"What do you mean you've enlisted?"
"What do you think I mean, dad?"
"I'm thinking this is some sort sick joke, that's what I think!"
"You just don't see where this country is going, do you?"
"It's going to hell fast and I'll be damned if you're going with it!"
Kurt and his father, Peter, stood facing each other in the small dining room of their small home. Peter could hardly believe his ears when he heard his son's voice raised in defense of his actions- actions Peter saw as horrendous. Kurt could not understand why his father could not see how this was going to make his a great soldier- a son doing his patriotic duty, just as Peter had done many years before.
"How can you say such a thing?" Kurt asked, eyes wide. "We're in better shape than we've been in years! We're the strongest country in the world economically and militarily. What could be wrong with our nation doing well?"
"What could be wrong?!" screamed Peter in a hysterical shriek. "How about being led by a maniac? Some religious nut with a persecution complex is dragging our kids into danger! A strong economy doesn't matter if we're all dead!"
"He's not a maniac, dad! He's a brave man who has served his country honorably and has a brilliant vision of the future of this country and this world. He's the best thing to happen to this country in decades!"
Peter scoffed as this. "Brilliant vision, indeed. He'll piss off the entire world and we'll have another world war on our hands."
"It's called leadership, dad. How can you justify us being led around by the nose by France and England and their stupid, corrupt world government? A government that only seems to exist to punish us!"
"We deserve to be punished, idiot! Didn't you learn anything in school? We did such terrible things in the past that we deserve to be punished for a long time to come!"
At this Kurt was quit for a moment and for one brief moment Peter had thought he had finally broken through to his wayward son. When Kurt spoke it was in a quiet voice.
"How can you say that? That is defeatist trash and almost traitorous thinking! To say that we deserved what happened to us? You were there; you fought gallantly when you served in the army. You won all those medals for bravery and patriotism. Don't say it was all for lies. Don't say you didn't deserve them."
Peter sighed deeply. "I was younger than you when I enlisted and I was a stupid kid who didn't know what I was getting into. They said the same things then as they are now- be a patriot or be an accomplice; with us or against us; good or bad. There. Is. No. Such. Thing! It's all lies. I served in a useless war and I hate that I did. Those medals mean nothing- they could be from a hundred years ago and mean exactly the same thing- squat. I won them by doing what I was told and surviving- not being heroic or gallant. I spent half of the war covering my head and the other shooting at people I didn't even know! Those medals are meaningless bits of iron!"
Kurt came right up to his father and stared him straight in the eyes. "I should report you for what you're saying. You obviously chose the wrong country to be born in, and I'll be damned if I'll let you contaminate me with your ignorant and little thinking. I'm going and that's that. Goodbye."
Kurt slammed the door as he left and Peter could only stand there, in his dining room, sadly looking at where his son left his life, wondering how history could have repeated itself so soon.