As a tavern owner I certainly have the chance to talk to many soldiers who have returned from the war zones. I like hearing what they have to say as it is first-hand testimony to what we otherwise only see on TV...And maybe it's helpful to them to talk about their experiences.
Of course the only ones I would encounter are the ones over 21 as that is the drinking age. In my line of work 21 is the line of demarcation between childhood and being an adult. Hey the kid didn't have ID. That's what we call those under 21. Kids.
But for 20 year old Joshua Hunter of Ona, WV....well he had done a lot in life before he would have been able to plop himself on a stool at Fort Pearl and tell me his war stories.
Specialist Hunter...grew up I guess more or less normal...left home...joined the Army....got married....went to Iraq...saw his friends blown to bits....came home rattled....posted all sorts of ominous things on the Web as is the custom these days...then he stabbed two men to death...ran...got arrested in Ohio and now faces life in prison...a wife in the past tense no doubt and a family devastated at the demise of their son (not to mention the families of his victims).
All that before he would be allowed to socialize with adults and perhaps be better able to put life in perspective.
I hear lots of stories from other club owners about how wound up and wired some of these guys are upon their return from the SW Asia meat grinder. Frankly, most people are not going to do what Joshua Hunter did....And indeed there is no real excuse for what he did to those two young men......But....
When I read about this and looked at the picture from his Facebook page.....It just struck me as something is amiss....Can't put my finger on it....Just strange that you can do so much before we back home call you an adult.
Watertown Daily Times | Mom says her son 'snapped' after deployment