My dad served in the Pacific theater during World War Two and retired a chief petty officer around 1960. He was highly decorated but seldom spoke of the war and his experiences, I could count the occasions he mentioned the war on one hand and the observations were always brief. Some years back, one of my sisters obtained a copy of his service record and we discovered he’d been selected and trained for a secret mission during the early years of the war, and considering his military job description, engineman, it can be surmised this mission had to do with an infiltration or exfiltration somewhere in the Pacific but we actually don’t know. What I can know is, my dad, having served to defeat empire, never anticipated the USA would take on the mantle of ’empire’ for itself, following the war.

In fact, it could be said he’d been ‘taxed to death’ to support empire, after the war, considering he was in a middle-class tax bracket that was hit hard during the Vietnam war years and after. He died (heart attack) at age 59 from overwork; while essentially laboring at two full time jobs, keeping the boilers running, powering a large, corporate-owned raw lumber processing plant, grabbing all of the overtime hours he could, while investing in and physically working to improve/upgrade a rural property that should have become a suitable base for the retirement he never achieved. Taxed beyond relief, exhausted swimming against the current, pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ dropped him dead.

Meanwhile, we’d had some conversations and, my dad, not a man of bitter disposition, nevertheless was profoundly resentful at what he saw; a robbery of the middle class affording absolutely unnecessary USA adventures abroad. These many years later, the USA’s position in this regard is deteriorated to point unimaginable since the Iranian revolution of 1979 and my dad’s passing that same year.

Blessed are the peace-makers (Jesus wasn’t talking about Colt Revolvers.)