Saturday, November 15, 2008

Andy Gibb and the American Soldier

OEF/OIF Veteran Suicide Toll: Nearly 15% of Overall U.S. Military Casualties Result from Suicide

"Back in February, the Marines released their military branch's updated suicide statistics. They revealed the number of Afghanistan and Iraq combat troops and veterans who took their own lives in 2007 had doubled over the previous year.

"Earlier this month, the Army reported its own current soldier suicide data, reflecting another year of record increases. And just last week, the VA chimed in with their latest OEF/OIF veterans suicide figures -- also another record-breaker -- for its Afghanistan and Iraq veteran clients."


I remember Barry Gibb speaking of the brothers' Gibb youngest sibling like this: "If you remember in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the group of red lights comes flying by and afterwards a single red light comes tailing along behind them, that always reminded me of Andy." Belonging, yet apart. Andy Gibb's death is not listed as a suicide, but his death was self-inflicted nonetheless. He had fame, fortune, looks and the blessing of being born into one of the most musically gifted families of all time. And yet he killed himself. No one could understand his desire for self-destruction. Barry said it was to his eternal regret that the last conversation he had with his brother was an argument.

Veterans' Suicides: a Hidden Cost

"With the exception of the unspeakable images of Abu Ghraib, which were e-mailed home by soldiers themselves, for six years Americans have been effectively insulated from the human cost of our wars. This insulation is not an accident; it is policy. Images from the Vietnam years, like the naked child trying to outrun her own burning skin, or the anguished women and children waiting their turn to be executed at My Lai, were catalysts that helped turn public opinion against that war. This time, the government wanted to ensure that would not happen. On the eve of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Pentagon issued a directive to the media forbidding any coverage of returning American coffins. No coffins, no funerals, no wounds, no tears. No empathy."

So why did Andy Gibb die? Because he was not who you thought he was. And for him, that was the same as death. An adoring public saw another teenage pin up, record producers saw another monetary talent and his famed brothers saw him as someone who should be their equal. But truth is, he was just Andy the performer, not a creator like his brothers - which, in reality - was OK. But no one wanted to hear his reality. So, he wondered, how can anyone accept me without also accepting the reality of who I am? I need another drink.

We all know who our returning soldiers from Iraq are: conquering heroes! They are fighting for our freedom while planting the flower of democracy in the Middle East. Only by their sacrifices do we remain free. We must support them in every way we can. But, of course, anyone who says our troops are fighting for our freedom in Iraq is not supporting them at all, but using them. God damn all the Users.

The returning soldiers know the sorry truth, but to whom can they plead their case? So-called supporters dismiss their concerns with a wave of the hand: "Don't bring your qualms to me. Everything you do is fine!" What a truly, truly vicious and diabolical thing to say. These evil Users know they are not the ones who have to live with the demons in the night that haunt the soldiers. They mock the soldiers' fate and trap them with no way out - except with a bullet.

The best way to honor your child's death in Iraq is to admit he/she died for nothing. Face the pain so others may be spared it. And for those lucky enough to have family who returned: acknowledge what the soldiers have been through, letting go of whatever ideals you hoped it would be. Let us confess our sins so we can finally put a stop to the bleeding. Open your mind and your eyes or lose them forever.


Trust me when I tell you I know what it's like to be at the mercy of fuckers who think they know everything and but in reality know nothing. And don't let yourself be fooled by fiends of false praise hiding in the dark, they know exactly what they are doing: laughing at your demise and suffocating your soul.

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