Friday, January 19, 2007

A New Direction

I've had it. My whole life has been changed because of this current administration in Washington and their policies. We are in a lie of a war, we are losing our rights and liberties, we are leaving our children and Grand children an enormous debt and it is not good at all.

When I was asked if the current world situation and America's involvement with it had affected me, I had to think about it. I knew I had thought of it, but how much had it affected me? After some serious reflection, I know the answer. A LOT!

I have had many anxiety attacks worrying about our troops, the Warrior men and women , who are putting their lives on the line for our society simply because we ask them to. I have had many a sleepless night thinking of what I can do to help end the war, all war, and bring our troops home to safety. I have depression. I have anger issues. I have decision making problems. I snap out at people. I seem to feel like there is no way to fight the proverbial City Hall.

Well, I'm back. I was a leader of soldiers in Vietnam. We were under the same siege that our brave and honorable soldier Warriors are under right now. Our mission back then was to sit around and make sure things were secure by being guards of the roads by day, then being attacked by night. The same people that did your laundry by day tried to kill you in the darkness.

The mission in Iraq is largely the same. Drive around in a HumVee and get shot at or blown up. There is no direction.

Ok, some may disagree. The bottom line is this: We are in a war. Even if you think that we were suppose to go over and attack Iraq and it was for some reason of goodness, you should want it to be over. Every human being, every American should want the killing of all people to stop. It is dead wrong to not want an end to war, fucking period!

I want an end to it. I believe to get an end to it we must make sure people are aware of the magnitude of the atrocity of it. The pain, the destruction, the outright sickness of killing for killings sake. That's all it is you know. Killing for killings sake. War is death and suffering. I think that too many people in America, where the war isn't being fought, where bombs are not dropping, don't think about it and therefore don't do anything to try to get it to end.

My personal mission is to let people know that there is this death and destruction going on and besides people in other countries of the world having to deal with it, our own sons and daughters are there and they deal with it too. It affects us all.

Starting Tuesday, January 23, 2007. I will mount a simple informative vigil in my home town of Ashland, Wisconsin. I will carry a sign that will remind people that there is a war going on. I will walk from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM on the sidewalk in front of the library and City Hall along Main Street, between Chapple Avenue and Sixth Street. I will do this every Tuesday at the same time.

Anyone who wants to can join me, but I will be there, every week, for an hour. I will just be there, ever present with my sign that simply reminds the good people of the town where I live that there is a terrible thing happening in the world. I hope this action will make one other person realize that we must do all we can do to stop the killing.

Peace rallies are great. Veterans for Peace and Women in Black. The School of the America's protests. Granny's for Peace. Code Pink.All of these organizations are fighting to end the war. But they are not here in my town once per week with their message. I will be.

In the future, I will post commentary and articles here. I will add links to organizations that have information and offer opportunities of involvement. I will try not to blame and ostracize our leaders. If you don't have a bad opinion of them at this point, so be it. But you still should want the war to be over, don't you? You still should want the death and destruction and pain and suffering to be over, don't you?

You see I've been there. I've seen burned bodies. I have the blood on my hands. I have held my brothers lifeless dead bodies in my own arms and read their names on the famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC. It is not a tourist destination. It is a monument to destruction and death.

To some degree, the people whose names appear are spared this second go'round. They gave their lives already. In Iraq right now, the number of reported dead American troops is somewhere around 3000. In Vietnam at one time there were 3000 of our folks killed. It ended with over 58,000 names on that Wall.

Please do all you can do to end all war. Then, do just a little bit more.

Please come by and visit here. Please comment with what you're doing to help end the war. Please try to motivate and support. Give me and the readers your ideas. Do more. Do something. Do all you can do.

Real sacrifice is happening over there. Real sacrifice has been given. Shake out the fruit jars. Donate spare change, a dollar will do, to the organization you choose that will speak to the end of war. Take action.

Lastly, the Lakota people have a saying in their Native tongue, It is, Mitakwe Oyasin. It means, "We Are All Related". I think this means what happens and what is done by one, is happening to and done by us all.

May Peace prevail on the Great Mother Earth. Can I get an Amen?


betmo said...

i don't know about an 'amen' from me :) but i will give you a 'holla!' i went to the war memorial in washington. being there i don't know how anyone could ever believe that it was a tourist destination. that big black wall with those thousands of names makes you feel small in the presence of greatness. it moved my husband and me in ways that aren't describable. i hope that we can end this thing before we need to build another wall. i fear that we won't be in time. i got your back brother joe.

Worried said...

Amen, Joe. Be it so. I have two war blogs (besides the political blog) and no one visits it but I hope to God people visit yours, and those within driving distance join you on your weekly vigils.

Granny Ann does her weekly vigil with her great grand daughters in Merced. If Granny and I lived close enough, we would join you. I presume to speak for Granny because I know she would. I don't do a vigil here but I keep the local stores and public areas dotted with Kommandos bearing their little signs.

I sent my daughter and son-in-law to Washington for the dedication ceremonies of The Wall. I think the experience was greatly beneficial to Lloyd and helped heal some of his PTSD. They brought back reams of photos and I made him a scrapbook of his military tours and of the Wall. I supported the Korean vets, the Vietnam vets and now these children fighting again. I HATE THE FREAKING WARS!!

Many of my high school classmates did not return from Korea; yeah, a "police action". Neighborhood children did not return from 'Nam, or came back maimed in body, mind or spirit - or all three. You know the drill. I thanked God that it ended before my eldest son's draft number came up. Now my grandson has spent 2 tours in Iraq and a number of the children of relatives are in that hell hole. I am so scared for them. Dammit, we are not supposed to bury our children! Or have their strong healthy bodies torn and maimed, or their minds warped.

It has to stop. It has to stop.

Perrine said...

Hi Joe,

I enjoyed reading your blog, as always.

What you should do is turn that blog into an email article and start sending it all over the Internet so that others can be inspired to undertake their own process towards peace.

In addition, it would be wonderful if you were to envision and describe to us what PEACE might look like. How would things be different? If we have an idea, we can strive for it.

Another possible topic is the recent upsurge of political action in Washington lately related to the war which is the beginning of the end of the Bush Era.

With Matt deployed to Afghanistan, everyday I feel the war close to home. I don't want to see the news (but read it anyway) and dread a knock on my door with uniformed soldiers informing me my husband has become War Casualty #X.

So far, he is safe.

Keep writing Joe.
Love ya,

Granny said...

Good start with this post.

Our little candlelit vigil is attracting more supporters, both there and passing by. It's encouraging. It may not change the minds of the neocons but we have to do something.

WA, I've been absent at the vigil more than present lately because of family but I'll get back there.

Pursey Tuttweiler said...


My nephew-in-law has been deployed three times. Twice in Iraq, he just got back in December. It is so sad. I hope they don't send him back again but I bet they do.

I have attended peace protests but not nearly enough. We have donated to Veterans for Peace but not nearly enough. We will do more. I plan to go to the DC rally in March. I will participate more going forward.

fjb said...


I'm definitely going to visit often, and any way that I can help support your efforts from up here in Canada, I'll gladly do. I hate war, and it seems to be, for lack of a better word, outdated. I like to imagine that maybe humanity has got beyond having to resort to it at all, particularly when there was no viable reason for it in the first place.

I'm glad that there are people like you out there.


JBlue said...

What you said about the troops putting their lives on the line reminded me of something Michael Moore said in F9-11, something to the effect that they do so trusting us not to use them in such a meaningless and frivolous way. Too many lives have been lost already.

No said...

Amen, brother Joseph!

Coffee Messiah said...

Although it's called a War, it certainly isn't like any War fought before, or probably ever again.

Death of any kind is wrong. Not only that these poor kids go thinking they are actually doing something for their country, but that they come back mentally/physically disabled, but that the VA benefits are not what they are told either is a sad statement on the government in getting them to go in the first place.

What a society that condones killings here,
but not elsewhere? ; (

Reflections said...

E-mail the blog to rep. Olby

Peter Attwood said...

You might be able to use John Steinbeck's book, "The Moon Is Down," about occupation. Every soldier and his family even thinking of occupying someone else should read it carefully. Steinbeck wrote it in 1942, but it's up-to-date. It's a short novel. I have the whole work online at

just me said...

Amen, and amen. Wonderful post, and if I could get to Ashland Wisconsin, I would surely join you on your march.