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NAPALM SUNDAY: A MORAL INJURY

When 19-year-old Steve Bennett came home from Vietnam, he asked his mother if she still had his toy soldiers.

She told him they were in the attic in a container with his
old Lincoln Logs.

Long after Steve’s parents went to bed, he snuck up to the
attic and got the container.

He then went to the large backyard where he once played war
games as a kid with his neighborhood friends.

At the base of a weeping willow tree where he use to hide,
he poured lighter fluid on those plastic soldiers, and burned
them all to hell.

He instantly yelled, FUCK YOU!

Steve Bennett’s childhood officially came to an end.

Mike Hastie
Army Medic Vietnam

  • David Marchesi 03/06/2017, 12:50

    Among the taboo subjects for the UK publics the deliberate targeting of sixteen year-olds by the highly skilled (well, sometimes) officers assigned to that duty. “Get’em young” may well pay off in persuading youths to join up, to go abseiling, white-watering etc, and to learn, incidentally as it were, how to kill other people. It is significant that the “man-to-man” combat role has been increasingly glamorised even as long-distance weaponry (e.g. drones) has meant that “don’t shoot until you can see the whites of their eyes” is fanciful except for the chosen few (SAS, Marines, + possibly units which are unknown to the public) National servicemen generally , like this lad, were less likely to look forward to old-fashioned infantry work, such as bayonet charges. In fact, the frequent silence even of heroes about their exploits must suggest strongly that they wanted to forget, alongside the masses of WW1 and WW2 veterans who couldn’t wait to go back to civvie street .Finally, it would make sense for parents to avoid warlike toys, since a proportion of their children can progress through them to violent computer games, and then, horribly, the real thing.

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