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I've always liked Springsteen, ever since I bought Darkness On The Edge Of Town way back in '78. His new one Devils and Dust is a good listen, too. Lonely, stark, spooky... kind of in the vein of 'Nebraska.' I'm not here to talk about that, though.

I will quote a quick lyric from the title-mentioned song, though:

I'm just trying to survive
But if what you do to survive
Kills the things you love

A soldier returning from the war with a head full of images that he'll never shake puts it less poetically, but no less forcefully, after the fold.

 
"There are some days," he says, "when I get up and think, What the fuck? I lost my house, I lost my kids, everything I went over there to protect is gone."

The 'he' refers to Matt LaBranche, who served a nine-month hitch in Iraq as a gunner guarding the many convoys that must run over and across Iraq to keep our soldiers fed, hydrated and armed.

You'll have to sit through a quick ad to view the Salon article if you're not a member, but it's well worth it.

The gist of the story is the horror that so many soldiers bring home in their head and the horror the administration is trying to perpetrate on them by taking away most if not all of the money they need to live.

I don't have a question, I don't have an answer... I just wanted y'all to have a little more ammo the next time someone asks you just what it is you don't like about our friends in the Bush Administration.

R

From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words

Originally posted to Randular on Thu Aug 11, 2005 at 02:13 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Best song about the war so far (none)
    It's a really compelling song.  The first great song about the new war was probably John Fogarty's "Deja Vu All Over Again."  But "Devils and Dust" is a song about what the war is doing to the whole American soul (not a word I use often, but still...)
  •  excellent redirect (none)
    The stanza of that Bruce song sums up this whole sad, tragic, horrible mess. Thanks for both refs. Will read the Salon article.

    If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by bigskiphazzy on Thu Aug 11, 2005 at 02:28:01 PM PDT

  •  It takes so long (none)
    to come to even a small amount of peace after being in a warzone.  Lives are changed forever.  It never leaves you and for many combat vets, they revisit it every night for the rest of their lives.

    There are no answers, but the most serious question for any leader must be: Is this war that I am about to send my countrymen to worth their deaths and my everlasting soul?

    George Bush failed his countrymen, his duty and his everlasting soul.

  •  Bruce - No One Better! (none)
    Billy Bragg: 'Springsteen makes me keep faith in America.'

    Check out this fine conversation between Bruce and Nick Hornby: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/omm/story/0,13887,1527571,00.html

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    by Better Days on Thu Aug 11, 2005 at 03:14:15 PM PDT

    •  Billy Bragg rules! (none)
      Yeah, Springsteen gives me hope too.

      I printeded the interview, the Salon article and the linked article about Ward 54. I NEVER stop reading stories about vets, no matter which war.

      My understanding is that the #1 factor in PTSD is having killed someone. From the government's cold perspective, it's better to send them back to kill again and again to continue to desensitize them, and personal consequences be damned. Too bad more young men don't understand the deplorable consequences of war. They should be forced to meet with vets who've been to combat before signing up (and we should be forced to see where our garbage goes, but this is all in an ideal world).

      To all the vets out there, you may think your country doesn't understand your sacrifice, but it does: just the people, not the government.

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