Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Guilt, Shame or Hell?

Posted by fozzynok on 09/14/2011

I found this buried in an old file somewhere.. thought it more relevant since 9/11

Guilt, shame or hell?

The gold star represents many things to those on the outside looking in and probably depending on what stage of the process we happen to living in at that moment, many more to us. There are a lot of levels of hells in numerous theologies and philosophies. The Buddhist sect that I studied taught that there are a lot of levels of hell and there is only one person who can take you there and or get you out. That person is you. I can tell you from personal experiences that this is very true or maybe just true to me. I have been in and out of these hells my whole life and more often since losing my son. To a father an old infantryman and a man there are separate hells and shames for each.

Guilt, shame or hell?

My children have been taught that they are indeed responsible for their actions and there is no one who can be blamed for their actions good and or bad. I have strived since they were small to teach them about the world and the history of mankind. Myself the “kind” really doesn’t fit the human animal in anyway. I have been a follower of histories of man, good men, bad men all men. I have read and encouraged my kids to learn history from all points of view. To help people who are being oppressed and to hate the human animals who seem to love to hurt people. This is one of my shames and one of the hells.

Guilt, shame or hell?

I joined the military because of my desire to be ready and trained in the coming age of the latest version of the religious armies. They were on the march before I was of age, but I understood what these humans could be capable of. There have been religious armies of humans on this planet before. I was aware of this and made my children aware of this. Be sure that no man is never more happy to kill when he feels that he does so with the blessings of his chosen god. I trained and I trained hard, It never happened on my watch

Guilt, shame or hell?

I never had to put this training and desire to stop the religious animals to the test, it would have to be left to our children and our children’s children. The threats where there, the warning given, the unanswered alarm and the deaths of many humans for simply daring to be in the wrong place or simple be labeled by these religious armies as the “enemy” to their god. The world was and still is willing to accept the death of many innocent people when it is they who are not forced to live in the crosshairs. Those in power appeased and the ignorant masses slept and played and went on like there were no cares in the world.

Guilt, shame or hell?

The attacks of 9/11 made the world wake up, some people in the world decided that they could accept this as long as it meant that they were not going to be inconvenienced or have to maybe face the awful truth that there were literally millions of humans who were willing to do the same exact thing to other people who have done nothing but refused to accept their version of their god or have supported others who have survived in spite of their never ending desire to kill them off. Not only would these people kill you, they would be hailed as gods themselves for doing so. Millions of them are out there,, and they are not going to stop. These people are the new Crusaders and they have the same vision of what they think their god wants…
Guilt, shame or hell?

The President made the case for the final end to the government of Iraq. I supported this but in the pit of my stomach, I knew what was in store and I knew the risks. I also knew that my sons and even my daughter would be the ones who would have to answer this call and that they would be damned for doing so! My generation failed my children and left them to do what needed to be done. The fact that the world fought so hard to protect the people who are in the business of spreading death and are proud and happy to do so made me ill and still does to this day. Where is the common sense? Where is the desire to free the oppressed? All of these are old fashioned and some could mention archaic to describe the desire to kill the evil humans to save those who may have a chance to turn out to love life and their children’s lives and futures over some theory of a benevolent loving god. When these people who slaughter innocent men women and children mention utter the word god, does anyone actually feel Gods love?

Guilt, shame or hell?

I was proud of my son. He had volunteered to go into the Infantry when he could have done anything else that he wanted. He WANTED to go to the infantry because that is where ultimately the buck stops. He left for Ft. Benning as I had, humped the same trails, sweat puddles on the same ground as I and my brothers had so many years ago. He smelled the same smells, learned the same lessons and turned blue with some of the bravest men that we will ever have the honor of producing. I turned my son blue and welcomed him into the fraternity that so many have before us joined through blood, sweat and learning to trust men like us. The shame for me that unlike me in my time, these fine young men knew where they were headed and stood tall in the glare of all the negatives that the pop culture could deal out. These were not draftees.. these young men joined for all of the old fashioned reasons that men have since men started to walk upright. There was evil and they were needed!

Guilt, shame or hell?

I watched my son grow into a real soldier. He was well respected by his own peers and by his leaders and he was a real apprentice at the craft of warfare. He was as ready as he would ever be. I spent the weekend with him before he shipped out, we talked and nervously readied ourselves for the next phase. I dropped my son off at his barracks and hugged the hell out of him.. even though he pretended that he didn’t want to. I want to hug him longer and stay there for a few more minutes..

Guilt, shame or hell?
The months of combat made my son even better at what he had gone off to do. He and his brothers fought the good fight and never lost sight of each other. We talked about things he did. I of course shamefully had only training and knowledge from history to offer to my son. He was talking to me about things and something just needed to hear from us. He had to know that home was still here and that we were ok. We talked about IED’s and my son was honestly afraid of them. I told him that he had all the right in the world to fear something like that. I related them to Flak in the Air war in WW2. Flak was something that was feared and hated by the airmen because there was no way to fight it, it was there and it could take your life instantly. On February 24 of 2008. this horror became a reality. Less than 48 hours after having this discussion with my son, his biggest fear over there took his life. Did I minimize it too much? Did I not hear my son well enough? I will never know. My son has not visited me in dreams as some of my dead friends have done and still do. Shamefully I do not dream of him, he is just as gone in my dreams as he is in real life. I miss him so. I just hope that he does know how much.

I am in hell, more than I am ever in out these days and it probably won’t improve much any time soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: