Friday, October 22, 2010
Sometimes people request a particular driver, who they know or like, as happened in my case the other night with Jeremy, a friend of Norm Walters Jr., whose father, Norm Walters Sr., I worked with at the post office for 12 years, prior to his retirement. Norm Sr. was in the Air Force for 20 years, as a musician, playing trombone in the Air Force Academy marching band at Colorado Springs, Colorado, but I hadn’t talked to him in over a year. His son Donald, who I never met, was killed in Iraq, in 2003, at the very beginning of the war. Don Walters was the supply sergeant over Jessica Lynch, who became the heroine that bolstered Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Don was captured by Saddam’s Fedayeen and summarily executed by a bullet in the back of the head, in the court yard of the hospital that Jessica Lynch was being held in.
Norm Walter’s Sr. was determined to get the story of his son Don into the public light. He had been on Larry King Live, Good Morning America and every other TV news show that attacked the story like piranha devouring a side of beef, for the next year or two. After the war dragged on, and became unpopular and Rick Bragg published his biography of Jessica Lynch, “I Am A Soldier Too,” everyone forgot about Don, except his family. He received a Bronze Star, and through the efforts of Norm it was upgraded to a Silver Star, but Norm wanted the Congressional Medal of Honor.
When I picked up Jeremy, he had been drinking, and was at a friend’s house, but then that was always the case, which was why he called for a cab. On the ride to his house we talked about everything from my blog, to Norm quitting the trombone. He was having problems with his facial muscles, so it was difficult for him to control his playing like he wanted to, so he decided to quit, Jeremy told me. When I got him home he paid with a credit card, as usual and gave me a $5.00 tip. Jeremy asked me if I had talked to Norm lately, and I hadn’t for nearly a year, but I made a mental note to call him in the next week or two.
The war in Iraq and Afghanistan was something that the American public wanted to forget, but it wasn’t just going to go away. I was always driving soldiers to or from the airport shuttle, train and bus station. Some talked about where they were and what they did, while others are reticent but glad to be home.
There have been a couple of veterans, who have gotten cab licenses and driven for Yellow Cab. Right now the only one doing it is, Nick, a former Marine, who was injured when an IED (improvised explosive devise) detonation destroyed the ambulance that he was driving, killing his passenger, but sparing him. He spent a year in Iraq, and came back with a shrapnel deposit in his body, along with a disability.
Nick is alive, with injuries that allow him to function, but Don Walters is dead. I told Norm to organize all his research, appearances, articles and other information about Don, so we could eventually write a book about him. Who knows when Iraq and Afghanistan will be stabilized enough for our troops to withdraw, but then that will probably never happen in our lifetime.
War is an important part in the evolution of the human species, although the goal of most civilized individuals is to put a permanent end to it. Whether the change is initiated by the NUC or the ICUD, the transition from primitive barbaric war to rational communication is the same. Trevor Netzreg was meeting with the other 11 before informing headquarters of the anti teleo mind that he discovered. Sometimes the NUC had to abandon a planet, because it was destined to be beresheet and belonged to the ICUD.
I got a call to the South Liberty Bar and Grill where he picked up a couple, who were heading to the apartments on Madras, on South Commercial. The male kept calling me sir, so I asked him if he was in the military and he said that he was home on leave for a month before he had to go to Iraq, after being in the states for a year, after serving in Afghanistan. He didn’t want to go, but resigned himself to it, since he still had 3 years of his enlistment left.
“Hell, I could go back another time after this, if the war drags on,” he said.
The way that it looks right now, that is a definite possibility, since there is no end in sight, even with President Obama, promising that we will be pulling troops out. How can you pull troops out, if it will create a vacuum that Al Queda will fill, re-creating the problem that began the war in the first place. To quote a worn out Christian cliché, “there will be no peace, until the prince of peace comes.” The last time that the prince of peace was here, we crucified him. When he arrives this time it will be our turn.