Friday morning was a little harder than most. Writing this post has taken 2 days, and I’m still not sure what to say. The Dayton Daily News closed comments- yet asked strangers to send condolences.
Condolences don’t cut it. Neither did the headline of the DDN’s other story: Did war vet kill self to make a statement?
I don’t think a newspaper copy editor can write a more presumptuous headline.
The paper also says that Jesse Charles Huff didn’t leave a suicide note- but then again:
As a precaution, bomb squad technicians blew apart a backpack Huff carried before committing suicide.
Might his note have been in the backpack? Maybe. But, I think that anytime someone shoots them self a note isn’t the most important part of the deed.
Jesse Charles Huff is just one of our veterans who’ve been fighting in a war that the American people take for granted. We fight because we are protecting “democracy.” Yet, as if it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, the democracy we had pre-war is not the same we have now. The men and women we send over to do our “business” come back to find a country that’s falling apart at the seams.
Foreclosures, bankruptcies, record unemployment, under-employment, a “health-insurance debate” and billions spent propping up the Wall Street Casino- while our homes and hometowns slip into worthlessness. All while the beltway bandits keep the military industrial complex working at full steam- and the banking industry is thinking up new ways to siphon off your wealth with bets on when you can’t pay anymore.
Yep, Jesse came home from one war, to another- and we need a suicide note? It would seem that to even the most casual observer that things aren’t ok in America today. Why should we expect Jesse or Joe Stack to write the note to us- when most of us are giving tacit approval to the travesty of the war- both abroad and at home. Less than half of us vote. Those that do are as mesmerized by the distractions as an audience at a magic show. We’re fixated on things like abortion, guns, taxes, health insurance, while the class war continues to devastate our country.
Need an indication- drive around the area you need to drive through to get to the VA- as Jesse did on Friday. We’ve given up on parts of this country- in a way we refuse to give up in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Greg and I recorded a video about what we could do- and Greg brought up an old Drexel Dave idea to give houses to veterans for free- instead of tearing them down. I don’t know that giving a home that others don’t want to a veteran is a real gift. But, what I do know is that we need to provide a safe and secure environment everywhere in Dayton- and one of the ways to do that is to re-occupy the homes that we’ve turned over to father entropy, and to tell the thugs that there is a new sheriff in town. Turning an entire neighborhood over to a group of veterans, who are paid to provide security within the neighborhood, even if it means “peace through superior firepower” and letting them openly carry the same weapons they did in Iraq- so be it. I think there can be real pride in taking back OUR country from the thieves, punks and junkies, as opposed to making sure the oil flows for Exxon in Iraq.
We’re coming up on a year anniversary of a murder that still doesn’t sit well with me. I think it’s time that we start looking to provide the same security to our own citizens that we’ve been expecting people like Jesse Huff to provide overseas. As long as Americans are getting shot and killed here, we’re failing our most basic promise to our citizens- the one that talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Jesse lost sight of that promise, because we’ve lost sight of it. It’s time that our country rethink what’s important.
Here’s the video: