A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || March 20, 2003 || 5:25 pm

I can’t help it…every time I see this artwork, it evokes a very visceral reaction from the hyperpatriotic side of me. I’ve printed it and re-printed it, stared at it, stared at it some more, considered it as my next tattoo. Not once, not twice, but over and over again.

Eliza Gauger, the young woman who crafted the piece, said in a Wired article some 18 months ago that she “…was illustrating my own mother’s willingness to do anything, even something she hated — my mother is terribly afraid of guns — to protect her children.

“I think America feels the same way about its citizens.”

Last night I sent an e-mail to someone very dear to me that happens to be a military recruiter:

So, it appears that we’re in it. This makes me nuts. When I was younger, I thought of situations like this as all glory and valor and oh-my-Lord-I’m-so-proud. Now I see people
that I am not so far removed from in age, but have a little bit of a leg up on in the wisdom and ‘life-lived’ department , being sent off to
God-knows-what. Does it bother you to put out the dotted line for them to sign on? What will you feel if/when one of your recruits comes home in a body bag? It would eat me up, I imagine.

My daughter marched in on the tail-end of a conversation about it all this evening, boldly stating, “Well, we’ve got stronger people and better equipment and we’re gonna KICK BUTT.” Holy mother of God. A long conversation ensued between the three of us — me, Sam, Scout. I pulled out pictures of friends as well as those in our family that are already over there and those that soon may go. I told them all about each person whose face they did not recognize, gave them descriptions of jobs and personalities and who they were to me as people. Re-iterated that the people over there in uniform are daddies of children their age. Are sisters and brothers to those their age. Are sons and daughters just like them. I think they understood; I think they realized the scope of things because their mother is not typically prone to tears and I kept having to suck on
my bottom lip so that it would not quiver.

Most of my life I have suffered from horrific nightmares, the kind of dreams that I’m sure would garner me a lovely wraparound jacket with all sorts of shiny buckles if anyone really knew the breadth and the scope of
them. I’d sit straight up in bed screaming hysterically, I would cry for hours on end, never waking through it all. They started when I was nine and seemed to get increasingly worse when I turned 17 or so (about the time you knew me). I used to follow the news; when I lived in Alaska I got two papers and watched three newscasts a day. One day, for no discernable reason, I stopped doing this. The nightmares got significantly better and were extremely haphazard, fairly infrequent, after that. I’ve not really watched or read the news since, leaving me a bit ignorant but less psychologically affected.

All in all (and quite selfishly, I might add), I am glad as fuck that you took that desk. I’m relieved that you’ll be there during this time, because I don’t think that I could bear to know you were in the midst of everything going on. I’d be sick with it. And I would watch the news for each and every development, even if it meant I screamed and sobbed in my sleep for the rest of my born days.

I want it to be over. I want the people I love who were some of the first in to be home safe. I want everybody’s people home safe.

But most especially mine.

6 worked it out »

  1. @feckless 3.20.2003

    i own the tshirt — felt that visceral thing the second i saw it, and i had to have it. it’s my favorite t-shirt, and Eliza Gauger is one amazing kid, isn’t she?

  2. Kelly 3.21.2003

    The best way to support our troops is to bring them home NOW!

  3. Jett 3.21.2003

    feck: as we are much of the time, we are on the same page.

    Kelly: while I respect the fact that you have a political position that you want to espouse, this entry was one of sentiment and not one of politics.

    If you are new to this blog (which I am –rightly or wrongly– assuming you are), you should know that I don’t talk much about politics or religion on here. This is because I find that there are few people who can discuss either in a rational fashion, lending a TRULY open ear to the other person’s position. I choose not to engage in shouting matches over politics or religion because you know what? I’ve never walked in the other person’s shoes, therefore I don’t have their insight and the benefit of their personal experience.

    One thing that you may not understand is that most members of the military are doing their job because it is their JOB, regardless of their personal beliefs. It is, at times, absolutely grueling work for them and even their families.

    The world is not a place of peaceniks and unilateral love. Look at the streets of our own country, for Chrissakes.

    I’m not trying to sound trite with the following statement, but until you have held the head of a man who is near-dying and heard his reasons for why he’s put himself in harm’s way (as I have, at least twice), please refrain from politicking on my website.

  4. c 3.21.2003

    have that hanging in my office

  5. April Love 3.21.2003

    Again, you have made me weep. For obvious reasons, and for some that only you and I would understand. I just don’t know how to feel and it drives me nuts.

  6. sarabella 3.24.2003

    hear here girly. i want it over too. i wept tonight when i tried to read the newspaper that i have avoided for the past 5 days. i boycotted tv and newspaper, and 2 of my classes require newspaper reading. so this girl is screwed, and when i tried to read the paper, i cried.

    your comments to your children about those people over there being daddies too…was quite beautiful…and good. i can’t think of another word to describe it. good. good for you that you try to educate your children, and keep them open-minded. good for you.


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