You don't really want to know...

You don’t really want to know…

We live in a day where the perception is that we can know what is going on with just about anything or anyone if we just search the internet enough. It’s the biggest lie going… “if it's published, it's true.” The obsession with the digital age has been built on the premise that “all” information is available to those that know how to search. Once the hook is set the users feverishly search to build their case for what is sure to be the truth. Seldom does anyone consider the idea that some things are just put their to distort. 

There is a reality for the warfighter who has actually fought in combat that is very different from those who have simply been to war. The percentage of those that have actually “seen the elephant” as Alexander the Great’s era wrote, is few. The stories of war that we hear and accept are those portrayed by filmmakers or news reporters. That story is almost always the same… war causes suffering and our soldiers suffer from some form of post trauma. Yep… some do. But there are many who don’t. In fact, they stay quiet because they have never asked for anything, only to serve. 

The public likes to hear the stories of the pain. They like the stories of the heroics. But do they like the stories of the pleasure of killing some jack wagon that is trying to kill you? Or the feeling of accomplishment when you put down some terrorist that is part of the same group that killed 3000 people on 9-11? Fiction is easier to accept. Reality is more interesting (and more demanding to deal with) than fiction.

Unless you have faced an enemy, you don’t know the rush of feelings that surround you. You don’t know the focus that transcends the moment to take you to a place where life is more clear than anything you have ever lived. You don’t know what it is to transform from a soldier to a warrior. It is one of the contradictions of war… it is the place where we find the greatest and the worst of all things human. It is the place where we discover who we really are. 

Bards of War: Fighting Is Everything

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