The Decision

By Chris Bent

Life isn’t fair. Some are lucky and some are not. Some are born in the United States and some are born in Africa. Some are born into Christianity and some are born into Islam. Some live their lives in Nikes and some in bare feet. Some should be glad and some should be angry. Some have iPads and some have nothing. Some travel and some go nowhere. Some are rich and some are poor. Why are there slums?

We send our sons to fight wars to protect our shores. It has to be done … or you have your head in the sand or in your social network, looking down. In the military these sons bond intensely in ways we do not know. It is the finest of wines. It is idealism in the raw. When a life is lost it is like a baby being ripped from a womb. Multiple combat tours with the same unit forges courage and knowledge in an intimacy foreign to most. Living the extremes of trust.

IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) have made it all the more absurd and difficult for the participants. Lost limbs and lives in an instant. The victim who lives is almost worse off. Sent home. No more responsibility for his buddies.

A nightmare of pretense and bad dreams lies ahead.

Veterans don’t talk about what they saw as we would not understand … much less appreciate. So the silent prison forms. Peers are no longer that. Jobs are very difficult to find. The new combat is with the bureaucracies.  Self lost in the mountain of forms and databases. No one hires. Interviews fewer and less comfortable. Pride diminished. A life feels lost.

Why are veteran suicides greater than combat deaths?

There should be a quota for all businesses to hire veterans. They put it all on the line for us. Why can’t we for them?

Let’s take their tragic decision away from them.

Please comment below.

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3 comments to The Decision

  • “Born into” will be my next writ….. I have no problem with non-perverted Islam. I do have a problem with evil and selfishness…

    Thanks for yuor comments

    God bless You

  • Chris Cory

    Chris Bent– Your comments on this would be helpful, I think.
    Chris Cory

  • Steve Buck

    Dear Chris – The clear implication of your first four lines is that those born into Christianity are lucky and those born into Islam are not. Having spent most of my adult life either living in or dealing with the Muslim world as a U. S. diplomat, I would respectfully suggest that things are a bit more complicated than this. Woefully, some terrorists have led many Americans to believe that Islam, one of the world’s great religions is a bad thing.

    Actually I write you to commend you for the latter part of this posting, about the terrible problem of vets suicides, many of them because the men (mostly) feel they can’t talk about what they have experienced. Alas, this goes beyond just vets. For the past 25 years I’ve been participating in and leading men’s groups, places where men can talk about what’s really going on in their lives.

    Far more importantly, I know a wonderful man,
    Gene McMahon, a Vietnam Vet, who founded Vets Journey Home, a non-profit that holds weekends for veterans (men and women) who suffer from the trauma of war. I recall talking to Gene in 2000 and his being so happy that he was finally “going out of business” as Vietnam faded into history. Now, alas he is going full bore. Please do publicize his organizations – the website is

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