Sixteen Years Since Fallujah

PHOTO PROMPT © Rowena Curtin

“Incoming!”

Jered stared into a new sun for a fraction of a second before being pushed into darkness.

“Hey, you, get up!”

Jered put his arms up against the bright light.

“Get the Hell out of here!”

A rubbish bin came into focus under the rising sun.  A man stood beside it.  He shook a bar at Jered.

“I mean now, you stinking bum.  This is private property.”

Jered forced his unresponsive body up and stumbled out of the alley.

“Damn drunk,” the man said as he entered the store with a “We Support Our Troops” sign in the doorway.

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Rowena Curtin. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

61 thoughts on “Sixteen Years Since Fallujah

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It does seem odd that often the people who yell “We support the troops” the loudest are the first ones to throw away those same humans the second they take off the uniform…

      Liked by 1 person

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          There does seem to be a lot of hypocrisy in certain segments of the population, with those who wrap themselves in the flag the most not seeming to understand what the ideals really mean…

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  1. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    WOW … it’s sad the way veterans who are dealing with life in negative ways are mistreated.
    It seems to be happening in every town. There’s a homeless vet in our town who walks in circles all day. The path is imprinted in the dirt. He’s seems hypnotized. Be well … Be Safe
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Bill

    And there it is. Good one, if a bit disturbing. I was lost last week and ended up passing through a homeless camp (it was huge). it was all they had – the best they can do.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I don’t know if I’ve seen a homeless camp, small or large. The idea reminds me of The Grapes of Wrath… I’m sure they do the best the can do – it can’t be easy. It is awful how our society does not take care of its own.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I agree, yet war is one of humanity’s biggest industries… I wonder what would happen if all of those trillions were spent on helping people instead of trying to kill them…

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  3. msjadeli

    The government property is conditioned to kill, sent to destroy, then supposed to come back and act normal again? We don’t honor those who have sacrificed their safety so we can rest easy at home. Damaged goods that nobody wants to deal with. It’s a terrible reality that breeds such bad karma every step of the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is a huge problem. We expect these young people to give us everything yet, in the long term, they can expect little in return. We do give lip service to honoring them, but the reality is pretty depressing.

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      1. msjadeli

        They are tools to profit the military-industrial machine. I know some predict that factories will soon be filled with robotic workers. I really wonder if The Terminator scenario of android soldiers will come to pass one day…

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I’m not sure what the percentage of the world’s economy is dedicated to war (dead-icated), but I know it is huge. Wish it was closer to zero… Factories will be filled with robot workers and the battlefields will soon be filled with robot warriors – I don’t think the Terminator world is that far away.

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  4. Marsha

    Sad, sad story, Trent. The problem increases daily, I think. Homelessness, mental problems, serious injuries, it’s all sad, and overwhelming for the people in the middle of it, and for those of us on the sidelines as well.

    Liked by 2 people

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      1. Marsha

        I agree. We just lost an 80 year old man who lived in the Woodlake Rose Garden. He was a vet and a Forest Ranger, but I talked to both his brother and niece after he passed and he had chosen to live the homeless life. There are so many mental illness problems associated with homelessness, that probably family members as well as the homeless person themselves need a lot of support with mental health services. Thanks for sharing your concern in this wonderful poem.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, people are short-sighted and often judge without knowing It is also saying that we have asked these people to give us everything, yet all too often don’t do enough for them when they return, particularly if they are “damaged”.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      OK, this is where my first comment was supposed to go. There is a big part of our society that does see people as disposable. In large corporations, people are not thought of as capital investments, like the building, that add value as you put more into them, they are seen as consumables, like electricity or gas, that is a burden we are trying to reduce. How we treat our soldiers is often even worse…

      Liked by 3 people

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  5. Dora

    We walk past what we see all too often, blinded by our preconceptions. You show that very nicely, Trent, and we should all be more concerned about vets than we are. They have the highest suicide rates and the VA hospital care is only now improving, but slowly. Our politicians send them to war and then look the other way when they return home scarred.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I don’t understand why we, as a nation, treat our vets so poorly. As long as they’re actively serving, we are 100% behind them,but… I do hope there are changes for the better for those who served.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is very sad. There is not enough support, and we can, and must, do better. I think most people here know it, but “knowing” it and really understanding what it means are two different things. Hopefully we do get better and take care of our own.

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I agree, we are far too quick to judge. We as a country have let our returned troops down and need to do more – this is not a political statement, since I’ve seen good and bad from both sides, I am not pointing fingers except at the “us”. But, as i said, I have seen good from both sides, so there is hope :)

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Rowena

    Trent, relieved to see you turned the photo around. I’ve been feeling rather guilty, although I think I might have mentioned to you earlier today or yesterday that I have no sense of direction.
    A poignant take on the prompt. I wish it wasn’t likely to be true, but I often shudder at humanity.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The photo was actually right-way-up for me when I downloaded it – maybe Rochelle fixed it before I got there? The story, unfortunately, is too true for too many people. We do have a lot of homeless vets here, and it often seems that those who support the military the most are the first to discard the returned troops.

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