Johnny Got His Gun (and Roadside Bomb)

Sunday’s chilling AP Story is about one of the most severely injured soldiers from the Second Iraq War.  It describes Joseph Briseno Jr. who “was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range in a Baghdad marketplace.”  The article further describes Joseph as “three things you would not want to be: blind, head injury, and paralyzed from the neck down…”

The reality described in the article certainly was eerily similar to the 1939 novel and 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun (which I’ll admit I might have never seen if it had not been featured in the Metallica video One).

The theme and sentiment expressed in 1939, 1971, and today are the same: the artifacts of violence and war are almost unimaginably horrific.  Make sure what you are fighting for is worth it.  Or as hauntingly phrased in another war film Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this.”


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