Friday, November 11, 2011

On Veterans Day: The Most Uncomfortable of Holidays.

In the name of those few of us veterans who have realized our folly, and have turned to seek peace instead:

I am a veteran.

Please don't thank me for my service.

It only serves to remind me of the irreparable harm I have done in the name of a fiction.  I have taken life in the name of catharsis, destroyed families in the name of revenge, and laid waste to nations in the name of a false exceptionalism.  My complicity in the murder of Iraqi and Afghan citizens did nothing to secure your freedom.  The violence I participated in was not in your defense, but in offense of the humanity of those upon whom that violence was visited.  You are in no way safer because of what I have done.  In fact, all that I have done is ensure the animosity against you persists for another generation.  I am not proud.  I am ashamed.  This debt is one that I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay, knowing I will never succeed in doing so.

When you thank me for my service, it only reinforces the cycle of violence.

So please, don't thank me for my service.

It did neither of us any good.



Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.


Teach me to seek peace, to make peace, to live in peace.
Make me a peacemaker, that I might be called Your child.
But for now, please just give me peace...


...and forgiveness.

4 comments:

  1. luke, my heart aches with yours. you are an honorable man, and there was honor in your service, even though memories grieve.

    no matter what you've seen or done, you are a man of peace. your words and witness are powerful. be filled today with shalom and healed by grace.

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  2. I bless you, Luke. Your voice is so raw and powerful on these things and I learn from you.

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  3. Wow, this is powerful. Thank you for your honesty. My heart breaks for what you're dealing with.

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  4. Thanks for your service to us now. Godspeed to you brother.

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