I was struck by this small moment because it encapsulates the lie of militarism where it is most invulnerable: at the humanity of the men and women who protect us, putting their lives on the line. When all else goes wrong, the troops remain sacred. In a broken economy, the troops are sacred. Militarism is the god we can manipulate.
When the news hit about an al Qaeda-affiliated force taking control of Fallujah, I knew I'd be hearing from vets, especially the Marine vets in Florida I'd known since 2008 when a buddy of theirs, whom I'd treated for PTSD here in Los Angeles, asked me if I'd work with them and then handed me a plane ticket to Florida.