Rich Carson: Pissing on the Dead

When I was a boy, I found a shoe box in my father’s closet. In the box were pictures from World War II. My father was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines and later escaped. He was in the March to Bataan. The pictures were unspeakable. We are talking about more than taking a piss. What the Japanese and the Americans did to each other is beyond your reality or comprehension – because most of you never served in any war.


In Israel, everyone must serve in the military – men and women. In the United States, no one serves on a mandatory basis. At least not in recent history. I had to serve when there was a draft, but glad to say I volunteered. People in this country think this is a place not worth defending at their personal expense. I have a hard time talking to people who never served their country. My uncle died in Korea. I served on the same military base as my father during the Vietnam War.

Was this act outrageous or simply what war does to men and women? I would call it stupid. Dead men tell no tales and have no interest in the telling. They leave the telling to people with no skin in the game. If you lost a leg or an arm, then you get some sympathy from the non-combatants . If you piss on a dead man, then you go to jail and are condemned by them.

Remember the phrase “War is Hell.” It was spoken by General William Tecumseh Sherman after he burned Atlanta to the ground. And that ended slavery at a very high price. Freedom comes at a very high price. And it is incumbent on all us non-combatants to have some small amount of sympathy of the men and women we put in harm’s way and do stupid things in the name of our freedom.

 Richard Carson is a doctorate student at Washington State University. He is a former planning manager for the state of Oregon, Metro, Oregon City and Clark County Washington.
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