Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A side of war we can't forget...

Last night I had trouble sleeping. Somehow I couldn't get comfortable. Aren't those kind of nights frustrating? As I always do when I can't sleep, I tuned into some late night TV. Newsworld, our daily Canadian national news show, featured a documentary called Fighting Ghosts. Twenty-one-year-old solider Glen Villa, carried a video camera and recorded as he fought in Afghanistan. His footage was raw, eerie and captivating. I don't spend much time dwelling on war - though I know there is one now. To think about death and enemies in battle makes me sad. I hope everyone feels some sadness too. I was intrigued to hear and see a soldier's experience. The footage was scattered and there were black and white moments. There were huge bursts of light and that was an explosion or gunfire. There was yelling, swearing and often the words "get out!".

Villa talked about how the enemies never face each other. All they see is gunfire and explosives. Technology is so far advanced that face-to-contact isn't needed to blow each other to bits or to show resistance. Is this better or worse than seeing the face or hearing the voice of some one's life you are about to end? Villa said it's a very different experience than past wars, because the fighting is so allusive.

I realized how there is a stark difference between civilians and terrorists. Most citizens in Afghanistan are good. They want peace and freedom, but it's the terrorists and government who are in battle. Imagine living around constant violence and death when all you want is peace. Rarely have I thought about every day citizens in Afganistan and the ravaged life they must be living.

I felt such compassion for Glen Villa as you shared his stories with honesty and insight. He talked about the challenge of coming home after fighting in a war - how every day issues seem so mundane after seeing the evil side of life. I can't imagine. After watching Fighting Ghosts, I wondered if that was the message of the footage. Unless we are soldiers ourselves, we have no idea what each experiences, but we can care and get a tiny glimpse of war through one guy's video camera. It might not seem like much. However, hearing such a frank perspective moved me and made me appreciate my freedom and warm, safe bed. Thank you solider.

- OCG

1 comment:

THE OBSERVER said...

thats why we appreciate the soilders, its because of them we have the freedom we have today.