July 13, 2008

Forgive Me

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.”

© Zoriah/www.zoriah.com


  1. I'm writing a report for my American Government class and I decided to do it on PTSD, as I am also going into pyschology. Your site has been so helpful, I don't even know the words to say to even try to express how much so. And htis picture is truely moving, it is perfect to convey the point I am trying to make in my report, similar to your mission too I guess.
    I Not only have I been able to more deeply understand what PTSD is in a medical way, but also in a personal way.
    My dad is a Vietnam veteran and, up until this year, I had no idea that he had PTSD. I hated him for a long time because he was always getting angry about the simplest things, or he would freak out if I jumped out at him as a joke. I hated him to the point that I wouldn't even acknowlege his existence for days on end, even though I knew it hurt him deeply.
    I didn't understand then, I didn't have a clue that he had been affected by the war. but now I do, and I regret it all. All the medical sites just state the symptoms and treatments. You really show the true colors and turmoil that is the reality for veterans.
    Thank you for shedding light on this, hopefully I can now fix things between me and my dad, now that I more deeply understand what he's gone through.
    Again, Thank you putting yourself out there for the good of everyone else, not just overseas, but on this blog too.

    God Bless.

  2. Keep writing you can add to the fray! Good luck with your dad, you both deserve to have that time together. It brings me joy to foster an understanding, keep in touch. I'm still working on my degree!!


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