Friday, September 4, 2009

Going off Tangent, One Time Only

I try not to get political in here. This is a sports blog, and as such, I try to avoid wading into waters that don't relate to either the Vikes or the Bucks. But this time, I must comment on something that I saw today.

This is about that picture that was taken by an Associated Press photographer of a mortally wounded United States Marine, and then published by multiple news outlets in the United States.

Frankly, this photograph and subsequent publishing is despicable on several levels. 99% of Americans don't know and frankly don't care what trials Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines endure. And we don't care that you don't care, if we're being brutally honest. We do our job, as we have volunteered to do, and ask nothing in return, except for the government to live up to their end of the contract that we signed--a modest pension (if we do 20 years and retire), mediocre health care (and trust me, the VA sucks), and a headstone in a cemetary when we die.

We ask for neither glory nor recognition, only food, water, and enough ammunition to press the fight to the enemy.

When we bleed and die, let us do it amongst our own, our brothers in arms, for only they really, truly know what we do and what we deal with on a daily basis. What I did in Afghanistan I will never share with my family, because (yes, this is trite and cliche, but accurate) unless you were there, you don't know. If you don't know, the feelings and raw emotions of war cannot be explained, except with those that have shared it. If you want to experience the raw emotion of a firefight or lose a good friend to an RPG, enlist or get a commission as an officer. Jump in all the way, or stay the hell out, and spare us what you think this picture might do to "influence the opinion of the war", because I really don't give two flying shits what your opinion of the war is.

War sucks, how's that for an opinion?

His family didn't need to see this, nor should they. Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard needs to be remembered for who he was and how he lived, not how he died. His family didn't want this photo published, and I know if it was me that was dying in a far away land, I wouldn't want it all over the Internet, either.

This wasn't published to honor him or the sacrifice he made, as the photographer suggests, but to advance an agenda.

The photographer who took this photo and the media outlets that published it to promote that political agenda deserve our scorn, not our praise.

That is reserved for LCpl Bernard.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

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