Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bullets and Beanie Babies

Last night I listened as a wounded Iraqi veteran talked in halted, nervous tones of his struggles with anger, of his lost jobs because he could no longer do simple math, of his efforts to put into art the things that he could not put into words.

He talked about the soldier's pack he carried … filled with bullets and Beanie Babies … and two cans of Coke ... because I like Coke.  Beanie Babies to make friends with the children during the day. Bullets for the middle of the night or early morning ... when people were deepest in their sleep and would be least likely to resist.  Beanie Babies for the children … bullets for their resisting parents.

He talked to a room full of students who sat sanding plaster casts of their smooth, innocent faces … faces untouched by the veteran's world … and answered questions about bronze and glass and why.

What have we done?

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