckily, may be reading from your home, recollecting about your time in wars long since past, about the pain and destruction embedded in an ebbing memory.
Just thinking about how you may have to receive this letter, about what you went through and what you may have done causes me anguish and anger. It causes me to recoil in terror. I can scantly imagine the inconceivable horrors of your experiences. It sends chills down my spine to envision the bombs, blood, guts, sweat, tears, dust, smoke, and bodies. The knowledge that you had to murder people or that people tried to murder you invokes a sadness in my being that I cannot find the words to describe. Perhaps I do not understand the nature of warfare and the language eludes me.
There is something I do perceive, however. I now realize a tragic fact. I understand what caused you to experience such grotesque madness, what compelled you to travel thousands of miles away at the behest of a politician to fight and die for America. I realize what put you in that wheelchair, brought you to the shrink, and what still troubles your war-torn heart and ravaged spirit. It is a difficult truth. But not one I suspect you were conscious of, or that you had the ability or permission to even consider.
The politicians who sent you to strange and foreign lands to kill did not have your interests at heart. They manipulated you, looked down on you. They did not have freedom in mind. They did not harbor love or appreciation for the people of the world. The politicians and special interests sent you to kill or die to further their ambitions, to line their pockets with money crafted at the altar of destruction. They did it in spite of your good will and love of country. They did it out of hate.
This, my brothers and sisters, is a grievance I cannot stand to tolerate. It is a heinous crime against everything good. It is something that brings such a nervous trembling to my soul that I can hardly type the words without weeping. So I implore you, the damage done to your body and mind were not the fault of the people living far away. The blame lies squarely on those who whisked you to the killing fields. They are murderous, anti-freedom demagogues. They would rather watch everything burn than promote and maintain liberty. It is time for you to stand tall and realize that you wreaked havoc on countries for the ploys of cowards who played on your desire for freedom and peace. But sadly, what they wanted instead was suffering and death—and you were their plaything, their pawn.
I respect you anyway. But I want you on the side of good now. I want you to realize what you have done, what the cost of the orders you obeyed was, and what you can do to heal. You can recover a smidgen of what has been lost by joining the ranks of good, by shunning the devils who call themselves leaders of the world. You can send the pain below and open your eyes to a whole new vista of freedom and truth. Now, reject the American government. Reject political hierarchy. Reject the insanity that comes with the idea that it is acceptable to murder other people by “following orders.”
It is true that you may never recover from all the physical and emotional wounds you received in the wars, but you can recover a sense of dignity and decency. You can put one step forward and say proudly and honestly that you will vie for real freedom and shun the warfare-state at every step, with every fiber of your being.
Thank you for reading. It was tough to write, but I hope that you will respond with positivity and acceptance. I hope that you can see things from my perspective, and that you can fully empathize with my concerns and compassion.
Sterlin Lujan, the psychologic-anarchist