My father was a wreck physically and psychologically as a result of his involvement in the Second World War. He lied about his age, with the aid of an uncle, and joined up at the age of 16 and was sent to fight the Japanese in various Pacific battlefields. Not long before my fathers death, I think I was about eight, I found myself sitting next to him for some reason, I don’t know why. As we sat he started to talk about the war, something he never did before. I vividly remember him telling me what it was like to have shells exploding near you and bullets whizzing past your head, and your friends who were standing next to you being torn apart and ripped from life by those instruments of death.
War is not heroic, war is atrocity. It traumatises all whom experience it personally, excepting sociopaths, and sends ripples of harm through the families of those whose lives it doesn’t end completely. I am proud of my father for standing up against fascism and nationalism, but he was not a good parent. He was a negligent, abusive drunk who, like a lot of veterans, used service as an excuse for being a negligent, abusive drunk, (of course the normal rules of behaviour don’t apply to veterans do they? [sarcasm]). He was trying though. He was dry for six months before falling off the wagon and dying.
Here’s an interesting psychiatric fact about veterans. It’s been reported by therapists treating veterans, Vietnam veterans in particular, that PTSD in these individuals is often the result of having participated in atrocities, e.g. torture, rape, killing civilians, executing prisoners etc.
Here’s another interesting fact about the military elite, special forces such as the SAS. The psychological testing they use to select individuals for these units select for sociopathy. That is, the more sociopathic traits a person has, the more likely they’ll be chosen…And then they train them in killing people covertly. Just what society needs [sarcasm].
P.S. Video games that glorify war make me sick and should be banned.