Kiss this, kiss that, yeah.

4:47 am, January 6, 2005

I had this dream tonight that my brother was back and completely inconsolable.

I've really got to wonder what kind of hit to the psyche it's gonna be. He went into this thing KNOWING he was gonna make it out a Marine. He bought their song and dance, bought into their whole plan. Boot Camp until the end of January, then working three years in the country followed by two more abroad. Then, who knows? Maybe re-enlist. Go to the Police Academy. It was all out there.

It's funny that I read this article in the Seattle Times about a week before he decided to stop training. It was mostly about Army boot camp conditions, but had a small thing about the Marines, and I think it's probably the same across the board. There's a real problem going on with our recruits that no one is aware of. These boot camps, they're cesspools for disease. Think of any summer camp, think of dormatories, elementary school classrooms. Someone comes in and infects the group, and before you know it, everyone's sick. It doesn't happen too bad under normal circumstances, maybe a third of the kids get sick, but everyone gets better and everyone moves on. But, if you tack on a ton of training, a ton of stress from being away from your family and the pressure of needing to make it, and you're not getting well. There's just no way, it's gonna degenerate until finally you stop breathing.

The article said it's a problem, but it's not particularly fatal. Only, really, a handful die per year. That's not that many. Not entirely comforting when your brother's subjected to it, but really, I'm a rational guy. Even though my brother woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe, I could feel the worst had probably passed since he told me this over the phone. But, the article goes on to say that the medical care in boot camps SUCKS. They're not trying to take care of you. They don't want you to get better. They want you to be just well enough to get your ass back out there and keep training. Hey, if your voice sounds like you've lived 110 years chain smoking every day, who gives a fuck? Your ass is mine, bitch!

My brother got crappy meds, shitty rest, and STILL had physical activity to perform in the fucking HOSPITAL! The doctors don't really look at you because they think they've seen it all. They give a token diagnosis and send you on your way. My brother's training got pushed back another month because of this, and the biggest problem - stopping the plague of not-really-lethal-in-America disease - continues to be ignored.

That's the way it always goes. Americans don't want to cut off the problem at its source, they'd rather wait and wait until it gets out of control, and THEN take it on a case by case basis. Environment's going down the shitter? Just throw some studies at it and call me in 70 years when the north pole completely melts. You mean we have the technology to cut down on emissions coming from cars? Corporations polluting our skies and waters could STOP and still make a living? Yeah, well, things are okay as they are, so let's just go ahead and sit on it until we REALLY need it. And, of course, when we really need it, it'll cease to be our problem, so who gives a fuck anyway?

I'm not saying my brother is an activist against the shoddy treatment of recruits. He's just tired of being sick and tired. And, it's a very minor blow to a group of people who don't give a damn anyway. However, had they gotten their shit together, they would've had one more Marine to go throw into the war and have killed.

Current Mood: That's true
Current Music: Nirvana - Dive