by John Evans
Stepping off the bus in Victoria, Texas, back in 1972 was no easy matter.
I was facing a brutal unknown future. Having escaped life-threatening episodes during my tenure as a United States Marine left me querying whether I had a future at all.
Stunned, dazed, and confused, the concussive blast that propelled a projectile into my cervical spine left me motionless for a period. Blood pumped through my veins and onto the field back into the earth as derelict voices commanded me to “keep moving.” This was the last bit of strength I felt I could muster. Yet somehow and by the power of a strange raw courage I did not know I could gather, I crawled on my back to where the M-60 was firing rounds inches above my nose. I felt I was going to die.
My heart was pounding, racing as my mind forced me to keep moving past the live fire and deafening explosive blasts. I was totally wiped out as I crawled to my feet with the help of some buddies who witnessed it. Only one query was left to answer: where in the bloody hell was a medical officer? A medic? Anyone? There came no sounds from a chopper to take me to a hospital. Nothing to count on but the sound of voices crying in the midday heat of the sun for a cease-fire.
The only thing to count on was that there was no foreign enemy. Rather, my better judgement told me that what I faced was friendly fire. And this was criminal.
So was the sexual assault during the war. Through these experiences I found a raw courage that helped me to survive forty-nine years of SI (Suicidal Ideation), and attempts.
And as a survivor, I feel justified in witnessing for military personnel and US veterans who have embraced SI as a means to escape the pain, as well as those who carried out the painful experiences of war through the sadness and tragic losses of suicide. I shall be the voice for the fallen and afflicted as personal testimony, sadly forgotten for so many years, has left me furious at the onslaught of unjust war.
Simply penned, this (unjust war) in itself is a genocidal encounter to which we do not confess. And this, also, is criminal. To say the least, unjust war is a criminal offense against the dignity of humanity and indigenous cultures, as well as against ourselves.
We must ground ourselves through peace, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all humanity. To love our neighbor does not mean bringing harm upon the innocent souls affected by the cause and effect of any unjust war. And with the Vietnam War, we Americans lost over 58,000 souls to this unjust war; and now we trade commerce with Vietnam. Quite frankly, I don't get it!
Stop unjust war and embrace the Consistent Life Ethic cause as a real means of securing humanity's future. I have!