By Stan Levin, World BEYOND War, November 17, 2022
Listen up, son.
You are one of today’s pawns
on the chessboard,
and the recruiter sitting across from you
is the chess master.
He is not your friend, son.
He knows you better than you know yourself.
He knows about testosterone,
He knows about immaturity, and the naiveté
of children such as yourself.
He is counting on his advantages
to checkmate your disadvantages.
This is not his first day …
But it is yours, and a fateful one you need to think hard about.
Harder than ever.
He does not have your best interest at heart,
But I do ….
Listen carefully to what the recruiter is not saying.
Do not lust after a chestful of ribbons and medals.
He is doing his job,
and I am appealing to your senses of right and wrong
The recruiter has a job,
he has a product,
he has a mission,
he has a career.
Don’t do it, son.
You have a life.
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
in the prime of his life
would not thrill to pulse-raising words, the likes of this?
To Somewhere Over the Rainbow
to Over There, Over There,
where glory resides,
and innocent blood is hot
Climbing high, into the sun,
A maneuver that could cost you your life,
apparently not a consideration of the song-writer ,
calling into question his credentials.
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
Uh – Oh
At ’em boys, Give ’em the gun!
some other mother’s child,
will answer in kind,
at the moment,
is to kill you.
And you will discover, if you survive the duel,
that you are not John Wayne …
and this is not an MGM set ….
Nor Disneyland, either
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
How exquisitely exciting to contemplate is that!
A private roller coaster,
a high-tech instrument of death,
limitless in motion on all planes and dimensions .
And you, a hero under construction,
answerable to no one.
It is very seductive.
Off with one heckuva roar!
Children love noisy encounters,
just about everything is a game to children.
The recruiter is counting on you, son.
The Military-Industrial-Complex is counting on you, son.
The pretense-infected government is counting on you.
None are particularly concerned with how this turns out for you.
Many of us, who have been there, are greatly concerned.
We live in fame, or go down in flame,
The fame fantasy, illusory, wondrous,
riles up your pride,
your sense of patriotism,
and your vulnerability, as well.
The flame part …..
not so much … and certainly no glory.
Hey! Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Air Force!
Not true, recruit …. Beware not to assist in the seduction of yourself.
There are better things you can do with your life,
than to surrender it to the siren call.
To this, many can attest!
Stan Levin is a Korean War veteran, USN 1950-1954, and active member of San Diego chapter Veterans for Peace.