Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind, this is one of the most common quotes that my uncle has held onto for the better part of his life. Having been born in the early 1960s, my uncle was recruited as a military officer in the Maghaweer Special Forces during the war between Iraq and Iran in 1980. Despite being young and inexperienced, he, alongside his fellow peers became recruited as volunteer military officers who were dedicated to upholding Irans Islamic revolution. However, owing to the fact that they were ill prepared for the war, my uncle and his fellow military officers were poorly equipped unlike their sworn enemies from Iraqi. For this reason, a majority of the young, inexperienced officers were either severely injured or killed during the first few months of the war.
Our enemies used all kinds of weapons against us! my uncle recounts. It was during these very trying moments that a blast mine badly injured me and I hence, lost my left leg and developed severe breathing problems. My uncle painfully narrates the ordeal. In my uncles opinion, despite the fact that they, the Iranians, were to some extent responsible for starting the war, Saddam Hussein, the then President of Iraq, fuelled the war since his way of dealing with the war was wrong. More specifically, in the face of this deadly war, President Saddam reacted strongly against the war by the Iranians, despite having received contrary advice from all the military leadership and politicians at the time. Besides, Saddam was advised by the leaders of his time, to take defensive positions to mobilize reinforcements, but did not heed to any of these pieces of advice.
According to my uncle, this most dreaded war between Iran and Iraq was particularly orchestrated by the rivalry between the two states. This contention was explicitly fuelled by varying differences in radical views such as religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, and border tensions. However, although all these factors significantly contributed to the war, my uncle believes that the most dominant reason behind this deadly war was the power-hungry national leadership both in Iraq and Iran. Notably, these leaders were ready to fight tooth and nail so that the winning state would acquire the position as the dominant Persian Gulf State.
Having been recruited as a military officer at a young age, my uncle did not complete his education. However, owing to the fact that he is indeed a fast learner, he was able to learn different languages during the time of the war. Similarly, despite the fact that he had lost his left leg, my uncle has joined numerous anti-war organizations in the country which strives to campaign for the elimination of chemical and nuclear weapons in the world. It is the religious imagery, and those pictures of defeated men, that haunts me to date, my uncle reports. This being said, his primary goal in life is to help different generations in understanding the negative impacts of war.
With regard to his current life, like many other veterans with chemical injuries, my uncle is faced with severe modern day adversities such as high population rates. Having lost one of his legs and developed severe breathing related problems, my uncle currently lives in the capital of Tehran alongside his fellow veterans who received chemical injuries. Nonetheless, the most significant paradox about my uncles living conditions is that he requires extensive medical attention, which is however severely limited. Besides, lack of enough health funds is another significant setback that my uncle faces. Due to the deadly mine blast that emitted a lot of chemical gases, my uncle has since then had irreparable and extensive damage to his lungs which needs around-the-clock care and periodical hospitalization. In my interview with him, he says, "Seeking medical attention is my worst nightmare. Even in times that I am in serious need of being admitted to a hospital, I keep putting it off until I absolutely have to go, or until my wife drags me to the hospital. I, however, feel more like a prisoner than a patient while at the hospital due to my amputated lower limb.
In conclusion, having served as a military officer during this deadly war, losing his left leg did not only leave my uncle crippled, but also instilled a lot of wisdom in him. Despite his current health and physical state, my uncle is a multi-talented man with great determination. Besides, he is a strong believer of the fact that, if you set your mind to your goals there isn't anything that you can't achieve. Now a father and a family man, my uncle has earned great respect from all of us, his family members and also the society at large. In his conclusive remarks, my uncle contends that the most significant thing that he learned from his military service at war was that, despite being made by the people, for the people, when governments conflict or hate each other, the people will always pay the price. Besides, my uncle believes that governments will, in most cases, trade with the feelings of its people, especially nationalism and religious fervor, and as a result, unwanted wars ensue.
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