A gloomy, snowy morning in the winter of 2007, the National Public Radio... From that I only know what the news mention from time to time: that three Iraq veterans commit suicide every week (2007), that there are 100,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. society today.
Despite the statistic coldness, I have an hyper sensitivity to the bumper-stickers, the yellow ribbons with "Support Our Troops" on the cars, not to mention the giant billboards, frequent in the poor Midwest, advertising the military career, omnipresent patriotic images... 99 milliseconds: I shut off the radio. I am angry.
I am French and American, I also lived in Berlin, Germany, for a while. I now reside and work in
the U.S. In France, I belong to the first generation who has never been involved in a war since the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. Although, the ghosts, the permanent reminiscences of war are everywhere: in the landscape, in the books, in the family records, correspondences and photo-albums, not to mention, of course, those who directly participated, those who never came back. And those who came back but were never quite "there"...
Winter 2007: 4 years after the beginning of the "War on Terror," while listening to this radio piece about military suicide, I felt the winter in my mind. I wondered if I just started re-living a bad dream.