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Soldiers

  • Rolfe was one of those men who were, to all intents and purposes, slain in the war; but most unhappily the flesh had survived.

  • Frontline battle troops, most of whom have been in the military for about a year, earn about $17,000 a year — which puts them at about the level of theater ushers and crossing guards. ... If supporting our troops is to mean something more than a bumper sticker, the least we could do is lift them out of poverty.

  • A soldier worthy of the name he bears, / As brave and senseless as the sword he wears.

  • I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce.

  • Go to a nearby military cemetery and look at the American flags stuck on each grave and think of the person buried there who was killed for global domination or for the blunders and egomania of our leadership. And remember, for every person buried there, 10 more loved that person and were shattered by the loss. Instead of saluting, softly say: 'I'm sorry.' ... We need to make Memorial Day a relic of the past.

    • Cindy Sheehan,
    • "Double the Pain on Memorial Day," The Denver Post ()
  • Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son? / The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done / They call him a hero, you should be glad that he's one, but / Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

    • Carly Sheehan,
    • "A Nation Rocked to Sleep," in Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, Stop the Next War Now ()
  • And he's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France, / He's fighting for the U.S.A. / And he's fighting for the Russians, and he's fighting for Japan, / And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way ... / Without him Caesar would have stood alone. / He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war: / And without him all this killin' can't go on.

  • Our national fondness for celebrating the physical heroism of soldiers — the apparent readiness with which they sacrifice their lives to larger causes — eclipses the far less romantic displays of moral and intellectual fortitude that also distinguish so many of them. In turning them all into heroes, we have lost a sense of the individuality they also fight to preserve.

  • I vividly remember an early May morning in 1968. As I was feeding my month-old son, there was knock on the door. Two uniformed Army officers had come to tell me that my husband had been killed in Vietnam. 'Hostile ground action' they called it ... With tears streaming down my face, I bundled up my son and drove to tell my mother-in-law that her only child was dead. I didn't want two strangers telling her the news that would surely break her heart. She collapsed in my arms, and we cried and hugged for hours. The pain I felt cannot be described in words. I would never wish this devastation on anyone ... It has been 35 years now, and I can still hear the last words my husband ever spoke to me. As he was leaving for Vietnam he said, 'Remember, this is for just a short time. We have the rest of our lives together.' One month later, he was dead.

  • We have women in the military, but they don't put us in the front lines. They don't know if we can fight or if we can kill. I think we can. All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say, 'You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms.'

  • In Vietnam, some of us lost control of our lives. I want my life back. I almost feel like I've been missing in action for twenty-two years.

  • There has been far too little consideration given to the veterans of the [Civil] war, especially during the past few years. When they left their homes, fifty years ago, the promises were freely made that, should they return, nothing that the people could give would be thought too good for them to claim, and that for those who should not return the gratitude of the country for their services would provide amply for their families. These promises have not always been kept as we know.

  • Thank you for your service / and your arm / your leg / both legs / your nightmares / your marriage / your life.

  • As we mark this Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in the military, let us recognize two critical things we can do for our vets. One is to take better care of them here at home — the homeless vets, the jobless vets, the vets suffering from the mental wounds that haunt them and contribute to a heart-wrenching suicide rate of twenty-two a day. The second thing we can do is stop sending our young men and women off to die in unwinnable wars of choice that will only make more enemies. Stop squandering our precious resources, including the lives of poor youth, to fight for rich men's military contracts.