My older brother, Jim, who's been in the Navy for years (he graduated from boot camp in either '92 or '93, I think), is something of a pacifist. He doesn't particularly like war, and would rather avoid it, but being under a commander in chief like le Shrub, he's fully convinced that this bullshit in Iraq is necessary (at least, that's what he tells us. I'm not sure how much he believes it himself though). Not being too keen on killing other people, he entered into medical training in the Navy, and is now a certified EMT and works in the medical aspect of the Navy Reserves. (His idol has been Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. for as long as he can remember.) Since he's not too keen on fighting, he's been in the Reserves since he got in, with one very short-lived stint on Active Duty when recruitment rates were severely low and they needed to put him on AD.
He also has a hero complex. He absolutely loathes seeing his friends on Active Duty with wives and children come home in body bags. Since he has no wife and no children and, therefore, no immediate dependents, he thinks that he should be over there instead of them.
So, he put in his request to be taken off of reserve status and put on Active Duty.
He's been stationed on Coronado Island (outside of San Diego) for over 5 years now. He's being transferred to Austin, Texas in January, where he will undergo more field training before they ship him out to Iraq.
Now, granted, he's a medic, so he won't exactly be on the front lines. But this isn't exactly a conventional war where the fighting is restricted to the front lines. It's not just the soldiers that are ordered to suppress the insurgency that are being killed. Therefore, he is hardly out of danger by being a soldier with a big red cross on his uniform.
So, on September 24, I will be marching against the war, surrounded by other people with loved ones who are in Iraq, on their way to Iraq, or who have come home in body bags.
And then, I'll be participating in the mass civil disobedience action.
Because I'll be damned if I let the Shrub kill my brother.
Will you be there with me?
all i know is that those
who are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
i told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those assholes aren't worth dying for