I have been searching all over the web looking for like minded people to link this site to theirs. I came across this photograph shot by Zoriah, an independent embedded photojournalist, while in Iraq. The monochrome image embodies the deep sense of sorrow and duty that I was trying to convey in part of my last post.
Taking another's life in the name of freedom, patriotism and because of your job description profoundly changes the person. How do we reconcile the killing of another human being and still maintain our principles and values? Someone who has not done so can talk all they want about what they think or believe.
When a soldier goes home to his or her family, friends and community, how do we relate to people who expect the person that is no longer us? How do we tell them that each time we took a life that, we too died in spirit a little more?
They congratulate us on a job well done and we tell ourselves that we did our job, what we were trained to do. They tell us how proud they are, and we cannot make them understand how we feel guilty for that pride.
How do we tell them that we cannot get those faces or images out of our mind?
Excerpt from Zoriah's blog:
A couple of days ago I went out on a foot patrol in Sadr City with a young a soldier and noticed the tattoo on his arm, featuring a rosary and the words “Forgive Me.” I asked him what the story behind it was.
He said, “After my first tour in Iraq, I went back home to the states and all my friends called me a murderer and killer. I guess I started thinking a lot about all the things I had done over here…you know.”