Monday, June 29, 2009

The Price Of War Is More Expensive Than The Ticket Home


The picture on the left is of "Doc Magoo" and he is my father. Donald Ackerman was just a young man when he enlisted. He started in the United States Naval Reserves, but he couldn't be in medical aspect of the service.

He then enlisted in the United States Army and trained to be a Medic. Arrived in Vietnam at the age of eighteen, he was just a kid. He received 3 Bronze Stars, one for valor. Was wounded 3 times and was given 3 purple hearts. He was also awarded a Silver Star by a General Zais. I posses the photograph with the general, I've seen the Medal growing up, now it is lost. He tried to replace it, but the paperwork no longer exist. He still has other medals and recognitions, but says the lives that he saved are more important!

I have had war on my mind for most of my life, but tried to live with peace. The first poem I ever wrote was titled Peace, and I was only 12 years old. I watch and read the news. I can here the complaints of the world and can drown most of them out. It's not that I don't care about most issues, rather I see through the smoke.

This issue is the most important right now, and next year we will bring back this one. That is just political manipulation at its weakest, playing with our emotions. Pitting us against each other, Rich verses Poor. Minority against non minorities, Republicans vs. Democrats! The same old song and dance, somebody saying they care and doing nothing.

Our Leaders find faults in a plan, criticizing rather than working in unity. I think I've made my point on the agenda of our political representatives. Fussing and fighting, blaming and shaming each other. The bottom line is We Our The People and without us, who would they be?

I feel strongly about many issues, but feel that after 911 we should have learned the truth. Why it happened, not just "The terrorists hate our freedom" attitude. Why we could not keep that (Idea) of unity, and the world working together. The real reason we went to war, not countless versions. It varied from our news outlets and political leaders. You have the right to believe what you want, and feel what you wish.

Plain and simple, the truth is the truth! Bush said that history will be in favor of this war and his leadership? I don't deny that Bin Laden was a Bad man or Saddam was evil. I don't doubt that we contributed to building of the "Freedom fighters" or helped Saddam achieve his power. Because we did, but that was when they were our friends. Think what you want about that statement, but people who watched the news in those times know of its truth. I know that September 11, 2001 was tragic! I cried like most of you, watching those people perish. Hearing the news throughout that day. Passing by my shocked coworkers, then the second plane! It was horrific to witness and is difficult to write about today.

I will not go into the details, because most of us will never forget that day. I will write about in the future, but not now.

What I feel compelled to mention is the costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The costs emotionally and economically. The price that our world has paid with blood on the battlefield. Countless civilian lives have been lost in both countries. They have been victims of war, killed by bombs and by Man. The coalition forces and by small army's of their own people. Killed by misguided missiles and by bullets. In both wars there has been torture and lack of humane importance.

We went over to Afghanistan to find Bin laden and stop terrorism. How can you really stop terrorism? Go to war and kill the people we wish to protect? Support our troops, but give them limited resources. Go to Iraq, because Saddam attacked us? Free the the people only to harm them, and put them in harms way.

Just like Desert Storm, we can't leave? Violence has been in those deserts since before our country was born. Before our Freedom was penned on paper. The best we can do now is to really help them. When our troops pulled that statue down, we won the war. And had a banner to prove it!

What was the Bush administration thinking when we went to war. Then enter Iraq again, after the last time. It was to find Osama, it was to avenge our Nations lost. We lost a few thousand on that terrible day. Those people had families that will feel the full effects of 911, but war will not bring them back.

Now we have servicemen and women stuck in a war with no true meaning. I say that because most justifications have changed many times over. When it began, some were already enlisted. They had no choice in the matter, others were heavily Patriotic. True, red white and blue Americans. Defending our freedom from the evildoers, the violent killers.

Helping take down world leaders who were corrupt and did as they pleased. People who made their own laws and kept the country in fear. Fear and injustice, imprisoning who ever disagreed. Charging them as traitors and punishing them, sometimes by death. Regarding women as second class citizens and promoting violence if necessary.

It's ironic that we went there to assist oppressed people and eliminate criminal leaders. People who G.H.W bush, D. Rumsfeld, and DICK Cheney had political relationships with? At one time or another, wined and dined them. Trained the freedom fighters and provided the weapons. Who was once a Freedom fighter?

Then years later a Political nightmare occurs, the 2000 Election. Bush magically defeats Gore, and the world still says Bush won? Yes, with questionable assistance. I'm a political junkie, an watched the Red carpet debates in 2000. Bush said in a response that he wanted to build up the Military and deal with the Middle East. When he said something in those lines, my heart listened. Look what happened months later, he got his wish. Bigger military and back in the Middle East. Because of 911, he was able to do as he pleased. Damn near every stupid plan his party imagined.

I don't wish to discuss conspiracy theories, only the truth. The truth that we felt by common sense and emotions. By simply watching what is said and by our administrations actions. I tried to keep tabs on all the spending, it was too difficult to follow. Where it truly went and how much was approved. Just like with new one, we should always keep our eyes open. No matter the party affiliation, or the person.

I still believe that we should challenge President Obama on all the issues. The economy, Environmental concerns, these wars. I feel that is our duty to do so. We must respect him and give some patience in these matters. After all Bush did get elected a second time! Eight years of corruption and poor direction takes it's toll.

I passionately care about Our planet! Environmentally, but feel that we can persuade President Obama to end the wars. It would be easier to correct and swifter. I know without a planet there would be no life. But we are adding gasoline to the fires of hate, we are spending money we don't have. To keep our troops in harms way, for a war that now has no meaning.

Sending loved ones and children to fight for their survival. To keep their buddies alive, with the risk of causing emotional injury. An even greater risk of bodily injuries and death. And for what reasons? Many years from now, what will the history books teach their children?

Will their children be effected by the war as well? Can the soldiers live a life without memory and torment. Can they accept the reality of wartime actions without a legitimate justification for these wars. I wish their families and their souls a peaceful existence once they return. I will give them my respect and love.

I grew up with a father who was haunted by wartime actions. He tried his best to cope, he tried his best to be "normal". My father awoke afraid by the sound of a helicopter. He demanded we make no sound as we walked in the woods. "If you were in Vietnam, you would be shot!" I could mention more, but won't right now.

My point is that the best of men do the worst of things in battle. To protect themselves and their men. They go as boys and return as wounded men. Some choose to hide it, but the memories are there. The boy is still crying inside and all those around them are affected. I'm proud of my father, and feel blessed to be his son.



Just before he was diagnosed with cancer, he finally got help. He went to Chicago, Illinois to a place. It was a place for Veterans to get better, a place to let it all out. What he told the doctors there, I will never know in full. Part of me wants to know, but most of me doesn't. He always said when I reached a certain age, he would tell me most of it. When that moment arrives, I will listen. After he returned he was different. Different in a good way, he even started a journal.

When he was there he told me that some soldiers from Iraq had many problems too. That he made friends with them and tried to help them cope. It was then I realized that with all war comes injury. Think about all the veterans who now have brain injuries and lost limbs. Post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) and other mental pain. We must welcome these troops home and make sure that they know we still support them.

The Vietnam vets had no parade when they returned and were thought as "Baby Killers" and that's a damn shame. I believe that was the real spit in the face. The Vietnam Veterans lost 59,159 fellow soldiers, 1200 Americans reported killed in action. (No bodies) About 1,350 POWs' missing in action. I've met some of his buddies over the last couple years, they are good guys. I consider them my brothers too, we are all family in the struggles of life.

Wikipedia: 3-4 million Vietnamese on both sides perished. 1.5 million to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians died as well. The Vietnam war was a terrible action, it is considered a conflict to some. Wake up and smell the Napalm, it was a war! Growing up I thought it might have taught the United States an important lesson. Not to get involved into a long lasting war that we could not win.

I would like to get back to the discussion in hand. I feel that this war on terror can't be won, just like Vietnam. The longer we stay there, the more damage is done. The war has taken so many lives already. They are scattered and piled so high, we will never know the true number. The casualties are civilians, "the enemy", reporters,contractors, the Coalition Troops, and US soldiers.

Killed by weapons, accidents, illness, and by suicide. They all happened because of war! Because of past political decisions and the need to "Stay the course"

We The People have a new Leader now, so lets stand together. If you feel anything that I feel please join me in this cause! Help me end this WAR on terror! Help me bring our troops home! Let's work together and help President Obama make the CHANGES he promised!

Please let your State Senator know you care! Make your voice be heard on any issue. I'm going to write President Obama a long letter containing my beliefs on the issues that trouble me the most.

Feel free do what you think will help the troops get home. To stop the bloodshed that stains the streets and hearts of all people.

Here is just a few places I found on the computer that pertain to this entry. I started this entry for many reasons and hope you find it informing. When the It first started the Media covered the War on Terror heavily. We even color coded our levels of Terror. Back then we could keep track of our fallen soldiers by number.



If you wanted to know the extent of our losses and civilian deaths, then feel free. Beware the reports don't all match, but this will do for now. The numbers might shock you, like they did me.



iCasualties: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count - Iraqi Deaths



http://rethinkafghanistan.com/



http://www.iraqbodycount.org/



Cost of War on Terror-Homeland Security Market Research


http://www.homelandsecurityresearch.net/2008/05/01/cost



Paul Rieckhoff: More soldiers Lost to Suicide than to Al Qaeda in January:


Iraq Veterans Storm the Hill


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Thank you for stopping by.

Peace&Love
Wes Ackerman

2 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

A very heartfelt and impassioned entry. Thanks for sharing :o)

I do believe that we are on the path to getting our troops out of harms way in Iraq, but Afghanistan may be another story for a while.

Rebecca Anne said...

Your history explains your heart and thoughts on this topic very much. I have to hope and agree with Ken. Hopefully times are changing and our men will be coming home. All of them