Through the beauty of Facebook, I ended up clicking a link to a nearly two month old article that really hit home for me. I wasn’t alive for WWII, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War so I can only imagine what it was like for soldiers and their families based on movies, historical accounts, and photographs. But I’ve deployed to Iraq twice and each time left behind a wife and child(ren), and I have first-hand knowledge about what this can do to a person and his or her relationships back home.
AOL Chief Military Correspondent, David Wood, hit the nail on the head with, “In the 10th Year of War, a Harder Army, a More Distant America.” I’m pretty far removed from my own Army experiences as a deployed soldier having been home uninterrupted since November 2006. Yet not a day goes by that I don’t dream, think or talk about my times in Iraq. Sometimes it’s positive, like thinking about the accomplishments our platoon made or chasing down an insurgent through a crowded hospital. Most of the time, however, it’s less positive, like remembering how hard it was to be away from my wife and kids or being mortared daily. But outside of veterans, I have a hard time relating these experiences or thoughts with my family and friends.
I strongly encourage that Americans read David Wood’s article. If you are friends with, related to, or working with an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran, this article will help you to understand that we are a proud group that wants to share our experiences, but many of us feel like America just doesn’t care anymore.