war is a drug

Last week I was busy with grandsons – 10 hour days!  But I’m glad to do it now their daddy is employed again, after some long lean years.  This week is spring break, and more of the same for me.  It’s a challenge to my creativity to have a 1-1/2 year-old and a 6-yr-old in the house.  These boys sure do like to eat!

Ed and I got away for the weekend at the lake, a wonderful meal with friends and some movie time.  At the lake we are very unplugged, lousy cell coverage, no internet or cable.

I was happy to watch THE HURT LOCKER because I knew it won lots of awards, was an anti-war war movie, and Bob Mayer was impressed with the realism portrayed.  What I didn’t expect was to be so drawn into the story.  I wondered what would come next and was surprised, often.  A little past the midpoint of the movie, I felt my attention to the story and characters start to shift from interested to involved.  I can’t describe when, or what scene, or why.  I just became more focused on everything -on the small TV screen- I was more attuned to the nuances and underlying threads.

I already knew the scene, in the cereal aisle, at the grocery store was a big deal.  Until I saw it, I didn’t realize how big.  I’m amazed at how a few seconds of screen time in a setting so mundane can pack such a punch.

Bill Johnson’s book A Story is a Promise is one of my reference books as a writer.  At the final scene in THE HURT LOCKER, Ed and I both sort of laughed, but I realized this movie truly delivered on the promise of the opening words – war is a drug.

For me, this single movie has clarified two issues that seem to be polar conflicts.  I totally honor those who choose military service while I will forever be anti-war.  Military Service is an individual choice that takes intense dedication and personal commitment to become the best at the tasks presented.  War blows that all to pieces.

I hope my grandsons choose sports, music, art, business, law or medicine, or fly airplanes, or take up welding, or learn to be chefs, or master heavy equipment needed for excavation.  If my grandsons choose military careers, I will honor them and their choice.  And I’ll pray it is the vehicle to be all they can be, without becoming an addiction they can’t shake.

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