When you see posters like this on video store windows,
you wonder if America will ever be at peace with itself.
Violent video games have become a disease in this country.
We are teaching our children to kill with a button.
Military basic training starts at this level.
Kids and young adults have no idea who gets killed in war.
Let me give you some examples.
A Marine friend went into a Vietnamese village with his platoon,
and killed 50 innocent civilians with their M-16s.
Another Vietnam veteran friend witnessed the aftermath
of American jets dropping napalm on a Vietnamese village.
There were over 200 innocent people burned to death.
Or, should I say, Murdered.
I have known many Vietnam veterans who were forced
to kill children in combat.
I met a Vietnam vet who witnessed his platoon sergeant take
a shotgun and kill an entire Vietnamese family, because
he was using them as an example of what he would do
to others, if he did not get information.
I saw a young Vietnamese woman flown in by helicopter
to my aid station, who eventually died from a severe head injury,
because an American soldier took his anger out on her.
I know a Vietnam veteran who saw many POWs executed in the field,
shortly after they were interrogated.
In 1994, I stood next to a ditch, where 175 innocent Vietnamese
civilians were killed by American troops.
They were ordered to commit this atrocity.
I know a Navy Vietnam veteran, whose ship was ordered to fire
countless artillery rounds into a Vietnamese village on the beach.
He could see the shells landing with his binoculars.
He said the entire village was destroyed.
I could go on for a long time, but I'll stop here.
Kids and young adults who play violent video games have no
idea who gets killed in war.
There can be body parts everywhere.
There can be teenage soldiers with severe injuries being flown
in by helicopter, and they will be crying for their mothers.
You can go to a funeral home and view a dead soldier.
People are so grief stricken about what they are experiencing.
They hang on to the belief that he or she died for their country.
I have met very few Vietnam veterans, who do not know at least
one Vietnam vet who committed suicide.
I had a Vietnam veteran friend that hanged himself in a motel room.
What the American public know about the cost of war,
you could stick in a thimble.
Ignorance of this truth, just never stops.
When you see the end result of American soldiers who have
killed themselves with a gun in a war zone,
it changes your life.
Or, watching young soldiers destroy their lives with heroin.
So screwed up, they forget where they are.
Or, so screwed up, they take an M-16 and kill another soldier.
Or, get too close to the recoil of an artillery gun,
and it takes half of their head off.
Or, a heroin addict who takes a knife and tries to slit the throat of another soldier.
Or, watch another soldier attempt to kill himself,
because he got a Dear John letter from his girlfriend.
This is the kind of reality that kids and young adults don't see,
when they have a plastic joystick in their hands.
However, someday they may.
Someday, they may have to put a close friend into a body bag.
That's when a man puts away childish things,
and wishes he had never played foolish games.
Wished he had never played M-sixteen.
That's when " Post-Traumatic Stress," is born.
That's when you have to live with memories the rest of your life.
That's when you finally realize, that
Lying Is The Most Powerful Weapon In War.

Mike Hastie
U.S. Army Medic
Vietnam 1970-71
February 24, 2009

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