I don't remember learning about the Vietnam War in school. I'm not saying we weren't taught but I honestly don't recall anything about it. Anyways I've formed a bad habit of staying up way later than I should scouring reddit/news articles, and as I was binge reading the comments on the "Dads of Reddit, what's your best don't tell mom story?" I found the name Larry L Maxam in a commenter's story.
Corporal Larry L. Maxam was born in Glendale, went to Burbank High school and received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery during the Vietnam War. While this is admirable, I caught myself wondering "What was the Vietnam war about?" I genuinely tried to answer before googling the answer but I couldn't summon anything. So I began my decent into the world wide web. I'm not well versed on the details of the war, but suffice to say it seemed like a really pointless war to get involved in. Anyways, as I read and mourned for all the soldiers who lost their lives in what I'm convinced were useless battles, I started reading up on the actions some of these said soldiers carried out. Which brings me to My Lai.
I've googles these images before, they seem familiar but it's a new wave of grief. Especially seeing the little baby bums and small human feet amid a pile of bodies. And so I'm caught in between hoping that the soldiers who carried out that massacre suffer for their actions, acknowledging that these were 19-20year old boys, realizing that at 19-20 years old you should know the difference between right and wrong, anger at then Presidents for putting their countrymen (read countryboys) into these situations, grief for the families that were destroyed instantaneously on March 16th, 1968, grief for the bullshit apology survivors received, grief for the fact that apologies don't do squat for the dead, sadness that a population of citizens on both sides of the war deal with the mental trauma following that 20 year span, anger that there is so much injustice in the world, anger that My Lai probably wasn't the only incident, anger that there is inescapable tragedy everywhere.
Exhausted. That's what I am. Literally and metaphorically. I am exhausted. The shootings in Las Vegas this past weekend had me shook. I don't know if it's because Vegas is so close, or because the shooter was up so high that he too could recreate his own massacre with a vantage point, but this one hit close. At the same time, I can feel myself beginning to numb because again there is just so much happening. I don't know how much of myself I can spread to grieve. There's too much to grieve. I don't know how people go on. If I block it out, I fear aloofness. If I let it swallow me, I fear mental anxiety and depression. I'm tired. I don't know what to do. How do you do this?