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View Diary: St. Louis County officer suspended after tape of racist, violent speech surfaces (315 comments)

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  •  I just want to say something about (34+ / 0-)

    the military and killing.
    My Dad, WWII, a career Army guy, would not discuss who he had killed, if he had killed, or anything at all about killing the enemy in his combat at D-Day, and my WWII uncles were also in accord about their combat experiences.  They fought. They fired.  They meant to win or die trying.
    Then, Viet Nam.  My contemporaries came back from that hellish conflict, bragged about killing in front of my Dad.  That shit didn't go well at all.
    I cannot abide a military person talking about killing in battle.
    I just was not raised that way.
    Even one of my dearest friends was a "sniper scout" in the Marines in the Philippines.  He described his job as climbing trees, looking for Japanese to kill, but HE NEVER described KILLING anyone.  He fought.  He had to win or die trying.
    None of these extraordinary men, all dead now, even wanted to THINK about taking a life, even in fucking WAR.

    •  Vets I know won't talk about it. (13+ / 0-)

      It is odd that this Dan Page is freely spouting his rant re his war experiences.

      I've worked alongside many vets who saw combat; in fact, quite a few. (My work situation is such that we all lived and bunked together as we did our week-long on-site work hitch.) I have worked next to Silver Star medal recipients and never knew it - until our company did a survey regarding military decorations bestowed on our employees. One thing I have noticed is that you are not going to get them to talk about it ...only very rarely, and generally only with someone who has experienced a similar situation.

      At a family gathering not long ago, my wife's dad started telling me what he went through in Africa and Italy during WWII. It lasted about 45 minutes and left me shaken to the core. Later, his oldest son told me that he had never before known of him to talk about it, even to family.

      •  It just was not done. (14+ / 0-)

        I spent most of my life trying to get my relatives to discuss the actual fights, what they did, and I was asking those questions as a teen with Viet Nam Vets openly talking/bragging about killing.
        My Dad and all my uncles talked about soldiers on the other side being human beings being slaughtered because they were led by evil bastards.
        Every single relative I ever had a discussion with about the Great War felt the rank and file soldiers shooting at them were just following orders from a nut.
        They did not enjoy or brag about killing anybody on the other side.
        They just wanted to win, and not die trying.

        •  The one time my dad told me anything about (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          on the cusp, PJEvans, mrkvica, Maggiemad

          the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, he described through tears how horrible it was to advance on their course only by killing "those poor kids." (He meant the "enemy" soldiers...) My dad was only 19 at the time.

        •  The supervisor I had (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          virginwoolf, Maggiemad, on the cusp

          who retired after 40-some years with the company - he said his father didn't talk about his experiences in WW2 until the year before he died. (He was captured at Corregidor. Don't ask.)

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:26:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Great War (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          on the cusp

          was never discussed by my two uncles who were in it, though I did know one had been army and one navy (he claimed he enlisted in the navy because he'd have a hot meal and a dry place to sleep.)  I have done family research and found out the army uncle had been in the communication field, making sure the front line commanders were in contact with headquarters.  His whole company received the Belgian Croix de Guerre because they were considered responsible for the victory at the battle of Audenarde, after they'd earlier been at Argonne and at least two other important battles.  I'd never heard any mention of any of this until I found it in the local newspaper archives.

          I knew young men who had been in WW2 as Marines and Air Force pilots, but they rarely talked about their experiences, either.  Some had been wounded, some were shot down and taken prisoner, but they put it behind them.  I'm sure many of them had PTSD, but that wasn't really understood them.  They were just relieved to be able to come home in one piece.

    •  on the cusp, same in my family/military circle (13+ / 0-)

      No one would talk about the killing done; most NEVER talked about ANY of their experiences in WWI, WWII, Korea & 'Nam.  Whether commissioned officer or NCO; Marine, Air Force or Army.  Silent.

      With my dad, I discovered much after his death through citations, letters & deployment papers.  Now I have a better understanding.

      WWI vet grandparent & WWII combat father in law took their memories to the grave.. aside from whatever they might have shared with a minister before they died.  

      And these memories must have been horrible because whatever happened tortured their last days alive many decades later.

      Peers & ex the same re 'Nam.  Shared only the innocuous if pushed.

      Maybe because of growing up surrounded by old school military, I tend to distrust braggards' tales...

      •  Exactly. (10+ / 0-)

        My Dad faced the SS on Utah Beach.   He told me they were all at least 6 feet tall, blue eyed, and blond, and he thought they were the gladiators for the fight for freedom.
        He never discussed them as evil.
        He told me they fought for Hitler, whom my Dad personally sought orders  to go to the fight...D Day.
        That they were wasted.
        He just told me the SS were awesome soldiers.
        And he told me he was determined as a nobody guy to fight them well.
        And he did.
        They put 8 bullets into him.
        What killed him was old age.

        •  my mother's father (4+ / 0-)

          said - or wrote home - that he played dead when he was shot and lying between the lines during WW1, somewhere in the Meuse-Argonne region. The German who was looting bodies got his razor, but not his pistol, which he'd fallen on top of. At least three machine-gun bullets in his leg. One of his cousins survived six in his chest.

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 11:29:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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