Homeless Marine Veteran Jailed For Trespassing ‘Baked To Death’ In His Cell

by Jinryu

ThinkProgress: Homeless Marine Veteran Jailed For Trespassing ‘Baked To Death’ In His Cell. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIw9471jRo

The article takes place in U.S.A., although baking to death while being held in detention was also a subject of discussion a couple of years ago when I did classes in Criminal Laws (in Australia).

There are kind of two issues that I see here.  Okay, maybe three main ones, with several sub-issues.

The main one I wonder about is war veterans.

I’ve never actually had to fight for my country, or any country for that matter.  It’s ludicrous to think that Australia, South Korea or China would ever declare war on Canada, but nonetheless, I’d like to think that I’d never have to pick sides in a context where I’d have to kill or be killed.  Despite training in martial arts, and being very passionate about it, it is in a self-refinement process that occurs in the context of sport.  There are not necessarily any lofty ideals of this nature in actual armed conflict.  The fact that I have the privilege of doing sports is because every day, there are soldiers out there protecting my way of life.

I don’t feel I need to go into details about how important soldiers are, nor do I need to go into too much detail about the sacrifices that soldiers make: to do so would not only seem like a romanticisation, but more relevantly, it would be disengenous because frankly, I don’t know.  I have actually no idea what soldiers have to do or what they go through!

I am of the impression though that once you become a professional soldier, you need to figure out a reason to want to continue in that line of work.  A lot of it might come from the idea of protecting something or someone, or prehaps some place.

It seems rather ironic though how badly veterans are treated.  Yes, they’re difficult people to deal with in many cases– who wouldn’t be suffering from mental issues after being involved in an experience that the average person does not understand in the slightest.  The irony I’m talking about  is that if there is one thing the average person grows up hating, it is fear and death. Sickness is the stuff in between that, at a young age, we come to hate as well.

We hate our mortality. You would think, in turn, that we would have a significant amount of respect for people who spend their lives protecting it.

But while we generally look pretty positively upon active soldiers, veterans are an entirely different story. We don’t want to look at soldiers who are missing limbs, or older, or downright crazy– because rather than making us feel good with an idea of strength and ability to fight off (or deal) death, an ex-soldier is a reminder that even efforts to protect are rewarded with mortality. Nobody escapes.

So like all those things we don’t like, we sweep it under the rug and keep it out of sight, and just keep looking at pretty romantic things that we do like looking at. It is a very bad habit to think too positively without taking any responsibility for the externalised costs of that veil.