I’m reminded today of an old Edwin Starr tune, “War.” The lyrics, paraphrased: “Within the younger generation/Induction, then destruction/Ooh war/good God y’all/What is it good for?/Absolutely nothin’/Say it again.” There’s a powerful Springsteen version of this song on You Tube. Circa 1986, the video shows the suffering and carnage of the war in Vietnam.  Iraq wasn’t even a twinkle in Dick Cheney’s eye back in ‘86. Saddam Hussein and Ronald Reagan were cordial chums.

This song came to mind this morning as I read an article in which M.D. “Mitch” Mitchell and Adam Cote, retired members of the Maine National Guard whom I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing years ago, lament and question the ongoing, lingering operations in the Middle East. Mitch: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Adam: “It’s very concerning and makes you wonder when and how it is going to end?” Indeed, sir.

This letter simply salutes these and so many others who served and continue to serve — and serve and serve. I recall when, as a presidential candidate, the late Sen. John McCain said, “We’ll be in Iraq for 100 years.” I thought at the time, “Is he insane?” Nope. He wasn’t.

But the continuing effort to accomplish whatever over there certainly seems to be.

 

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner


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