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by OPOVV, ©2016

(Oct. 27, 2016) — “What you doin’, O’Malley?”

“Not a darn thing.”

“Oh, yes you are. You writin’ another letter to your congressman or, in your case, congresswoman?”

“Maybe. What if I am?”

“You’re just wastin’ your time, that’s all you doin’. Why don’t you join us and just take it?”

“Look, I’m not going to say anything ’cause I wouldn’t want anyone to get upset, okay?”

“Then don’t say it. Just tell us what you would’ve said if you weren’t going to say anything.”

“Which I’m not.”

“We know that.”

“But if I were to say something it would be we’re being used. Used right down to the core. They say one thing but they do another. They say this place is dangerous, and they’re right, but not as dangerous as Detroit is on a Saturday night.”

“Or South Side Chicago is at any time.”

“You got that right.”

“Meanwhile . . .”

“Meanwhile we travel the same roads day after day and then some poor guy gets his legs blown off. Let me ask you this: how come the people here don’t get blown to smithereens? They travel the same roads we do.”

“Because we’re the heathens. They don’t want us here on their ‘sacred’ land. We’re ‘defiling’ the sand and dirt.”

“Don’t forget the garbage.”

“Don’t these people ever wash? Ever smell one of them up close? Gag time. I’m serious.”

“We know you are.”

“You want to vet? Here’s how: give a – don’t laugh – a ‘refugee’ a bar of soap, washcloth and a towel and point them to a shower and what do you get?”

“This better be good.”

“You get a blank stare.”

“That was okay.”

“That was below average. What did you say in your letter?”

“Not much.”

“Then let’s hear the ‘not much’ part.”

“Okay, you asked for it. Let me skip the beginning and start at where I start to whine. Here: ‘They send us out on patrol after our rout has been plastered — they use bumper stickers, believe it or not — all over kingdom come on every bumper there is, which isn’t on every dirty pickup truck, but enough of them that even women who never leave their homes — prisons — can duplicate it in the dirt with a stick: ‘Convoy Bravo leaving main gate at 0800 to travel highway 17 for 10 klicks and then hang a right.’”

“You nailed it.”

“You got that right.”

“Are we really leaving at 0800?”

“You’re a moron, is what you are. No, we’re going to fool them: we’re not leaving until 0805. Of course we’re leaving at 0800: that’s so they can blow our legs off, dummy.”

“Why do we let them do that?”

“We let them maim us so the Joint Chiefs of Staff can show the American people the progress we’re making: wounded equals progress; means we’re taking the fight right to their doorstep, that’s why we’re getting maimed. Up close and, well, up close like in hand-to-hand. Next best thing to hand-to-hand combat is riding along minding your own business and getting your legs blown off. You want a hero, or better yet, you want to be a hero, have some medals, maybe even a Bronze Star, ride shotgun on the lead Hummer. They got your number.”

“Look, Mom, I’m a hero. Hand me my crutches.”

“That’s only if you’re lucky. The unlucky ones asked to be plugged-in so the battery in their wheelchair is fully charged.”

“You guys have no respect.”

“The truth is blind: what justice should be. You think for one New York minute you’d get away with destroying emails?”

“Is this all true?”

“Look, kid: you’re being used; heck, we all are. We’re nothing but a distraction, that’s all we are; it’s all we’ve ever been.”


“Heck, no. Used to be a time when we would win wars. Start; fight; win; go home. Nowadays it’s a way of life.”

“Why’s that? It doesn’t make any sense.”

“But it does, and that’s the point. It’s called ‘sleight-of-hand.’ See, we’re busy ‘fighting’ over here while they’re busy taking over the country, over there: back home. Do I have to spell it out for you? You can’t be that stupid. Look, kid, the Party of JFK died when he did. Get over it and face the facts.”

“I’m afraid to.”

“It’s okay to be afraid; heck, you’d be stupid if you weren’t. What’s not okay is to be thoughtless about it. With Hillary you get maimed; how would you like that? With Trump you win and then get to go home. Now if you can’t figure out the difference I can’t help you and neither can anyone else, but this I will tell you: if you support Hillary, there ain’t no one here going to be watching your back: they’ll be investing their time watching a Trumpster’s back who they can count on and who can count on them. Get with the program, kid. Are we clear?”

“Please; Mr. Custer”


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