Phoenix Rising: The Hypocrisy of War the conclusion
On January 10, 2013, The Guardian Express Las Vegas added an in-depth article to their website titled ‘PTSD suicide more deadly to American Soldiers than Combat’ . While it does give a clear cause and affect of post traumatic stress disorder, its real purpose is to open discussion on finding a solution to what some have called an epidemic (according to the Pentagon, in 2012, more soldiers took their own lives than died in combat). A hosts of professionals, including several American Veterans, offered communities advice on how to help their soldiers in making a successful transition upon returning home.
Individually, the pieces are not groundbreaking (service dogs, psychiatric drugs, supported by non-pharmaceutical anxiety lowering treatments to decrease drug dependency, job retraining, a spiritual connection, and the need to know where and how to seek and obtain each treatment) but it is the puzzle, not the pieces creating the cracks. It is a necessity for an airtight, integrated plan between government, non-profits and communities be woven, to have a realistic chance to better, or in too many cases, save the lives of men and women, who earned the right to be welcomed home with dignity and honor.
Phoenix Rising: The Hypocrisy of War the conclusion
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
Inspired by our Veteran Soldiers
Camelot, CA A young company, a techno player on the rise, played host to the ringing of the bell. Scoffing at the billion dollars in cash offered by the true industry giants, SodGom Industries believed their own hype and got caught in a bidding war that they had no business ever being involved in. Even as the true wealth pulled up stakes, SodGom stayed along for the ride, finally outbidding the stalwarts by more than two hundred million dollars. Draining their accounts, borrowing from the banks, and playing a game of numbers with payroll, leaving hundreds of employees and their families, unwittingly, betting it all on a single win.
Thousands made the pilgrimage up the hill. The planned media circus had become three-ringed, and a giant clock, nicknamed little Ben, towered above the foothills. The corporate executives clanked their flutes of champagne and imagined that the success of this one event, would allow them to buy everything in the whole wide world.
3.6 miles away, Private Donald and Mrs. Robyn Lawson were still embraced in one another’s arms. Their lips touching, their hearts beating, their happiness so overwhelming that even the minster who was presenting the newly formed union to the world, could not hold back the tears. Robyn looked so beautiful in the wedding gown, passed down from her mom. Private Lawson seemed at home again, and his mind was no longer trapped in time. Their embrace came apart, and husband and wife turned to face their guests. Cheers went out among them, for the perfect day was now at hand.
Back at the christening of little Ben, Dr. Melanie Scott Jordan was on her phone. The hippies were back on their drums, the counting was down to 5, with only four seconds to go, she screamed into the receiver to the governor’s assistant’s deaf ear. “Get him on the phone, now!” but all she got in return, was that the governor was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.
The Veterans in the league, who recognized that the war had already begun, tried to commandeer all their troops, but the line had been drawn. The homeless veterans began to circle the wagon as their minds flashed back and forth, until their reality firmly planted them at war’s door.
In Camelot, the clock struck twelve o’clock and with that, little Ben, the one hundred million dollar clock with the four hundred and fifty million dollar name, made its grand debut. Seven bells were lined in a row atop the tower, each from solid brass, operated by an elaborate pulley system. Each bell decreased in size, to create a chiming affect, with the first bell being the heaviest allowing it to clash into the second, falling into a domino rotation. Doves were considered for the release, but was later scrapped as being over-the-top. In a feverish pitch, only one man, the watchmaker, had begun his descent, while the remaining crew, covered their ears in noise reduction headphones, as the crewman who drew the longest straw had the luxury of pressing the power button, which cranked the first bell backward, and then release it.
Five miles away, in the hamlet of Volcano and small town of Indak, windows shattered, sending residents frantically running into the streets believing the namesake had erupted. One thousand feet up in elevation, the mountain lions did erupt. Growling in pained unison, as to easily be mistaken for howls, forcing the over one thousand of the solitary animal to emerge from their den, hoping to rid their heads of the awful sound. And when that did not work, they did the only thing animals knew how to do…run.
When the second bell clanged, the wedding party was knocked off their feet, each covering their heads thinking the big earthquake long predicted, had come at last. Anxiety, which usually creeps its way in, slammed Private Lawson, with its full force, as he began to crawl away from his bride, now in full belief he was not just under attack, but trapped by enemy forces. Robyn screamed out his name “Donald!! Donald!! don’t leave me. It’s my wedding day, Donald!!” the third bell rang, the newly minted bride screamed, the windows crashed in, and Private Donald Lawson returned to the battlefield in which his mind had never left.
In the town’s center, high above inside the clock, the measurements of the fourth bell, of the half a billion dollar clock, were unbelievably off. When bell three smashed into four, rather than sway into five, it offered stiff resistance, creating a sound akin to a blast. The unbalance stressed the steel beams and iron pulleys to their breaking point, until the weight became too much and the famed bells gave way.
The weight of the bells was to much for the structure that now would cost hundreds their jobs, and the bells broke loose, falling downward, smashing beams, crushing floors, devouring all of the workers who were still inside. The false idol imploded slowly, as the crowd initiated a stampede. Children crying, mothers in hysterics, fathers in a daze, and only those in attendance would ever believe it, through the dust and haze, looked like mountain lions, slowing their approach, but still near and now perched on top of every hill.
When the final boom hit, and all the bells had fallen, the ringing of the ears released the soldiers but not their fallen brother. Private Lawson leapt to his feet, holding two large shards of broken glass, each cutting deeply into his hands. He was prepared to take on the enemy and take them all to heaven or hell. But his bride was not shaken, she remembered who he was and the promise she had made, under the tree when she bowed her head “Give me my wedding day, and I will take care of the rest”. His army buddies stood by her side and they coached and they begged for Private Lawson to return from far far away. And while the anxiety was still high, something broke through, and he knew that today was his day. He loved his dear Robyn, more than anyone could ever love another. She was so beautiful and so gracious and he knew that she would never leave his side.
But the nightmares still would come, and what kind of life would she have. So he took a shard of glass, and slit his throat, truly believing it was the best gift that she could ever have.
In the heart of Camelot, with the cries of woman and child, the Veterans who still suffered, but the distress was in their minds, and not in their incredibly large hearts. So the war was diverted, by the crashing of the bell, as each solider return to service, only this time in recovery and not death.
Through the haze and the smoke and the fire that now burned, every person had their own vision, of the lions on top of the hill. But the legend that would grow, was that each resembled a phoenix, In poetic synchronization, each rose up and returned to the land in which they came.
written, developed & edited by Kendall F. Person,