Daily Kos: You did not desert me My Brothers in Arms. VFP in Crawford

You did not desert me My Brothers in Arms. VFP in Crawford
Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 20:46:52 CDT

I got this story from my VFP list. This is one of the reason I am a member of Veterans for Peace. I snipped out part of the story which you can read in full at the link.

I have also had to deal with some of what this story reports, the PTSD that is resurfacing in veterans because of this war. But we are holding together because we know to not do so would be to abandon our duty to each other.

Don't know what else to say except I see the VFP's President actually supports the troops.

* BOHICA's diary :: ::

Warriors in Crawford

CRAWFORD, TEXAS -- "I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about,"

By the time we arrived on Saturday, the camp was in full swing and counter-protesters were showing up by the truckload. Armed with American flags and "Cut and run traitors" signs and many "Casey died for me" banners. Gathered in Camp Casey were veterans and activists from across the country. Peace prevailed through early afternoon under the hot Texas sun and sweltering humidity until about 3 p.m. The counter-demonstrators moved closer, shouting "Freedom isn't free." The Texas cops stood 30 strong and the folks at Camp Casey stood relatively silent.

I watched through Woody's binoculars as a police helicopter circled the camp. As the chopper drew closer and closer to the ground, storm clouds gathered. The shouting increased now on both sides and a Vietnam vet kept insisting, "You don't know. You haven't been there. You just don't know." He stood chest to chest with the "Freedom isn't free" guy, each man clinging to his beliefs.

At the height of the confrontation, the Vietnam vet looked to the sky and his face contorted into horror. He saw the chopper and suddenly it wasn't Crawford, Texas. It was Vietnam. He collapsed in a heap and wept uncontrollably. Five Vietnam vets rushed to his side and carried him under a tent. They shielded him from view, putting their bodies between the sobbing man and the media.

And so I watched this group of men as they spoke to him gently in the language of war and peace. They hugged him and brought a warm washcloth to his forehead. They told him jokes. They gave him ice and water. They never looked away, not once.

The man wept for almost an hour. One vet, Tim Origer, a former Marine, leaned into his grieving buddy and wiped his brow. As Tim pulled away to dip the cloth again into the bucket, his hand brushed away his pant leg and I saw his prosthetic leg. A gray mechanical knee and a stiff piece of metal where his right calf used to be. Tim lost his leg to an artillery round on March 15, 1968, during the Tet offensive. He was 19.

The man on the other side of Tim was David Cline, president of Veterans For Peace. This was the anti-war statue that you'll never see in Washington. Banded together with the knowledge that they had been duped by their government, these men now needed to heal one other.

Fitzsimmons is a writer/actor who lives in Los Angeles. See more stories about Arlington West's trip to Camp Casey at www.veteransforpeacela.org.


Daily Kos: You did not desert me My Brothers in Arms. VFP in Crawford


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