Bill Moyers | What It’s Like to Go to War

  • In this encore broadcast, Vietnam veteran and author Karl Marlantes explains what we need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors.
  • Invisible injuries grip young veterans

Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers & Company

November 20, 2012 | America has been at war for over a decade, with millions of soldiers having seen death and dying up close in Afghanistan and Iraq. But most Americans — watching comfortably on their TVs and computers, witness to statistics, speeches, and “expert” rhetoric — don’t get what’s really going on there. In this encore broadcast, Bill talks to Karl Marlantes — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor — about what we on the insulated outside need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors. Marlantes shares with Bill intimate stories about how his battlefield experiences both shaped and nearly destroyed him, even after returning to civilian life.

“’Thou shalt not kill’ is a tenet you just do not violate, and so all your young life, that’s drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you’re 18 or 19 and they’re saying, ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country.’ And then you come back and it’s like, ‘Well, thou shalt not kill’ again. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Marlantes tells Bill. “You take a young man and put him in the role of God, where he is asked to take a life — that’s something no 19-year-old is able to handle.”

Full story (video and transcript)…

Related:

Invisible injuries grip young veterans, Gabriel Campanario, Seattle (WA) Times

  • As (Armistice) Day rolls around Sunday, I will be thinking of these soldiers and the thousands more among us whose wounds we cannot see.
  • Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Soldier Suicides and Violence

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