On the way home from visiting my sister I was listening to NPR. They were airing one of a series called Boots on the Ground that really brought home the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The episode I heard was "Coming Home". It recounted the ways that many soldiers felt isolated and rejected after coming home from their tour of duty. When they said that the worst part of their assignment was coming home I knew that something was wrong. Again.
We. the citizens of the USA, have never done a good job of supporting our troops after they've returned. The worst was during and after the Vietnam war. Then, soldiers were identified with the war itself and treated as outcasts and criminals by much of society. As if the soldiers were the ones who created the war rather than just the ones who carried out the missions handed to them. They were as much the victims as any in that horrible disaster.
Now, it seems we are ready to do it again. People seem more concerned about "reality" shows than the reality of the real world. Our politicians are to blame for trying to hide the hard choices we should be making about our engagement in the Middle East. One of the remarks that was repeated in the interviews was that "they [the people in the US] just don't get it".
Whether you support or oppose the wars in the Middle East, NEVER forget the soldiers who are fighting there. Write your Senator and Congressman to tell them what you believe. But also tell them that you want the very best for the people we send there both while they are there, and when they return.
Fight for the end and so we can bring our men and women home quickly! In the mean time support them in every way you can.
I urge you to listen to the podcasts below. They won't be comfortable but I guarantee you will feel better if you do.