Thursday, May 8, 2008

Support the Troops

Col Hunt, a Fox News commentator, has an interesting commentary posted on yesterday titled "Inside the Numbers: 49 Servicemen Killed in April.",2933,331559,00.html. He makes the point that the servicemen (and women) dying overseas are not just numbers, to be used by politicians (and others) to justify whatever argument, position, or policy that person happens to support. His point is that "Soldiers are dying because we sent them to fight and die, the least we can do is PAY ATTENTION DAMN IT!" I agree. The total number of our Nation's young men and women who have died or been injured is not a data point that we should use as political fodder or to support partisian bickering. The sacrifice of these Patriots and their families should not be reduced to a rhetorical tool used by those who haven't even begun to understand what it means to serve.

Col Hunt also says that we've allowed ourselves to become distracted by all the political bickering during the partisian presidential posturing. Maybe. I know I'm tired (already) of the endless campaign season. Maybe, like most people, we tend to focus on things that are going wrong rather than things that are going right; and right now the war on terror, at least in Iraq, seems to be on the right track. So, even though more servicemembers have lost their lives in April than in the last 8 months, that news has been regulated to the back pages of the newspapers. I do agree with Col Hunt, though, that we need to be worthy of our young men and women in harms way; and the only way we can do that is to remember them, support them and their families, and pay attention to their needs. Col Hunt mentions TAPS and Wounded Warrior, both worthy programs for injured servicemembers. But, servicemembers who have not been injured deserve our support too. It's not hard to say "thanks." A simple card or letter will do, and goes a long way toward making a young man or woman's day a bit brighter. Check out the AnySoldier or AnyMarine websites for addresses of random, wonderful young folks who would welcome a note.

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