When President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama issued a special holiday greeting over the weekend to US troops fighting overseas, they were addressing the smallest deployment of combat troops in at least five years….
Then, as Mrs. Obama emphasized in the video greeting, there are the 2.4 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their families, who will continue to require services beyond holiday acknowledgments from the president.
Even though I don’t have any friends or relatives in harm’s way now, this is the best Christmas present I could have wished for. Now if we can just go back to pre-Iraq military deployment levels that would be even more joyous. The most joyous would be to also get back to those military spending levels. We spend about twice as much on our war machine as we did then. This is one of the major causes for our current deficit problems.
We seem to needlessly put our kids in these types of tragic situations more and more as the years go by. They are our most precious resource; we should treat them much better.
And as the First Lady mentions we need to do whatever it takes to get treatment for the ones returning so that they are not traumatized for the rest of their lives because of their war-time experiences. Although I did not personally serve in a combat situation I knew several Vietnam vets of my generation who were permanently damaged by their time in Vietnam. They sadly still live in those times of almost fifty years ago. It even defines who they are even now! It is tragic to see all the lives wasted. We need to do whatever we can to prevent that from happening with this generation.