Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"What Should the Iraq War Memorial Look Like?"

My life currently consists of going to classes, working, freezing, and trying to have a little bit of a personal life. So today in my Vietnam War in Literature and Film class we talked about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and then some kid asked what the Iraq War memorial should look like. I always find it entertaining when people talk about the Iraq War like it's over. My professor seemed to get really excited thinking about this. He finally shouted out, "It would be a humvee." The class waited for more. "It would be a humvee getting hit by an IED...the humvee would be like levitating...Oh, and there would be sound effects." I sank into my chair as my friend sitting next to me looked over at me. I told him I hated my life. He said he was surprised I didn't say anything. On top of my professor saying something I found to be completely appalling and disrespectful to all those who have lost their life in Iraq and to their families, some asshole student starts laughing. Really? This winner had on a New York Yankees jersey and a Yankees t-shirt under it, a shitty mustache that he thinks is awesome, Chinese symbols tattooed on the back of his neck with totally original dragons around them, he was drinking coffee out of a straw, and he carelessly giggled at my professors brilliant idea. My professor asked the class if we should sketch up the memorial idea and then he said he’s “glad this class is off the record.”

Everyday I wonder what the fuck the people around me are thinking, why they say the things they say, why things just don’t matter or seem to register, why they care about things that don’t seem to matter...and then I realize they must think the same about me. But I know I’ll never laugh at something so horrible.

*Speaking of death...

President Obama is considering overturning the policy banning photos of military coffins. If the families of the fallen soldiers are comfortable with this, I believe it's a step in the right direction. Maybe if the American public saw photos they would realize death isn't just a humvee that goes boom…maybe some would stop laughing.

Read the article here.


Anonymous Victor said...

....... I applaud you for your patience. I would have curb stomped those two dick heads.
But hey, you could always pee in dick head #1's coffee when he's not looking.

2/11/2009 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger loose change said...

Thats pretty disturbing and really sucks that people think that way. It would have been hard for me not to say something

2/12/2009 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

This post made me sick. Your professor is uninformed, disrespectful, and just plain dumb. His comments are absolutely apalling, as well as that tatooed jerk.

I am terribly sorry you had to deal with these two pieces of crap. Victor's idea works for me. Our troops deserve better.

2/12/2009 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a Peace Garden?

2/13/2009 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Wilz said...

Re: Speaking of death ...
I saw way too many of these flights come into Travis AFB forty years ago. Probably the most serious and solemn ceremonies you will ever witness. It still punches me in the gut.
Maybe Professor MF and the car magnet crowd should be required to attend a few.
Good blog - Drive On.

2/16/2009 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

Brandon placed a link to your piece over at VetVoice, so thus the infrequent visit, and on a topic that's been in my mind since this all started.
If we had learned our lessons of the conflict we served in, 'Nam, we wouldn't be having your generation talking another War Memorial, one for two theaters not one!
Many of us knew what was coming, especially as the drums started on Iraq, no one wanted to hear, just wanted to slander us all, especially us vets!
Though it will be up to you all, and should be, on a visit to our 'Wall', on the weekend of 'shock and awe', I had a picture of another 'Wall'. This one facing ours, making a corridor, but this one built higher up. A 'Wall' with the names of OIF and OEF, as well as Gulf War I vets. Built on top of the steps leading to, the 'Wall' would be self explaining, the Steps would represent each year of the occupations, starting with going into Afghanistan. Reason for the steps would be two fold, raising the elevation because of the failed policies causing both debacles, a reminder, above our failed policy conflict, we couldn't stop it! Second would the denial and the lessons not learned leading to the failed policies allowed, we couldn't stop it!!
'Nam In-country '70-'71

2/18/2009 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger sgtlejeune said...

I could not have handled that as well as you did. My temper would not have allowed it. I would have had to ask the question - What do the soldiers in the Humvee look like? Any answer he would have given would have brought him physical harm.

2/18/2009 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's just no protection from that kind of 'incoming' Kate. And from a total FU professor who some think is qualified to teach a course even remotely related to Vietnam. Hope he's not tenured.

I'm sure other non-trad/Vets can relate to your situation.

Maybe you could give him a link to your blog and ask for extra credit. And to his dept. chair...

2/18/2009 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger FOX3 said...

I honestly couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a woman in Iraq. I applaud you and your ability to keep your calm inside the classroom. Keep your head up, one day the cinics and politics might wake up and realize what Iraq is really like.

2/18/2009 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger There and back again said...

I'm so sorry you had to endure that. How fucked up! Some people, so comfortable in their easy lives, have very little humanity. I'd just like to offer that no class is "off the record" and that all universities/colleges/institutes of higher learning have codes of conduct for their students and their faculty. If you wanted to, you could report that asshole professor of yours and lodge a complaint. Odds are he would be censured, have to go through a training, and the incident would be on his record. That kind of offensive, disrespectful, inhuman shit doesn't belong in any classroom setting, and unless your professor stops being so callous and despicable, he doesn't belong in one either.

I respect and deeply admire your patience and quiet fortitude in dealing with the situation.

2/18/2009 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, many years back when I was about your age, I remember reading in Larry Flynt's HUSTLER magazine a piece called WAR: THE REAL OBSCENITY. Very insightful. It should be shown in every memorial.

2/24/2009 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Thanks for "keeping it real"...Seriously, I appreciate you sharing your life and the honesty. I believe people keep certain parts of life at arms length because they don't have the courage to live it. Then they act like the very freedom the enjoy, at the sacrifice of others, give them some unique insight to life.
It does...they're clueless.

2/25/2009 12:18:00 PM  

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