"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner."
On 22 October, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Kristoffer B. Domeij was killed in Afghanistan by an IED. Two other soldiers were also killed (1LT Ashley I. White and PFC Chistopher A. Horns). SFC Domeij, 29, enlisted in Our Army in early 2001. SFC Domeij, of the 75th Ranger Regiment gave Us his last full measure while on his 14 combat tour. 14. I'll let that sink in for a moment.
Our 75th Ranger Regiment has been in constant combat for 10 years. 10 years. Again another moment to mull that over.
I will not throw out the figures; so many of thousands dead, so many tens of thousands wounded. I fear the numbers hide from Us the catastrophy behind each death and each wound. A pain without end thousands of time over. The United States of America; You, Me, We have waged this war. We have sent Our soldiers into the maw of evil. Like most deaths of Our Soldiers, SFC Domeij's death barely registered in our press. His home town paper carried the news, military trade papers reported and a smattering of national press. Most of the reporting was due to this warrior's length of time in combat, most reports did not mention the 2 other soldiers who died. Beyond that it wasn't a story our press had time to report. It is difficult to even find Our wounded and dead listed in the press. The Army Times and the Washington Post both carry sub-sites on their on-line sites of Our dead warriors. So go my fellow citizens, go to the Army Times (.com), click on the list of Fallen Warriors. Look at the faces and stare into the eyes of Our forever gone soldiers. Try and know the cost of Aceldama.
We have raised an entire generation of soldiers who know nothing but war. This country, You and I have made promises to these, Our children and I do fear the day that bill comes due. Just this week Our Veteran's Administration announced a consolidated plan to treat "Gulf War Syndrome." Remember the Gulf War? We sent Our military to protect Saudi Arabia (Desert Shield), liberate Kuwait and stomp on Iraq (Desert Storm). The ribbons, the parades and in Our national joy We extended a hand to Our Viet Nam vets. 20 years to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome, 20 years to acknowledge Agent Orange poisoning.
I know that We are leaving Iraq this year and that a tentative time for leaving Afghanistan has been set. Yet is Iraq so much the better for Our blood? Does anyone believe that the Taliban will not roll back into Kabul once We leave? As an old soldier, the son of a soldier, the father of a soldier and the husband of a soldier I ask these questions as a simple citizen. Sarah has done 2 tours of Iraq, she is scheduled for Afghanistan next summer. As most miltitary families we never question, we never ask the big Why? We are so ordered and we so march.
As Our Secretary of Defense said this year I believe that Our military, those sworn to protect us, has become an isolated profession almost a cult. Fewer and fewer U.S. citizens know anything real or true or honest of military service or of anyone who has served. Our wars are a distraction only noticed when a tragedy occurs, like the recent helicopter crash with so many dead. I know the economy is terrible, I read of the "Occupy" movement. I understand the the distribution of wealth is skewed and reforms are required. Yet I keep waiting for the "Occupy the Pentagon" movement. Like Our dead does the amount of money we've spent on this War on Terror shock and enrage or is it another distraction?
The politicians You and I have elected to office are now salivating over the "peace dividend". They announce coming cuts to Our military (as we should in times of peace), cuts to veteran's benefits and cuts to the V.A. So We prepare once again to turn our backs on Our veterans.
My friends these are Our children, sacrificed to Mars, and I hope and pray that We will have half their courage to care for them when they come marching home.
"Young men love war and old men love that in them."-McCarthy