This blog is written in three parts. The first part is the story of Logan Stark and his brothers in war while fighting in Afghanistan. Mr. Stark has created a powerfully gripping and emotional movie/video that is quite revealing. Please take the time to read what he’s written here and then watch the video.
While attending school on the GI Bill, I had the opportunity to complete a film project over the course of a semester. Two other classmates—Lexi Dakin, whose father is in the National Guard, and Rebecca Zantjer, who has no ties to military life—were intrigued. They and wanted to know more and to share this search into what exactly veterans go through after war. They were the first students I felt comfortable enough to share my past with.
We set out to delve into the story of my unit’s deployment—to tell the true story of 3/5 Marines in our own words, the good and the bad.
I reached out to my fellow Marines, enlisting three other Scout Snipers from my platoon to be part of the interview process, asking if they would share their struggles with postwar life. I hoped our voice would give others struggling with PTSD insight into what they were going through and help us find our peace as well.
At first I didn’t want to be in the film because I hated the idea of sharing what I was going through. I still felt like it was a weakness, something I had no control over. I feel like everyone knows that person who was in the military and keeps their experiences bottled up. I was the same. It was my burden to bear. Then I realized that I couldn’t ask my fellow Marines to open up without doing so myself.
I struggled throughout the film wondering if I was doing an injustice to the men in my unit by making it. I could never live with the idea that I had somehow tarnished the memory of those brave men or their families or the thought that asking my friends to relive those moments was only dragging them over the coals again.
Throughout the process I held on to the ideal that if this film helped even one person come to grips with what they were going through, then it was all justified. Shortly after the film was complete and posted online, I received an email from a fellow Marine.
“You put together something that helped bring into focus some of the feelings that I have felt, but did not know what to do with. It made me think a lot about my past actions and the effect it has had on my own family and friends. It made me know that there are other Marines going through the same thing when they are over there and when they come home. You have got a gift so keep doing what you are doing brother.”
For the first time since my deployment, I felt that I had done something that lived up to the brotherhood we hold so dear in the military. It gave me purpose and insight, something I had not experienced since Afghanistan. The process, and I know the same is true for my friends, has helped me to feel like it is no longer a burden that I have to bear alone.
Logan Stark, a Marine veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, is currently attending Michigan State University.
The Second Part is another telling video about Soldier On which helps those veterans, unlike Logan Stark who never did find the help they needed until was nearly too late.
The third and final part of this blog is something that confounds me and would like to have answered. Kindly recall when G.W. Bush was president and the press provided a weekly, if not daily casualty count of our service men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, since Obama has taken office, we hear nothing of what is going on and it’s as though there are NO casualties. Attached is a most enlightening and touching Link to USA today’s tracking of our casualties… it not only provides the number, which is up over 3000, but actually shows you the faces, names and backgrounds of each individual killed.
Why the media remains complicit in most things relating to Obama is beyond me. Not since FDR have we seen anything quite like it. And, it is very scary state of affairs, to say the least.