Monday, November 26, 2007

These Are Our Kids

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast has posted War May Be The Least of Our Problems, about the suicide problem among the military (averaging 17 a day) that you would do well to read. This is a problem that is not going away and we are not prepared for it. The families of the soldiers are not prepared. The military is not prepared. The VA is not prepared. Our communities are not prepared. The nation as a whole is not prepared. Not prepared to deal with it, to help the soldiers, to provide the kinds of care that would make a difference, to deal with the aftermath among families. Hell, mostly this administration is ignoring it and sweeping it under the rug.

These are our kids. They volunteered for the military because they wanted to protect America. They go to Iraq, the vast majority of them at least initially believing the reasons they were given for going. My local paper had a letter to the editor this weekend by a soldier who is a soldier for these reasons, who is willing to give his life to protect our lives and freedom. And we damn well owe it to these brave young people to make sure that their trust is not betrayed; that they are not sent into wars that are unnecessary or that may be making things worse for us in the future; that when we do send them, we send enough of them; that we equip them with the best body armor and vehicles; that we provide enough of the best care for them when they are wounded; that we don't send them again and again into battle with no end in sight; that we don't keep them in battle beyond their terms of service by stop-loss measures. We ask that they kill and die for us. We need to never do that unless there is a reason worthy of that sacrifice.

And when they are so wounded in spirit that 17 of them commit suicide every day, we need to figure out what to do about that and do it. And that doing needs to include what do we do about their survivors. About the parents and children and spouses and siblings and friends that go bereaved of their loved ones forever more.


Nance said...

The fallout of this misadventure is far from over. It would be different if the collateral damage wasn't human in its toll, but it is. And not just American. The effects of this war are being felt in every nation in some way. What a horrid, sad, and terrible mess.

J at said...

Yeah, it's frustrating, because if we don't want to continue funding the war, we are told that we aren't supporting the troops that are already there. And then if we say we are against the war, the question would be, well, why did you vote to fund it? It's crazy.

I feel so badly for these families.