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  • Last week,a day or so before my oldest son's birthday my youngest daughter was cleaning out her room. She was preparing to enter a new adult chapter in her life, induction into the army.This is my last daughter to go ,and it is easier than a son but I have still 2 more of them to go.

    As she was cleaning she came upon Bert and Ernie,my oldest son's 2 favorite childhood best friends and of course the memories flooded in.Memories of such an innocent happy time not just for the kids but for me as well. I had little notion back then of armies ,war and hatred so virulent nothing could block it.I can hardly type a word without the tears falling now.

    Every ounce of energy I had went into making these children of mine good,loving compassionate people,I had no notion what so ever of the insidious nature of the army,backtracking my every forward move.I had no idea their father was part of an elite unit wounded by a grenade in Lebanon. He never spoke of these things when we lived in America or when the children were growing up. I never wanted to know,as shameful as that is. Living here ,he changed and became proud of his soldiering and of course as boys and girls will ,they became intrigued with the intrigue,and full of a kind of militaristic pride.

    Here I am helping to create safe havens and arrangements for visiting objectors in jail while my own kids are going to be a part of this conflict.They look at me with shame and disgust because of what I do and believe and I look at them as my innocent little children.In my mind I have grasped their innocence lasts for exactly 18 years and 3 months,but my heart has never been able to fathom this.At 18 and 3 months my children and I become complete strangers ,enemies in a sense.I understand it isn't the soldiers but the ones who send them but there is no comfort there. I wish I had the words to express the pain ,shame,and even the disgust I feel as a human being about what my own children are going to do.

    I don't have the words,so I will stand here folding yet again, army uniforms,cuddle the memories of Bert and Ernie , happier times,and lost dreams. It is a joke ,it must be ,my life has come to this.I do not know how I will bear this shame again.

    As long as I live I will remember the words of my father-in- law" bless you ,for every child you have ,is another slap in Hitler's face." Abba,I think you were wrong, you forgot to say " and a knife in my heart." I would just like to add here,anyone who might read this who is part of this conflict,many ,and I mean many of us feel this way. There is not a Friday nite where you will not find a 20,0000 strong protest against this conflict.If I hold any hatred and I pray I do not,it is for a world gone mad forcing our own hope for the future to become child soldiers.The very same soldiers who shed copious tears when a dog ran off with Ernie in his mouth. I'm sorry ,I stand before you shamed in unimaginable pain, unsure if I have given it my best .

    MAKE SURE THE THINGS YOU DO KEEP US ALIVE(NEIL YOUNG)
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