They Kill Alex by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Truthdig
September 6, 2010

Carlos Arredondo, photographed by Andy Carvin ...

Carlos Arredondo, photographed by Andy Carvin at the January 2007 anti-war protest in Washington DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carlos Arredondo, a native Costa Rican, stands in a parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Portland, Maine, next to his green Nissan pickup truck. The truck, its tailgate folded down, carries a flag-draped coffin and is adorned with pictures of his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, 20, a Marine killed in Iraq in 2004. The truck and a trailer he pulls with it have become a mobile shrine to his boy. He drives around the country, with the aid of donations, evoking a mixture of sympathy and hostility. There are white crosses with the names of other boys killed in the war. Combat boots are nailed to the side of the display. There is a wheelchair, covered in colored ribbons, fixed to the roof of the cab. There is Alex’s military uniform and boots, poster-size pictures of the young Marine shown on the streets of Najaf, in his formal Marine portrait, and then lying, his hands folded in white gloves, in his coffin. A metal sign on the back of the truck bears a gold star and reads: “USMC L/CPL ALEXANDER S. ARREDONDO.”

“This is what happens every week to some family in America,” says Carlos. “This is what war does. And this is the grief and pain the government does not want people to see.”

[…]

via Truthdig

Copyright © 2010 Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).

see

Chris Hedges: Moral Courage + NH Peace Action’s Will Hopkins Responds to Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges: Violence is our primary form of communication (must-see)

Chris Hedges: Media Sanitizes War (at the Teach-In)

Chris Hedges: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (2004; must-see; transcript)