Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A question NOT to ask a veteran

So this weekend I hung out with folks that I went to Iraq with. It is crazy to think that is going to be two years since I came back. In some ways it feels like yesterday, in others it feels like those events are a lifetime away.

One of the topics that were brought up was a question that many people ask, a question that is inapropiate and uncomfortable, I don't blame the person asking the question, but I hate the question. The conversation usually goes something like:

stranger: "So, my friend told me you were in Iraq"
me: "Yeah, I was there"
stranger: "So, how was it?" (this is ok, what else can you ask?)
me: "It was crazy" (what else can I say? this is the most accurate answer I know)
here it comes, the worst question
stranger: "So, did you ever kill anyone?"

Ok, let me break this down, asking a vet if they ever killed somebody, is like asking a woman if she ever had an abortion, I'm sure if that person trusts you enough to talk about something very personal and controversial, they will tell you, if you don't know the person. Don't ask them that.

Seeing people getting shot and blown up is sick. Having to take someone's life is not an easy thing, in fact, it is freaking horrible if you asked me. If someone you know wants to talk about that, let them talk. If they don't, don't press them. Understand that once you experience something like that in real life, some people will have scars that will take a lifetime to heal.
That healing process is different for all of us.

If you meet somebody that went to war, don't ask them that question please.



Ms. Teacher said...


wanderer said...

Hell, I'm slightly bothered when people ask me if I wished I'd ever shot anyone, or if I ever regret not shooting someone. One of my classmates was telling me, while drunk, how he wished he could join the Marines so he could shoot people. And he's a philosopher, for Christ's sake.

By the way, have I ever asked you that? I'm just stupid enough.

wanderer said...

By the way, in a very real sense, Amy is more of a veteran than I am.

Jose said...

I don't think you have asked me that question Kamran. And yes, I agree with you about Amy.

Gina said...

soooo... did you ever?????
Just kidding. Don't have to answer anything that can be internal peace disturbing