Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Soldier Not a Symbol

Do you remember this picture?

The picture became a symbol of the Iraq conflict when it ran in newspapers across America in 2004. But the soldier in that picture has a name, he is James Blake Miller.

Combat can change a life in a second.
Now Miller is a different symbol in a different time. As the war has dragged on, Miller's life has collapsed in the face of post-traumatic stress disorder. He draws a disability pension for his condition and his personal life is a wreck. He suffers from nightmares, panic attacks and survivor's guilt. Despite the immense goodwill of a grateful nation, Miller has slumped into struggle and despair. Last week came the news that he and his childhood sweetheart, Jessica, were getting divorced.
Now we see the new face of the American soldier - a face that bears the scars of war.

James, you are NOT a symbol, you are a soldier who has returned. You are a person.

Who's left when the war is done?
Soldier of misfortune
Soldier of an angry call
Soldier on foreign soil

(h/t: Anon)

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