I was introduced to the harsh realities of war at a very young age. Though I was never around the brutality of war, growing up with a brother who was a Marine allowed me glimpses into how much pain and damage war can cause. As a child I was very ignorant and couldn’t even explain to you what exactly my brother did or what war meant. It wasn’t until one night while I was sitting on the couch with my mom and my two sisters watching the news. I had no clue as to what they were talking about and was even more clueless when they started naming off names of men who were also soldiers, as my brother was.
I remember looking at my mom when the list was finally over and being angry to see her crying but glad to also see her relieved. I decided then that I hated “the war . I hated everything associated with it because I knew that war was the reason my brother was gone a majority of the time. I took it upon myself to ask my older sister what exactly my brother did as a Marine as I still didn’t quite grasp the concept of war other than knowing that I hated it.
After that night, it had been as clear as it could get to someone in grade school. The next eight years consisted of letters and phone calls that were scarce, if at all, and me resenting war. At a young age I decided that I had completely disagreed with war, which I still do to this day. To believe and agree with something that has the ability to take, without hesitation, a father, brother, or a son is ludicrous to me. But is there such thing as a world without war? No.
Each brutality of a war leads to another and another and so on. So why strive to win a war if it only leads you back to the beginning of another with a different cause? Now, I do believe in fighting for your rights and beliefs, but not in such a way where casualties are a result of it. In time, I became more and more enraged with the idea of war. It hadn’t only hit me from a viewing stand point but it had affected me and my family on such a personal level that it continuously fueled my hatred.
I couldn’t even imagine how other families felt when they’d found out they had lost their loved one(s) to war. I couldn’t fathom how much more resentment they could’ve held than I did toward war. Through the times I could comprehend what was going on, I lived in fear that war could have an even greater negative impact on my life. Although I don’t fully understand war due to the fact that I haven’t experienced it full on, nor do I intend to, I intend to support the idea that war is pointless.
To try and better understand the exact purpose of war I asked my brother about his experiences in war. He thought about it for a minute, looked at me, and said, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk about it. It’s just too messed up. In the years since he’d left the military I haven’t failed to try and get details of his involvement in war in hopes of seeing the relevance. The realities of war just kept adding on to my detestation of it. My brother had seen things that no person should see.
He witnessed the loss of friends and knew more of the tragedy that is caused than I can stress to anybody in my writing. One day he even went as far as to say that he’s proud of what he’s done but if he could go back to the day he decided to sign the papers knowing what he knows now, he wouldn’t do it. I would love to believe that all aspects of war could come to an end but that is far fetched. It seems that we’ve made war inevitable and because I know a small portion of the effects of war I believe in Plato’s saying, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.