When you spend that long on the outer reaches of empire, you understand the cruelty of empire … and the lies that we tell ourselves about what is done in our name. Whether that’s in Gaza, whether that’s in Iraq, whether that’s in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, El Salvador, there’s a long list. And when you come back from the reaches of empire, and I think many combat veterans feel like this; you come back here forever alienated. And you then seek to speak a very unpleasant truth about who we are. A truth that most people don’t want to hear.
I feel like this is true when I go back to the Middle East and you see, first hand, how the US foreign policy effects the region and the everyday lives of the citizens. You begin to understand their anger and frustration. It does push you out of the comfort zone living in the US usually puts you in, and I’m thankful that I was able to see the world beyond the invisible walls surrounding us in this country. Puts so much in perspective.