The Blues and the Iraq War
By Bill Homan
I was in Lawrence, Kansas for a gig at a biker bar. I had showered and dressed for the gig at the motel, and I was heading out the lobby door to my van to go load in at the club. On their way across the parking lot to check in at the motel were five very young men. Four were walking, and one with no legs was wheeling himself along. None of the five had four whole limbs.
I said hello, and then apologized but had to ask, "Did you fellas lose your legs and arms in Iraq?"
One of the brothers answered that yes, they had. And then he volunteered, "But it's okay."
I did not lose my temper completely, but I told the brothers, "No, it's not okay! Your government sent you into a war based on a pack of lies, you gave what you gave, and now you have to live with it. God bless you for your honorable service, but your government is fucked!"
The brothers hadn't heard anything like this before, I guess. There were sickly smiles all around; there were cordial goodbyes. Out in the parking lot there was a large RV marked VETSRIDE, INC. These fellas were headed for Washington, DC, for some reason I didn't know. But I had one VVAW button with me, and I gave it to the thirty-fiveish, portly driver and asked him to pass it on to the young brothers in the motel.
And I called George Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Don Rumsfeld several unprintable names.
May God bless us all and keep those young brothers from getting a terminal dose of the blues.
Bill Homans, AKA "Watermelon Slim," is a VVAW contact in Oklahoma.