November 22, 2007: Last night someone from the Army came over. He told us that my brother got killed in Iraq. His face was blown off, he said, so we couldn't look at him. That made me sad, about his face being destroyed, probably because we looked alike, and now we don't anymore. I thought it was stupid for him to join the Army. I told him to play Army video games instead, but he wanted to defend our country, he said, and couldn't do it on a computer screen. So now I don't have a father or a brother. I have a mom and step-dad. My step-dad is nice, except for when he wants me to clean or take medicine. He told me to go to college instead of joining the military. He said, "Now you see your face can be blown to bits," and shook his head. "But they won't let me look at him," I said. "Yeah, good," he said. Then he went upstairs and cried. He'd been in Vietnam and has posttraumatic stress disorder. I think that's what the doctor called it. Sometimes at night he wakes me up because of his screaming. One of his feet had to be cut off during the war, and, when he dreams about it, he says it's like his foot is being amputated all over again.
Copyright, 2007, Jennifer Chesler, All Rights Reserved