Keeping It Personal

This is Minstrel Boy, from Harp and Sword. Melissa has been gracious enough to invite me to post this here at what I consider to be the best blog out there…

I am a decorated combat veteran of Viet Nam. I am also a professional musician. For almost a year now, I have been playing the funerals of local kids who get killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do this for free as a way to honor their service. I get weary sometimes. People notice and comment on it. I have another funeral to play. This is about how I feel right now, which started out as a comment over at the fine blog Ranger Against War:

I'm dragging myself through the morning today. Muttering to myself. Slouching and bitching through the chores. In three short hours I will be playing yet another funeral for a fine young man who has fallen due to the misguided policy and schemes of George W. Bush and also because of the craven cowardice or callous cynicism of the Congress that refuses to do their duty and stop this shit.

I'm doing this because it fucking hurts. That's right. I'll say it again, I'm doing this BECAUSE it hurts.

It hurts to see that another young person has been brutally killed. It hurts to see the faces of the surviving family. It hurts to stand with honor guard and play sad songs on the harp and pipes. It hurts even more when it is the child of a neighbor, it hurts even more when it was a kid that I knew.

Want to know something else? It hurts even more when I'm going to or leaving something like that and realize that most of this country doesn't even know, or much care, how bad it hurts.

I have had friends, on the phone, in my house, through concerned emails, tell me that they see the toll this is taking on me. Fuck! The republican pukes have had the gall to tell reporters that they will tow the line and stay with the president until the primaries are over and they are certain to make it to the general election, then they'll come to the "Stop this fucking madness" camp. They are more concerned with keeping their pissant jobs than the fact that we are losing two or more soldiers a day while at the same time not accomplishing a goddamned thing other than losing two or more soldiers a day.

Here's my challenge to you. Find a way to make this personal. Do like Jersey Cynic and Liz did over at BlondeSense did. They got out in the street to protest. They even got Jim Yeager of Mockingbird's Medley to join them. You know Jim. He used to blog as Mimus Pauly, now he's just doing it under his name.

Make it personal. Find a way to make this shit mean something deep inside you. Make it hurt. Then Do. It. Some. More. Feel the pain, feel the sadness when a 20 year old kid gets rolled over in a truck wreck. Then go to the next one. And the one after that. And the one after that.

Keep. It. Personal. Do that and you might find a way to ensure that this madness stops. Drag people along with you so that they know how much it hurts.

My cousin and his partner are coming to the funeral with me today.

That's two more people.

Maybe we won't stop this war. It has the distinct potential of stopping itself. The military can simply break down and cease to function like it did with Alexander. Of course, it just might get worse. Still.

I'm keeping it personal. I'm going to walk through the hurt, the grief, the pain and do what I can to make something, some fucking where a little better.

That's what I'm doing.

How about you?

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