by Michael T. McPhearson
This article was originally published on Nov. 11, 2022, and has been republished in observance of this year’s Veterans Day.
If you Google “How many years has the U.S. been at war?” I’m sure the answer will shock you. I’ll let you do it for yourself. Some will not believe the source; others will accept it at face value. But as a combat veteran who joined the U.S. Army at 17 and grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, near Fort Bragg, I have watched the U.S. wage war for over half a century.
Continue reading OPINION | Honor My Service by Being Honest About U.S. Addiction to War
by Michael T. McPhearson
Like most U.S. Americans, I am weary of the near-daily stories of gun violence and killing. It’s overwhelming. But unlike most people in the U.S., I have seen the pain and suffering in the aftermath of the violence. My experiences in more than two decades have pushed me to see that whether it’s war, street violence, police killings, mass shootings, or suicides, the pain of losing loved ones is the same, and people always ask, “Why?”
Continue reading OPINION | This Memorial Day, Think About Honoring the Dead by Protecting the Living
by Donald A. Smith
Congress, the media, and the public are almost unanimous in their support for what has become a proxy war with Russia, as Ukraine tries to repel Russia’s February invasion.
Anyone who omits the word “unprovoked” when referring to that invasion or who questions the wisdom of the proxy war risks being called a Putin apologist.
Continue reading OPINION | Playing Russian Roulette in Ukraine With Rep. Adam Smith
by K.D. Senior
Percy tied his apron in the back and took a deep breath. He knew it was going to be a long day. He grabbed the broom by its handle and began to sweep the floor; he knew Mr. Hopkins would complain if he didn’t at least see him sweep. This is what life after war was like. At least it was not the trenches, he thought to himself. During the course of his day, he reminisced about what his life was like before the one year war. Percy didn’t have to wonder what it was like after; he lived that day by day. He figured that this was the best it was going to get for a negro veteran in 1922. Still, he was grateful to Mr. Hopkins for taking him in, ’cause work was scarce after the war. While stacking cans, sometimes out of the corner of his eye he would see grenades. Some of those times when cans dropped, a slight gasp would escape his lips, followed by a sigh of relief when he realized he was not in the trench but a grocery store in Harlem, where he now, in contrast to his former glory, grudgingly swept the floor and stacked cans.
He tried to remember the smell of his mother’s cooking, but like many things before the war, the memories seemed to evade him. He remembered how that memory carried him through hours of kitchen detail. He wished it would somehow carry him through this. One thing the Army taught Percy to do well was how to hate menial tasks, such as the one he was currently engaged in. Mr. Hopkins sauntered in from the back with a morning paper wrapped in his chubby fist. “Mornin’ Percy, I see you’re sweeping, and I ain’t even have to tell you!” said Mr. Hopkins as he took his seat at the counter, unlocking the register. “We got four cases of canned peaches that need stacking, so after you’re done with the store, take a break and then get to it.” Percy paused for a moment and recalled a portly master sergeant named Wilkins. He talked rot sometimes, but he was still good people.“Yessir.” Percy grinned to himself and popped to attention. “Don’t you start with that army bullshit.” Hopkins said. “No, sir, wouldn’t dream of it.” Percy went back to sweeping. He laughed to himself.
Continue reading FRIDAY FICTION: Demon of the One Year War