Eyes Wide Open for friends only

Attire for a memorial to the cost of war?An Air Force soldier participated in our candlelight vigil tonight. A vigil held at the Colorado Springs Eyes Wide Open Exhibit, for the lives lost in the Iraq War. He spoke about losing a close friend, and about his friends who are deployed in Iraq for whom he fears. He read a poem he’d written about looking at the names of the casualties everyday and hoping, praying it would be no one he knows.
Did he miss the point of the 2,700 boots?

If I try to be charitable, I’d say the soldier added a human aspect to the ceremony, not just his grief, and his fear, but the self-centeredness of a soldier’s world view. It certainly made me irritated. The rest of us were here, apparently, to give him company in his fear.

I was not.

He introduced himself, Sam, an Air Force enlistee, and a student at the Colorado College. He’s gone to basic training but has yet to be deployed to the war. I’d seen him recite at a poetry gathering the year before. He goes around campus in his fatigues, often fresh from training. My guess is he’s among many college recruits who serve the military by living among students to project an air of normalcy about the military.

Tonight Sam wore a leather jacket with a skull insignia on the back, with the slogan “where do special forces go when they die? They go to hell to regroup.” (or so)

Enlistee Sam fish-out-of-water spoke tonight of dreading when he’d be sent to war, I was listening but didn’t hear that his disposition toward warfare had changed by developments since the last time I saw him. At the poetry reading he spoke of planning to bringing back his war experiences through the eyes of a poet. Most of the other student poets looked aside as he read. Too polite to roll their eyes. The eyes at the vigil were wiser than mine.

There are some attendees who are turned off by the religiosity of gatherings such as the vigil, I could not bear the banality of this foolish enlistee, worrying for himself and his friends, thinking not at all to question the work he was doing or the profound repercussions upon the lives of so many countless thousand innocents.

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