The cost of war…yeah. I’m not going there.
Not because I don’t think you’ll “get” it, or because I don’t think you’ll understand how money works. I’m not going there because it doesn’t help the everyday person understand any better why we (military families) don’t want another war, conflict, strike, whatever you want to call it THIS time.
Any quick internet search yields in dollars and cents, and in bodies and limbs, what the physical, tangible costs of any war were and are. Through over 6650 deaths, and over 670,000 disability claims, it can be easily surmised that the military servicemembers have PAID, and paid dearly, for any proverbial US debts needing restitution. And, I do think the average person does actually get that. The average American gets that:
SomeONE has to sign up for the military
SomeONE must deploy and grab a gun, or two, on their way to another country to fight for a nation who doesn’t even really want us there.
SomeONE must say goodbye and must accept the finality of what they are agreeing to do.
But, for most Americans that someONE is someone else. It’s rarely them, or you. It’s easy to look away, mutter a thank you as you pass someone in uniform and feel you’ve done your patriotic duty. For all of that, we are grateful. We are grateful that, unlike my father who returned from Vietnam (twice), you didn’t throw tomatoes at our spouses, yelling and chanting about them being baby killers. We are grateful you acknowledge us, and it is frankly all we need from you.
At least until now.
We need you to care. We need you to care about the fact that we are done. We are so over warred, over combatted, over killed, over tasked, and we are SO over being used. We have no reserves. Our reserves were spent somewhere between “Mission Accomplished” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” We’ve been surviving on emotional, mental and physical credit for half this war…and, the credit limit? It has been exceeded multiple times over. There is just nowhere else to go for us.
Because really the question IS: If YOU are not willing to serve this nation yourself, whether on principle or morals, then you should not leave it to the other guy over and over again. ‘Cuz that other guy? All those “other guys”? They’re done. They’ve done enough. And, if you don’t help find a way to keep those other guys from having to do it again?
Next time…that someONE else may just be YOU.