I realized that my feet felt as if they weighed a ton a piece, looking down I see that I’m wading through a foot of thick mud, going towards what appeared to be the direction I was drawn to head. The closer it seemed I would get to my destination I would notice the distance increase. I was carrying a bag which seemed to get heavier by the step, I wonder what I could be carrying that could weigh so much, I wanted to open the bag but in the darkness I don’t know how I would see inside. Hearing the loud crashes of thunder I wanted to move faster, I wanted to find shelter, as I watched the flashes of lightning in the distance I wanted to get away from the tall trees, but the flashes got brighter and the thickness of trees only increased, the more I pushed the more trees I can see. Hours seem to pass before my surroundings begin to seem familiar, I’ve been here before, and before that I was here also, but where is here, why do I keep coming back, I keep finding the same path, leading me to the same damn place, I’ve been here but this place is not familiar, it’s darkness reminds me of having my eyes closed, unable to see, only being able to hear, to feel, and smell the rot in the humid air. What is that familiar smell, why do I know the soothing scent, it is pleasing to me, it makes me feel secure in a place I should know but don’t recognize. As I rest I feel each drop of the rain touch my face, rolling down the skin like warm tears. In my mind I hear Freebird, it’s loud and I hear it echo in the trees, I need to start moving now, I need to get to a safer place, this place smells of death, it smells of rotting corpses, there are thousands of them. As the light of day breaks I can see the bodies I’m walking on, wading through like mud, the blood is over the top of my boots, it’s weight is increasing with every step, I look down and see the faces, faces that didn’t see what had killed them, I know what killed them, I know what the thunder is, I know the lightning flashes, I know what has happened.
As I sit in my recliner with my eyes closed shut, telling my wife for the first time ever what it was like to see the destruction as a result of what I did while in the Air Force. The reality of it is that it isn’t a forest, it is a desert, it is a place I never want to return to, and rarely, if never, talk about it. I’ve been married for 16 years, to a wife that came along after the Air Force, she just doesn’t want to understand, and I’m okay with that. The mere fact that I’m writing about it amazes me, it still hurts, it is still fresh when I close my eyes, and I fear there are not enough pleasant memories ahead to knock it the fuck out. I spent years detached from the reality that the weapons I helped build destroyed life and property, it wasn’t me pulling the trigger, it wasn’t me hitting the target, but a simple walk down a deserted street after a carpet bombing the night before let reality set in, no longer was I detached, no longer was I innocent, and I knew then changes needed to happen or I would lose my mind. Like a good soldier I pressed forward, putting behind me horrors that cannot be unseen or forgotten. What gets seen cannot be unseen, unfortunately it is very true. My wife wants me to talk to a headshrinker, I opted out. And now I see, once again, talking about it isn’t worth a fuck, I just leave more out each time. I hope that in time, preferably before my wife has me cremated, that I just forgot about the shit and everyone else forgets it as well.
When I talk about Desert Storm and later The Liberation of Kuwait it is to educate myself and others about how the real world is, beyond the news, beyond the media, beyond what the politicians think they know. There is zero reasons I should feel guilty for being a part of the machine which is called the military. I took responsibility for my personal contributions while in the Air Force, I do not blame others, there was no gun to my head, I served, fuck it, I’m a proud veteran, I can’t ever take it back. Some of y’all understand my pain, the rest of all will never have a fucking clue, y’all are the lucky ones, the innocent ones, the ones who close their eyes without fear. Anyway, to my wife who is reading this post, I hope this has helped you, at least a little. I never asked to be anyone’s hero, I never asked for people to thank me, I never asked for people to want to take a picture with me if they find out I’m a disabled veteran, I just joined the Air Force because I wanted to serve my country because I thought I could and would make a difference. But, I can’t fix stupid and stupid wanted a robot who didn’t care, that person is not me.
Before I go, let me tell you about the one and only time my ex-wife was able to pry out of me what I didn’t want open. Y’all see, she was studying to become a sociologist and well on her way to being a social worker, she thought we could talk about it, that I would be comfortable knowing that she, of all people, would not pass judgment. When I was done talking she was in tears, she was appalled that I was part of the organization which promotes peace through the use of violence, she told me she was ashamed to be in the same room with me, ashamed to share a last name with me in marriage, and that one day I will pay for my sins of being a baby killer in the deepest, darkest parts of hell, a place reserved for rapists and paedophiles. At first I believed she was right, it matches how I feel, but soon I realized that I am a simple person who was not looking for redemption or forgiveness, I wasn’t even looking for understanding, I just wanted to know if the words I would speak would or could sound like the thoughts in my head or the memories I have or how I feel deep down in that part of me nobody gets to witness, ever. Shit goes there to be buried and forgotten, it takes time to dig it up, nobody quite understands that, scratch that, some do understand, those are the people who don’t have physical scarring but are somewhat fucked in every other way, we know what each other are thinking, not even we understand so we don’t expect others to either. We don’t look for eyes or words if pity, we do appreciate it when others respect us enough as human beings just to let things be.
My wife hugged me, long and tight, not a word spoken, with tears down her face, she told me I’m home, I’m with people whom I love and that love me, support me, and care about me. That was the best hug I have had to this day in my life, a memory I will forever cherish. My message to my wife and to my son who will read this post later is that life happens every minute of every day, take time to see the scenery, smell the rain in the distance, we only have one shot at this life so we better live it to the fullest. My daughters give me their support as well, still I wonder if they really understand or if I just get the nod. This, unless something snaps again, will probably be the last time I discuss any of this on a personal level, this shit sucks to remember, to relive, and to talk about. Some call blogging “therapy”, and it is, but not today, today is more like anger management for me. Remember, no pictures please, ever, for any reason.
I understand the opening title is a bold question to ask. But as an American I feel deep down that I need to ask it out-loud where people can hear me. I have written on the topic of The Westboro Baptist Church in the past which generated quite a bit of bitter and hateful statements towards me, my family, and of course my blog. Let me make something very clear here before anyone gets their panties in a knot. I am NOT talking about all Baptists, I am NOT talking about any religion, I am just talking about the fucktards that run this church, go to this church, and believe in the vile provided by this particular church. If you are part of The Westboro Baptist Church cult following than this information is not anything that you didn’t already know. Now, the information I gathered was dated back in July 2013, so the rest of y’all might have seen it as well. I would point y’all to the actual petition sent for President Obama’s approval but it appear that the We The People website has been temporarily disabled so nobody can look at the public record. I have looked at this topic before, I saw the petition before as well, there were close to 675,000 signatures well out doing the 100,000 required. However, even though President Obama believes the actions of The Westboro Church to be reprehensible, he turned down the request (petition) to label the church a hate group. The President said that it is not the place of the Federal government to do so. Why do the petitioners want the church to be labeled as a hate group? It’s simple, the petitioners want The Westboro Baptist Church to have its tax exemption revoked. However, the White House refuses to label them a hate group or revoke their tax exemption status.
Since the government does not maintain a particular list of hate groups that there is no jurisdiction over the different organizations and does not have an official opinion. But, even though the White House has not officially called the church a hate group, it does condemn their widely known practices. Sounds like bullshit to me. So why does The Westboro Baptist Church protest? Let’s explore that a little. We can start with the basic theological views of the WBC. The theology of the WBC is an extreme variant of Calvinism according to their beliefs and values. I will remind everyone reading today that Phelps’s organization, Westboro Baptist Church, is based in Topeka, Kansas, US. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of Sunday, November 27, 1955. Today, the church has about 40 members, most of whom are Phelps’ family members. The church is described and monitored as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center but not by the United States Government.
In other words, to shorten terms for everyone, the Westboro Baptist Church hates the following but is not limited to the list provided.
I promised myself when I was writing this piece that I would keep calm and not get pissed off at this useless human being. But I can’t do it. I can’t continue to bite my tongue. What would Fred Phelps think of me? I hold the word hate to a high regard and I can only name about 3 people who I actually despise enough to hate. He is not one of them. I cannot and will not give in to his way of thinking. What I will do is to continue to share what an arrogant bastard he is while he preaches from his very tall pedestal. Does he feel as if he can’t be touched by mankind? I think you know the answer without me saying it. Take some time one day and read up on the history of Fred Phelps, his family, the WBC, and his followers/parishioners. When you do you will first let out a large sigh, that will be followed will the immediate need to vomit, and then you will just be pissed. For what you ask? It’s simple, and it should be real simple for Christians, because there needs to be an end to him preaching and spreading hate. Granted, with a churchful that counts in the 40s one would think that they aren’t much of a threat, but they are, they are a hate group whether the United States Government and President Obama think so or not.
We all know, especially those who know me or are close to me, that I don’t get into two things, those are politics and religion. If you have read closely I kept up my end of the deal, we didn’t discuss religion or politics. The people mentioned in this post were mentioned because they are key aspects and key players resulting in the continuation of the WBC. My final thought is actually a question. What the fuck is wrong with Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC)??? I will be too kind and pass a farewell to them all, fuck you Fred Phelps and fuck you Westboro Baptist Church.