When I watched The Marlboro Marine in our 2150 class, I think I was exposed to the side of a military man that not many see.
Whenever you see a commercial, feature, or any type of publicity featuring a member of the military, you never see anything negative. All that’s ever talked about is the honor of serving, the magnitude of the sacrifice you are making. Each of those are undoubtedly true and should never be questioned.
But what’s easily forgotten about these men is the toll they take. We certainly think of them as heroes, but we don’t ever think our heroes can be anything but heroic. If you haven’t noticed, being a hero takes a toll.
And man, did this guy really take a toll.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not something to be played with. Dealing with any soldier who suffers from this is a situation that must be taken seriously right off of the bat. The problem is there are too many people who don’t.
They just think soldiers like that took a few too many knocks to the head. “They’ll get over it eventually,” they say.
No. No they won’t. The horrors and tragedies those men have watched and participated in, including senseless killings and unspeakable dangers, are something that could never be understood. That’s why they struggle so much.
The Marlboro Marine is one of those soldiers who can’t even explain why he was there after serving. He may have been one who came in with the idea of protecting freedom, but didn’t know what he had to do to truly protect it.
I remember him talking about what it takes to kill a man who has done nothing to it. I’ve never really heard a soldier talk like that before, in that kind of manner. It did something for me I thought is never done enough with soldiers.
Yes, they do consider some of what they did to be wrong. Yes, it’s not all glory and honor. And yes, some of them may regret ever going to Iraq.
Moving forward, we need to recognize this more. Whenever we see a soldier, maybe we shouldn’t just tell them how much we appreciate their service. As mentioned in the video, some of them could simply use a, “How are you doing? Are you feeling alright?”
They need people to talk to, people to care. You might think your gratitude for those who serve was shown by just simply thanking them. But for what these people went through, they deserve a thank you, handshake, and some conversation. As much as we want to paint them as superheroes, we must always remember:
Heroes are people too. And they need as much help as they give.