Texas Liberal

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Iraq War Ending—How Will We Treat Our Veterans?

President Obama is bringing the troops home from Iraq.

How will we greet and regard our troops when they return?

Will they get a parade and good lifetime benefits?

Or will we ignore our Iraq veterans? Will we soon find them on the unemployment lines? Or find many of them homeless?

We know already that people view days such as Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day as days to go out and shop, or to do anything but remember our veterans.

The Iraq War was based on a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

Politicians on both sides of the political aisle approved of the Iraq War

There have been more than 100,000 civilian deaths in the Iraq War. 

My father was a combat veteran of the Korean War.

Here is what my father once wrote about war and about the Cold War—

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their freedom today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.” 

George Bush offered Americans the freedom to die in Iraq. That was all he offered. He did not offer the truth or any sense of honor, decency, or purpose.

Does America have the national character to treat our returning veterans with respect?

Here is a timeline of the Iraq War from Reuters.

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October 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. I grew up in a neighborhood where all the men were Vietnam-era veterans. The most eloquent words I ever heard from some of these men were when they would speak about their days in the war.

    Being uncharacteristically brief, we had better give our Heros from both Iraq and “the ‘Stan” a series of parades. Unless this becomes a country I do not recognize, it is all we have to give them.

    Comment by Stan W. Baker (@angrystan) | October 22, 2011

  2. Neil,
    I`m of the Viet Nam gen and your fathers gen as well.
    We need to bring the troops home ..today with honor and respect.
    Bring on the parades but we need to please remember them in their medical and employment needs as well!!
    All countries have never remembered their Vets that way to a full extent. Ours has a dismal record as well in many ways.
    I say in real time ,let`s support our troops, (coming home)!!
    Uncle Tommy

    Comment by Tom of Providence | October 24, 2011

  3. Thanks for sharing what your dad wrote about war. He had it right. Proper treatment of veterans seldom if ever seems to make it to the top – even the relative top – of the priority list. Else why did it take until six years or more ago for there to to a page 1 in the Cincinnati Enquirer about the availability of veterans’ pensions? Pensions that, while not large, many seemed to not know existed.

    Comment by Newton | October 24, 2011

  4. Nothing I can add to these fine comments other than to say thanks.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | October 25, 2011

  5. Last Thursday, I had to attend the vets’ Stand Down at Emancipation Park in Houston for work.
    It was pretty daunting. It was geared towards homeless vets, and it was full.
    People struggling to get their benefits – including lots of disability benefit-seekers, homeless folks, guys trying to find housing and a job despite some pretty ugly recent criminal records…
    The aftermath of these wars are shocking.

    They say that World War 1 killed a generation of Europeans and might have aided the rise of America – who didn’t suffer the same kind of losses.
    Seems like the survivors of this war are going to leave a legacy in America for generations, too…

    Comment by Katy Anders | October 26, 2011

  6. Unfortunately all soldiers really get now is a hypothetical pat on the shoulder, my father has been back and forth to and from Afghanistan and Iraq for the last several years, the men over there sacrifice so much and they get little to nothing for it. Even the little benefits that they do receive, while better then nothing, should be so much better. I personally would love for the ‘war’ to be over and for the troops to be able to come home, all of them but unfortunately for now until some one can figure out a good strategic and smart way of pulling them out we will probably be there for a while longer.
    Neil, you and I are on opposing sides of the political view spectrum but I must admit you make good points. I’ve been reading up on some of your blogs and would just like to say great job. You have a nice blog going here.
    Have a nice day :)

    Comment by A new reader | October 28, 2011


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