Salute to the Real War Heroes of the Human Race
“To those who have called me a coward I say that they are wrong, and that without knowing it, they are also right. They are wrong when they think that I left the war for fear of being killed. I admit that fear was there, but there was also the fear of killing innocent people, the fear of putting myself in a position where to survive means to kill, there was the fear of losing my soul in the process of saving my body, the fear of losing myself to my daughter, to the people who love me, to the man I used to be, the man I wanted to be. I was afraid of waking up one morning to realize my humanity had abandoned me.”
—Sgt. Camilo Mejia
“War is the greatest form of wrong. I believe that my moral obligation to humanity is to not allow myself to be a part of this destruction. …
“Why do we want to train the young people in the world that the only way we can settle our differences is to kill one another? Why shouldn't we train them to become surgeons or homebuilders? Why shouldn't we train to become anything but killers? I think that the world would be better off if we were to do that instead. I have talked to veterans from every war from WWII on and their opinion is that the wars they fought were to be the last war ever fought. How many more are we going to fight before we realize that the act of war is for small minded people that are intent in only satisfying their own needs and not the needs of the people in general? I do not want to be killed because I am living in a place that has a ruler that wants to go to war with any one.
“The only way to bring peace to the world is to let the people of the world decide for themselves what they want to spend their efforts on. I feel that in this day and age governments start wars, and not people, and since the governments want the wars then why don't we let the government fight the war? All of the politicians that want to fight a war are free to trade places with me at any time. I will gladly go and learn war no more.
“There are activities that I have been involved in that have led me to these new and developed beliefs, and they are numerous but I can tell you some of them. When you walk in the woods and you see a deer stand and look at you, or you are on the river in the morning and the mist rises off the water while you hear the morning calls of the river birds, and the otters just lie there as you glide past in your boat and don't even move, you know that there is a better way. When you can find solitude in the woods that are so filled with peace and the wildlife that is all around you, you feel the better way all around. A person must acknowledge the fact the we are a part of the universe and the universe does not want to be out of sorts with itself, so why do we spend so much effort on trying to be out of sorts with others of the human race?”
“It was common practice to set up blockades. The Third Infantry would block off a road. In advance of the assault, civilians would flee the city in a panic. As they approached us, someone would yell: "Stop, stop!" In English. Of course they couldn't understand. Their cars were blown up with cannons, or crushed with tanks. Killing non-combatants at checkpoints happened routinely, not only with the Third Infantry, but the First Marines. And it is still going on today. If you check last week's MSNBC, they dug out a father and mother and her six children. We were constantly getting reports of vehicles that were destroyed (with people in them) at checkpoints.”
— Aiden Delgado, US Army Reservist