The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

We Return, From Fighting, Fighting

Eight years ago today, a young man from Richmond-along with thousands of other men and women-was ordered into war for his country. He had spent the last few months on his ship, knowing the moment would come, but not knowing how he would feel when it did.

There was little threat to him being killed; he was in the Navy on an aircraft carrier. Yet, he said a prayer anyway…not for himself, but for the safety of others and for the comfort of those who would not return. There was no way he could have none that over 4,000 of his fellow service members would be in that category.

He had listened to all the arguments for and against going to war…and while he had studied them and came to his own conclusions, once the orders came the “why” of it all didn’t concern him. Like any member of the military should, he would do his part in defeating the enemies of his country. His part was to complete the paperwork for the sick and injured on his ship and others.

At the end of it all, he got a medal…and came home.

Not long after that, he left the Navy and went on to civilian life. Removed from the buffer of the military, he saw people saying that his brothers and sisters in uniform were “baby killers.” “Torturers.” “Rapists.” “War criminals.” That wasn’t him, nor was it anyone he knew. He also saw the wounded come back to inadequate treatment of both their physical and mental wounds. He found friends from his youth who had served and returned home broken. He knew they deserved better.

With a new life came a new fight. He had no idea how, but in the middle of a December night, he realized that there was more to do; that he couldn’t sit silent. So he started writing. Then speaking. Occasionally, he yelled and screamed at those who disagreed with them. Once, he ripped a lady’s sign out of her hand at a protest. He was a lot angry.

But as he grew older, the anger subsided. He realized that he might better affect the process that sent him to war by understanding it, and-maybe one day-becoming part of it. He still wrote, still spoke…but without all the raw emotion he once did.

And he still does.

Eight years ago, I was onboard USS Constellation when Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

And I’ve been fighting ever since.


Written by Coby Dillard

March 19, 2011 at 8:13 am

Posted in Personal Stuff

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