Dream Catcher

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What War Means to Me

So many years ago, I was a gung-ho youth. To me, war was a child-like adventure and Vietnam held my fascination. I talked to every veteran I knew. Along with the stories, the nightly news and oh yes, the body counts of those fallen soldiers each day. Never did I ever expect to be convinced that war was hell.

I can not forget the smoke of a firefight and the dark rubber bags being shuffled off to a waiting Huey. I still hear the rhythm of its blade slicing in the background as a reporter tells the story . . . We forget the hurts of war, the soldier’s and their loved ones. Pain knows no cause. There are no favorites, only survivors.

I remember a time, a friend and I were having a drink in a bar. Monty got up to get another round. He was gone only a moment. I hadn’t noticed. Two men walked in, causing a raucous. I heard the sound of fists connecting. Turning in my seat, Monty had one by the throat. The other was lying unconscious on the ground. Jumping to my feet, I pulled my friend off the man. It was then I knew, gazing at the Asian youth, war had raised its ghostly head once more.

I am not afraid to die . . . Not for myself. I’m afraid of feeling others pain, which I can not control. I don’t know how to console a child after losing a father, having to grow up alone or a mother burying a child before their own time. I’ve felt the pity for those crippled from a mine and of those living with regret from the loss of a buddy who died when it should have been them.

There was a time when we never would have allowed a woman into combat. I wish we still thought like men. War is hell and our children do not need to learn what we have learned so many, many times before.

I never forgot the promise of my youth . . . Never would I allow another Vietnam, never another , but really what could I do?

Dan Hanosh
Dreams Are Yours To Share


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