May 31, 2010

Our Responsibility to the Troops

  © Pete Marovich 2009    

Memorial Day 2010 marks not only our observance of the sacrifices made by the people who serve this country in uniform, but the terrible milestone of the 1,000th American killed in Afghanistan.  The invasion of that country occurred in 2001, and as the nearly decade-old conflict drags on, we continue feeding the war's insatiable appetite for our bravest young men and women with no end in sight, and every prospect of things getting worse before they get better, if they ever get better at all.

So, on this Memorial Day, let us indeed solemnly remember the courage of all those who gave their lives in defense of the United States, but also recognize that not every soldier, sailor, airman or marine killed has died for his country's safety, and that some have instead been sacrificed to the ill-advised whims of foolish, posturing "leaders."  As citizens, we bear the highest responsibility to call on our military only when the need is clear and all other avenues have been exhausted, not merely to claim that we "support the troops." 

The missions in Iraq and Afghanistan no longer reflect threats to the U.S. - if they ever did - and it is time to bring our servicemen and -women home.  Because while it is easy to wave the flag and feel pride in the deeds of others, at the end of the day, every person we lose is someone's son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister, husband or wife, and we violate a sacred trust if we do not remember that when we choose to send them into harm's way.

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