Punchlines


“We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.” – Jack Nicholson as Col Jessup in A Few Good Men.

I had an opportunity to speak to someone tonight who can help tell a story.  It was good and I have nothing against him – except that there were times that I felt he didn’t understand.  He’s a civilian – it can’t be helped – and if he is reading this, please know that I don’t hold anything against you.  I just use this blog to express things that make no sense to the majority of the world.  The world that gets to lay under the safe blanket that those who are serving provide.

I couldn’t help think of Jack Nicholson’s speech in A Few Good Men.  As much as I find the whole premise of the character of Jessup to be deplorable and disgusting – I do have to respect who he is in this speech.  For those who don’t remember, I post it in it’s complete form:

You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

I do love that speech and I love the passion with which it is delivered.  The problem – as we later find out – is that Col Jessup has no honor.  You see, a man (or woman) of honor would have found another way to deal with the problem.  He uses his corrupted vision of “honor” as a way to justify his behavior – the attack on a “sub-standard Marine.”  In the end, the Marines did not kill Santiago – a person killed him.

The US Army did not rape me, they did not beat me, they did not put me in a broom closet with a dirty bastard who loved to dry hump women.  A person did that.  A person without honor, without courage and there are plenty of people out there who cannot handle that truth.  They don’t want to believe that a Soldier can behave in this way.  Well – I have a theory on that…

They are not Soldiers (or Marine, or Airmen or Guardsmen or Seamen.)  They are trash, they are drek.  They don’t have the right to be called Soldier.  You see – a Soldier follows the code.  A Soldier acts with honor.  In the Army it would be:  Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.  You cannot tell me that someone that rapes, beats, tortures, abuses their power and humiliates another individual is following any of those words.  They are nothing but Punchlines to them.  If they lived those values, they would turn themselves in for their crimes against their brothers and sisters.  They would beg forgiveness and throw themselves on their victims mercy.  I’m not saying I was a perfect individual – no one ever is – but being a Soldier, being a Sergeant (or an Officer) should cause you to strive for that perfection.

But that isn’t the case, is it.  I was their Punchline – I was their Punching Bag.  I find myself so angry and even angrier still that I can’t make others understand.  I fear that I have failed you – my fellow sisters and brothers who live in silence.  I am so afraid that I can’t do this – I can’t live up to the very code that I have strived to acheive my whole life. I want to so badly – but my courage fails me again.  I’m not sleeping well and I find myself being obsessive about all of this.  This is exactly what my husband is afraid I would do.

I would have forgiven them.  Had they asked me to.  If Clarence or Jerk or any of the others had asked me to – I would have forgiven them.  When all of this was happening in the unit, one SGT came to me and he said, “I know I wasn’t listed in the complaint – but I hope I have never done anything like that to you – if I did…I’m sorry.”  He was a good friend – a good NCO – despite the fact he could be difficult, he had honor.  I never doubted his honor or his integrity as a Soldier.  I heard later that he never spoke against me.  Not once.  He couldn’t help me – but he wouldn’t hurt me either.

I want to make the world understand – but I am still terribly afraid.  Sure, people kind of think you are a little off the deep end when you fear for your job, your family and your personal safety.  Experience says it has all been taken before and it can all be taken again.  After a particularly nasty scare – Brigid said to me – “Don’t worry, they aren’t going to kill you, you aren’t worth it.”  She was right at the time – but I wonder at what point we could become “worth it.”  I hear the normal people out there – they are thinking, Man…this chick is fruit loop, over the edge, time to lock her up!  Yup – that’s me…a fun little lollipop triple dipped in Psycho Sauce!  However, I have perfectly good reason to be.

Well – I guess my only option is back out to the Windmills – there is always another one the joust!  Maybe I should be posting under Don Quioxite?

To my regular readers – I beg your prayers and your warm energy and kind thoughts this week.  Believe it or not – I know you are out there and I do feel your love and support.  I keep you all constantly in my prayers!

Peace,

Joan

PS – To the families and the survivors of the Aurora, Colorado shooting – please know, that you are in my thoughts and my prayers.  You have a very long road of healing ahead of you and the scars will always remain.  I am so sorry for all you have suffered and that you are suffering.  Please accept mine and Brigid’s deepest sympathies and know that – though we are strangers…we love you.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: