Monday, November 07, 2005

My Reaction to Jarhead the Movie

I have a bias

Liked it a lot. But for personal reasons. It took me back to other times, when I used to call myself a Marine, Devil Dog, Jarhead, Grunt, Mortarman. 0341.
For everyone else, you'll get the same reaction by watching Full Metal Jacket or Platoon But for me it was different.

I am one and I am many

For those of you that know me, you only know a version of me, the Jose that was born and raised in Venezuela, the Jose that you see at church on Sundays, the one that you go to school with, The one at work, Then there's Jose the husband, Father, cousin, friend, None of these versions are fake, as far as I know, they are me. The real me, all of them.

But there's also Jose the Marine, Jose in Iraq. The Jose that knows the alleys of Ramadi like the back of his hand, the Jose that can strip an M-16 blidfolded, that can recite the nomenclature of the M224 60mm Mortar by heart. The Jose that shot his Rifle at people who he never met before and would otherwise have no reason to shoot them. That Jose is still in the desert. He is still looking out for IEDs and still keeps an eye out for anything that looks suspicious. But, I am glad that Jose is dying.

When I got back from Iraq I decided to put all these events behind me and never talk about it. So that's what I did, or tried to do, but little by little I told a story here and there, and I noticed that it was liberating. It's like getting a big weight off your shoulders, just getting it out, talking about it.

The only thing that ever worried me was the dreams, I wouln't call them nightmares because they were not always unpleasant, sometimes I'd be joking around with old pals, sometimes I'd place friends from School out there with me. Sometimes I was just there, like any other day in 2003, I'd wake up not knowing where I was, this used to happen often, but they went away after a couple of months, then they'd go away completely until something triggered it, usually CNN News coverage of the war, seeing a burned out car, or the video of the guy taken hostage would garantee a visit to Iraq that night. The last time I had a dream like that was a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine forwarded a clip of a carbomb going off at a gate checkpoint. It was an umpleasant dream, but I knew it was coming.

I thought Jarhead would take me back the night I saw it, but it didn't. I went back in time when I watched it, but I did not dream about Iraq. This is good news, it seems like a lot of things are fading away, and it is because I've been getting a lot of things off my chest in this blog. This is my way of dealing with it. My self-therapy, my cure, medicine.

I have confessed my feeling of guilt, guilt of being alive when others did not come back, my confusion at the validity of this war, my complete respect and admiration for the members of the Armed Forces, particulary the Marines, but the Reservist and Guardman that serve this nation deserve a lot more credit than they get. I have talked about my feeling towards Religion, how fanatism has destroyed lives. But I wish to elavorate on that. I have a bone to pick there. How can we be decieved so easily? I see Religion in a different way now, I was numbed from seeing so much pain and suffering, but I'm starting to get my feelings back, I feel grateful for being alive another day, and I feel good that I live here. I am glad that the Jose that lived in Iraq is just a memory, there's no reason for him to be here, none of you will ever meet him. Because he's not there anymore. I am not him. He is not me.



Anonymous said...

wow.......I love reading this stuff. i had no Idea....And I look up to you because of this. I think bloging is a great help for you......Keep it up man!!!

Anonymous said...

It takes guts to expose your thoughts the way you do; my admiration for you never ceases. I love to read the way you think, our deductive reasoning is often in sinc...guess we come from the same place afterall. I'll go see Jarhead with an open mind ( and open eyes for my cutie Jake Gallegal...such a dork comment- I know)
much love

Anonymous said...

I always said I was proud of you...but I never really said WHY. The immediate assumption is because you served your country....but the truth is, it goes deeper than that. I am proud that you have evolved into being a man of character. The experiences God has allowed you to go through have shaped you in becoming the man you are today - a great one, I might add....To be honest, I WOULD like to meet the Jose from Iraq. I'd like to ask him a few not let him die so easily...for it was HE who helped you become the YOU today.