No one joins the military just for money or solely out of love of family. It’s too profound and uniquely complex a sacrifice for that. And when a young person tells you he enlisted for adventure, what he really means is that he went on a quest for meaning – our popular vocabulary being too anemic to support the weight of a desire simultaneously so necessary and recondite. We don’t have the words to describe our hunger. We struggle to articulate both the depth of our appetite and what might be required to sate it. And there are a lot of reasons why people join up. Some are unutterable. And of those that we can express, many contradict each other. When it comes to something like swearing loyalty to a warring army during a time of combat, motivations can’t necessarily be seen through a Manichean lens.
So I tried to think of the question the Brooklynites should have asked if they really wanted to understand something so alien to them. A question that doesn’t emit vague antagonism, but one that could possibly draw us closer together and that we could both learn from. Something that would help us understand each other. One day the question posed itself to me.
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Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor