17 April 2008

The Enemy

I know a lot of Army Brats can be pretty gung ho. Real patriotic and they cry at a flag raising. I'm not like that for one reason. I served in the Army for four years. In the Infantry as a paratrooper. I returned to my childhood home (one of them), Ft Bragg and was exposed to an Army I knew nothing about as a dependent. It was a real eye opener.

The picture above is a water color of a NVA attack against a US camp. It's dated 1968. Some people refer to it as "Commie Art." I'm quite fond of it and would like to own more. I like this water color because it tells another side of the story. It's very gung ho and patriotic. It's damned evocative as well. Notice their enemy? That's right. You can't see them. My Dad. Your brother. Her son. Just tents and wire.

We did the same exact thing to our enemy. Made them faceless with names we couldn't pronounce and food we would never eat - -although we did come around to the food. I read somewhere a woman in North Vietnam asked her husband who was going off to fight in the south..."Is this war more important than our love?" It always helps to understand your enemy. It also helps to know they're not that different from us. At least when it comes to the important stuff.

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