Tuesday, March 14, 2000 – flashbacks

Today while finally putting up Desert Storm Pictures I was overcome with the feeling of grief for my friend Aaron who was killed by friendly fire. He and I were in different units stationed in the same post in Bamberg, Germany. So we ran into each other since we tended to chase after the same group of frauleins at an out of the way “alternative/independent” dance club.

So the story goes that one night during the ground war, his vehicle was summoned forward to check up on a group of Iraqi soldiers who were apparently surrendering. Some of the more forward units saw the vehicle and thought it was non-Coalition Force and opened fire on it. Aaron was the driver of the M113 Armored Personel Carrier. I remember reading the report that said there was a huge explosion that had hit the driver’s side and one of his squad members checked and found Aaron lifeless. They evacuated the vehicle and were immediately pinned down by friendly fire. The conditions were dark and visibility was limited. They were stuck there for hours before anyone could come to their aid.

Some people from the unit who initiated the firing on Aaron’s vehicle said they thought the approaching group of Iraqis on foot was an attacking column escorted by an armored vehicle so they opened fire.

This all happened before I was twenty-three. Aaron was a year younger. The government first told his mother that he had been killed in the line of duty by enemy missile fire. Word soon got out among his friends whose families relayed the information to his mother, who felt uneasy about the line she had been given by the Department of Defense. She came to Germany, where we were stationed, to find out for herself what had killed her son.

I used to think this happened in other wars, to other people, just in movies. Here I find myself as a friend of someone who was killed and the Army was handing his mother an American flag in a neat triangle fold and a line of bullshit.

Aaron’s mother found out the truth and the Department of Defense later took back its story and admitted that indeed, friendly fire had killed her son.

Comparatively, there weren’t that many Americans killed in Desert Storm. There shouldn’t have been any. There also shouldn’t have been any Iraqis, or Kuwaitis, or Saudis, or anyone from anywhere killed. Not for oil!!!! NOT FOR OIL!!!!

We live in one of the most developed nations in the world and yet we remain quaintly retro in regards to our fuel-drug-of-choice. Something as inefficient as fossil fuels is what moves us around. Computer technology doubles every so many months yet our vehicles burn pretty much the same fuel as vehicles made fifty years ago. Let’s pull the wool over our OWN eyes!??

If you happen to know of any links that alternative energy resources would be one of the themes, please send them my way.

peace to all! Jack PS – I wish to offer my most sincere of apologies to the families, friends, and neighbors of those souls we killed or injured. I was in circumstances beyond my control as were most everyone on all sides. I feel I had more in common with even the “opposition” troops than I do with most of the governments’ “leaders.”

Please forgive us we were young
forgive us for what we’ve done
this story has long been told
yet the ground still is quakin’
this isn’t my kind of world
so cheap is peace easily forsaken.

One dollar
Two Dollars
What the hell are we fightin’ for?
you’d swear they think it’s better than sex.
Four dollars
Five dollars
Six dollars spent
Away the aircraft carriers are sent
Auto industry assemblies the governments do rent
tanks, missiles, munitions are sent,
Through the eighth,
the ninth
the tenth fucking dollar
Man those gas prices got us by the collar

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