Friday, July 21, 2006


You may be surprised that my thoughts often turn towards violence when you hear me speak so clearly of leaving Iraq and of peace. Who I ask you, wants peace more than the warrior who has seen battle? Yet I still turn toward murderous ideas and bloodletting. Reflection on what I have seen is most of what occupies those darker areas of my psyche, for instance the time I lived for 10 days with a dead body next to me, some of the soldiers called the dead Iraqi Fred and would talk to him while on guard duty (“hey Fred, how are you today.” Etc). Or at times I will focus on some person and imagine how I would stop him from hurting my family (often with an ending involving up close and personal fisticuffs of the most violent nature). I have never acted on any of these thoughts but I wonder how many others find themselves thinking them.

There is no question of responsibility, for I most times carry a knife and have never even brandished it to anyone, but there it is safe and snug against my upper thigh in my pocket, just in case… Now I am not a stupid man (on the contrary I feel that I am a very intelligent man) nor am I a foolish man, so why do I think this way? Well, to quote a favorite movie of mine (Empire Records), “who knows where thoughts come from?” These thoughts, however, I feel have a very distinct birthing in my brain which is a short word but it conjures so many images. That word is war. Perhaps you consider me “damaged goods” now because of what I have seen and done, yet I don’t feel this way. I believe that I have grown in so many ways which are impossible to others. Please don’t mistake me now when I say this for I am no combat junkie needing a gun in hand and death in the eye. By taking a look into my own thoughts I feel that I can make something good from what was at times a nightmare. What would life be if we learned nothing from our experiences?

Experience, it is on almost every kind of job description. It is required for almost everything having to do with money, and money, that is the real key isn’t it? What would the world be without it? I find myself linking those two almost interchangeably when looking at the world go by on it’s busy schedule. Now the real question is who would pay me for MY experience? What is life but a series of exchanges, and what do I have to offer other than the things I was trained for? A lot it turns out. So begins today an attempt at reentering our society. Don’t ask me how for the plan is still forming but death can teach you so much about life, and I feel that I know this better than most.

So from the violence that churns around our world comes ideas and from ideas we may grow. Allow me these musings and we shall see where our journey takes us. I welcome you all along for the ride, but I must warn you that there will be (like any good story true or otherwise) darkness and sorrow, but perhaps we shall find something greater than ourselves in the end.

Oh… and take care,

Zachary Scott-Singley


Anonymous said...

hey zack its yore fiend linda. question: are you 25 or 55? you sound SO MATURE AND CAPABLE!!! smile

Jana Lane said...

Zach - Your understanding of your own experience is foundational to all the things you will do. I'm not sure who would pay you for directly using your experience but there are a number of groups tho need people with your understanding of stressful and traumatic experiences. The ones I can think of now are nonprofit ofganizations that serve people who are in dire situations. For example: the Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, all the environmental organizations (think Erin Brockovich and people harmed by contaminated water). Organizations that serve young people and families that have suffered from violence. All this sounds like a downer but I honsetly believe it can be inspiring to help in such situations. Keep going. Something good is out there for you.

Halla said...

Oh Zach!!! You make me sad reading your experiences, even though one suspects you went thru allot. The details depresses you! My motto is "you do what you have to do" to deal with it to stay safe.

But be careful if you get too depressed with your situation, maybe you shoul look into some counseling, I would think they would have it for returning veterans.

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Zach, please keep posting and keep telling us what's on your mind and what's going through your head. America needs to hear from men and women like you. Most people are completely oblivious to this war and the toll it takes on the troops. Keep on posting, brother.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. I'm still following you Zach, all the time. Keep it up.

Margie from New York

T. said...

you know what, zach... it's refreshing to know there are still people like you in this tainted world. don't change a damn thing... you'll find your job... your family and faith will carry you till then. and don't ever compromise your principles in exchange for money/power. Trust me on this one.

Beverly said...

Hi Zach,
To expect no darkness in the story would be most unrealistic. A soldiers life is beyond the distinguished uniform and shiny shoes. There is real pain and sorrow. For me, I am willing to hear it all as you feel ready to tell it. I have always admired you for your strength in standing for what you see as truth. You are extraordinary, even though there are others who also share your views based on their own experiences in the war. You are not alone. Me, and many others are there for you.
Luv always...Beverly

Anonymous said...


I would say I agree Jana Lane in looking for employment with a charitable organization. You have a good heart.

Time does help heal wounds.


Anonymous said...

I think you now have a first-hand understanding of why Dwight D. Eisenhower came to dislike war so much that he said, "When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war." Words of experience and none truer spoken.

-roamer in mich