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I have been searching all over the web looking for like minded people to link with my site. I came across this photograph shot by Zoriah, an independent embedded photojournalist, while reporting from Iraq. The monochrome image embodies the deeply conflicting sense of sorrow and duty that I have been attempting to convey.
Taking another’s life in the name of freedom, patriotism and because of your job description profoundly changes the person. How do we reconcile the killing of another human being and still maintain our principles and values? Someone who has not done so can say all they want about what they think or believe.
When a soldier goes home to his or her family, friends and community, how do we relate to people who expect the person that is no longer us? How do we tell them that each time we took a life that, we too died in spirit a little more?
They congratulate us on a job well done and we tell ourselves that we did our job, what we were trained to do. They tell us how proud they are, and we cannot make them understand how we feel guilty for that pride.
How do we tell them that we cannot get those faces or images out of our mind?
Excerpt from Zoriah’s blog:
A couple of days ago I went out on a foot patrol in Sadr City with a young a soldier and noticed the tattoo on his arm, featuring a rosary and the words â€œForgive Me.â€
I asked him what the story behind it was. He said, â€œAfter my first tour in Iraq, I went back home to the states and all my friends called me a murderer and killer. I guess I started thinking a lot about all the things I had done over hereâ€¦you know.”