Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Than One Day

Image courtesy: Sgt. Logan Pierce

Most Americans realize that today marks the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of courageous Navy SEALs. Yet many of the same citizens, conditioned by a national media that pays scant attention to the military's daily sacrifices, probably don't realize that 2012's bloodiest month of fighting in Afghanistan has just concluded.

As this blog and others discussed all month, April was difficult for our troops in Afghanistan and their families at home. According to an unofficial count by icasualties.org, at least 35 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan during the month of April. This number doesn't include seriously wounded heroes like Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, who lost his arms and legs in an Apr. 10 terrorist attack.

During the year Osama bin Laden was killed, the war in Afghanistan made up just two percent of American news media coverage, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. If you add in coverage of bin Laden's death in Pakistan, the number is four percent. Based on the media's behavior so far this year, I would not be surprised if the death of Whitney Houston wound up generating just as much news coverage as the Afghanistan conflict in 2012.

On Monday -- the last day of a month in which at least 35 American troops were killed -- I saw a lengthy segment on Fox News about the one-year anniversary of Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton. Since trivialities like a couple's anniversary are now deemed newsworthy by Fox and its competitors, one should not be surprised at the amount of stories we're seeing today about bin Laden. Today is simply another anniversary for the media to talk about.

Today is not just another day in the mountains of Afghanistan, where thousands of Americans who volunteered to fight for our country are separated from their loved ones. Some of these units have held memorial services for their friends over the past month, while others are thinking about their wounded brothers and sisters hospitalized in Bethesda, Md., and elsewhere.

War is the most serious, sobering reality for a country to face, and the national media, as well as many of us, are turning away.

Since Apr. 24, the following American service members have died as a result of continuing operations in Afghanistan.

Spc. Manuel Vasquez, 22, West Sacramento, California
Spc. Benjamin Neal, 21, Orfordville, Wisconsin
Spc. Jason Edens, 22, Franklin, Tennessee
Lt. Christopher Mosko, 28, Pittsford, New York
Spc. Moises Gonzalez, 29, Huntington, California
Staff Sgt. Brandon Eggleston, 29, Candler, North Carolina
Sgt. Dick Lee Jr., 31, Orange Park, Florida
Staff Sgt. Andrew Brittonmihalo, 25, Simi Valley, California
Master Sgt. Scott Pruitt, 38, Gautier, Mississippi
Pfc. Christian Sannicolas, 20, Anaheim, California
Sgt. Nicholas Dickhut, 23, Rochester, Minnesota

For the families of these fallen heroes, every subsequent day of their lives will be filled with tragic dreams of what could have been. Our thoughts, prayers, and gratitude go out to America's newest Gold Star families, as well as our country's wounded warriors and their loved ones.

The extraordinary sacrifices of the post-9/11 generation are far bigger than the death of one terrorist, and certainly span more than one day. To truly honor this patriotic group of volunteer warriors, we must challenge ourselves to always remember that somewhere, at every moment, a fellow American is fighting for us.

Image courtesy: Cpl. Kenneth Jasik


Note: This post was updated on May 15 at 11:48 a.m. EDT to reflect new casualty information released by the Department of Defense.

96 comments:

  1. It's not The People who are ignoring these valiant men, it's mass media. Because the mass media is desperate to support their messiah they can't stoop low enough since they are already on their knees in adulation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. instead of holding up our warriors as celebrities we hold up liars with no integrity or character. I want you soldiers to know I am thankful for the hot miserable sweaty days you put in. All the cuts, scrapes, bruises and broken hearts at the loss of your fellow warriors....thank you.

      Delete
    2. Amen Won't be long and we can vote O out.

      Delete
  2. You are fighting for the election of politicians, the careers and pensions of generals and lucrative mil supply contracts.
    You are not fighting for "us" and until this is understood the pain will never stop.
    Any person under any circumstance ( everyday) should see if it is THEY who are out of step with reality.
    9/11 was almost 11 years ago and the entire World and the USA has moved on.
    This has only a little to do with the Sandbox particularly - these events are 1/2 a generation behind "us" now. By 1956 WW2 + Korea were well behind "us". This is the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the lesser the knowledge, the bigger the opinion

      Delete
    2. 9/11 is not something the U.S. or the world has "moved on" from. It is the raised bar for Islamists to surpass, and if you don't think they will continue to work towards a bigger and more extravagant attack against every western nation then you know nothing of Islam and are ignoring what is occurring in every country where Islamists maintain a majority and in the western nations where their population is increasing exponentially. Open your eyes and grow some respect for those who fight this tide of evil.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. @martinraidok haha, spoken like a true TV viewer. I see you have soaked up the propaganda very nicely....the men behind the curtain are very pleased.

      Delete
    5. Funny, Ben. Don't remember seeing you in Iraq...pick up a rifle and hump some ground before you decide to run your mouth.

      Delete
    6. @alphavirus...Funny, I didn't see you in Bosnia. Ask before you assume.

      Delete
    7. You must be absolutely STUPID to think all of America has moved on from 9/11. Maybe you and your liberal buddies have. But me and mine have not.
      The morons of 9/11 have taught us that we can never stop our vigilance. We are proud of our soldiers in harms way over there. I personally don't think one American life is worth a MILLION Afgans or iraqis or any other raghead bastards over there. But they ARE there. And your President has tied both hands behing their backs and left them.

      So maybe you should put the blame where it belongs. On the Politicians!

      Delete
    8. STFU you marxist POS. Rot in hell you f***; better men than you have served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, all of them knowing full well they may have to make the ultimate sacrifice while coward f***ing bottom feeders such as yourself spit in the face of this country. You got a name, 'unknown'?

      Delete
  3. As a US Marine (Honorably Discharged) I know one thing for sure: For those who fight for it, FREEDOM has a flavor the protected will never know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right! Because us "protected" people have to pay for our politicians' foreign wars and entangling alliances. That's not freedom. That's indebted servitude through taxation and inflation.

      Delete
    2. Penumbra only about 50 percent of us have to pay in any way (taxes) not counting the smaller proportion of combatants who pay it all so to speak, the very reason we are not a democracy. The failures of the past and present are that you cannot give another nation freedom it has to be earned, we know that much. it is much easier for the non payers to sit back and support the string pullers who sacrifice our best citizens.

      Delete
    3. While I appreciate the dedication and sacrifice of US troops serving in war, I question the premise that they are fighting for all Americans or protecting all Americans whenever and wherever they put their boots on the ground or drop ordinance. I didn't get a say in the decision to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, .... It wasn't left up to me to decide when killing bad guys ended and nation building began, or who would be permitted to hold government positions in those backwards countries, or whether barbaric laws and cultural practices would be protected as the lesser of two evils. Nor was I consulted on whether overt or clandestine operations might some day come back to haunt us, like supporting the Mujahadeen against the USSR.

      Like all Americans who pay taxes, I and future generations are forced to fund all of this, which is done in my name, and there's no legal way for me to opt out, to withhold my money from this war or that, or to get the politicians and military leaders to stop saying that this action is taken by me (via proxy).

      Until the leaders allow me the choice to decide what I'll support and what I won't, then I don't accept the premise that any and all military operations are done for my freedom, to protect me. If you find me ungrateful or disrespectful, you're completely missing the point. And frankly, by expecting me to show gratitude when I get no choice is disrespectful of my freedom. It's dismissing my right to judge for myself what threatens my freedom and what doesn't, what steps I take to protect it, either myself or by proxy.

      For example, I could easily have been persuaded in 2001 to write a check to help fund an operation to go take out al Qaeda. And, I would have no problem with the courageous warriors who took that on stating that they did so in my name (along with anyone else who supported it, of course). But when the powers that be decide to stick it out for over a decade and engage in activity which results in collateral civilian casualties, I don't see how that serves my interest.

      So while the "you can't handle the truth" speech of Col. Jessup strikes a chord with those who see "the protected" as naive and ungrateful, there is a deeper, more fundamental definition of freedom which that sort of attitude fails to respect.

      I don't write this flippantly. There are plenty of veterans in my family tree, including a Marine who recently returned from Afghanistan with whom I've had discussions about my political opposition to foreign interventions. I love and respect him, even if I despise the leaders who sent him there (and, who have failed to give returning veterans the level of support they deserve).

      I suggest that, unless you respect my right to opt out of these things, you're not tasting freedom. It's something else entirely.

      Delete
    4. @Elliot Articulated very well! I 100% agree with your comment. I could never have put that down on paper as well as you did. You have taken the exact thoughts and opinions out of my mind! Thank you for that!

      Delete
    5. Elliot,

      Frankly I find your comments to be just that, ungrateful and disrespectful. Without the efforts of our military we could be battling for our freedom right here in the good old USA. Don't forget that your disrespect also falls on the heroes of WWII that fought to make it possible for you to be an idiot.

      Delete
    6. Those very soldiers that went over and risked their lives gave you the right to be even able to voice your opinions

      Delete
    7. Elliot, There will come a time, I hope, when we can allocate our taxes paid to only those issues we deem important. Won't everyone be surprised when we defund the genocidal baby mulching abortionists and welfare is no longer available.
      We will have problems with this though because 75% of the nation has no clue as to what goes on in the world. Besides, you will never have the time to know all the intel on all the issues when it comes to hidden enemies. That is why there is a briefing every morning at the White House. Ask the President if you can have a copy.
      Sure you can support the owl lovers and the beetle lovers, but when your enemy is a liar and a murderer, well, good luck finding out the truth without the CIA.
      As for not going into another nation to take out our enemies. Hmmm. Let's make this easy for you. No more police departments to find the people who murdered the family next door. With the invention of the ocean liner, the airplane, the telephone, the WHEEL, life changed.

      Delete
    8. Elliot, You do have a choice when you go in that voting booth and choose your congressman, senator, and president. This is a republic type of government not a true democracy and that's the way we do things according to our Constitution. Don't like this form of government...Find another but there is no true democratic government on this Earth. It just wouldn't work in practice. Now, you could convince your congressman and senator to sponsor legislation letting people pick and choose what their tax money is used for (and what not) but I doubt that would work in the real world since the majority could wage a funding war against minorities.

      Delete
    9. Dogman: "Frankly I find your comments to be just that, ungrateful and disrespectful."

      I can't control your inability to throughly read and comprehend what I wrote, or to have a mind sufficiently open to consider opinions outside rigid lines you've ignorantly drawn.

      "Without the efforts of our military we could be battling for our freedom right here in the good old USA."

      WHICH efforts?

      And against whom would we be doing battle?

      There are a number of wars waged by the US government which were a waste of life and treasure, or which were unethical in origin and/or execution, and so I reject completely that it's 100% or nothing.

      "Don't forget that your disrespect also falls on the heroes of WWII that fought to make it possible for you to be an idiot."

      You're compounding your libel, starting with the false accusation that there is disrespect and then projecting that onto veterans of a war I didn't even mention (including my father in law and a whole lot of relatives in my grandfather's generation). I know what they did and I know how that existential conflict is nothing like propping up a bunch of backwards savages in a country which never will adopt American values, but will keep depriving women of their rights and murdering homosexuals and apostates because an illiterate pedophile said so over a thousand years ago.

      If anyone is being an "idiot" it would be the person spouting mindless Jingoism, presenting US military actions as unquestionably 100% perfect.

      You explain how My Lai helped any American's freedoms. Once you've failed to do that, I'll explain to you how my ancestors actually did help our freedoms in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, and how their honor and sacrifice did not excuse nation building or destroying the village to save it.

      Delete
    10. Unknown: "Those very soldiers that went over and risked their lives gave you the right to be even able to voice your opinions"

      No one GIVES another person rights. Rights are inherent and inalienable, a result of our nature as rational beings.

      People can PROTECT the rights of others, but I question how a pointless attempt to force American values onto a backwards culture protects the rights of people here.

      Delete
    11. Huldah, I can't untangle your disjointed arguments.

      I have definite ideas on how to protect my rights, to stop thugs and terrorists. They don't include trying to force people in primitive countries to adopt American political values against their will, forcing Americans to pay for anything and everything the rotten political leaders decide is in the "national interest", or harassing handicapped little girls and veterans in wheelchairs at the airport.

      If you don't want to take my advice, to handle security according to my judgement, then why should I accept your notions?

      Delete
    12. JerEl: "Elliot, You do have a choice when you go in that voting booth and choose your congressman, senator, and president."

      I respect your rights too much to participate in any election. As an individual, I don't have the moral authority to dictate to you how to live your life, how your money should be spent, or whether deadly actions on the other side of the world can be said to be carried out in your name, without even asking you. Thus, I cannot grant to any "representative" such authority, which is exactly the presumption wrapped up in slipping a ballot into a box in November.

      I don't care about elections. We're never going to vote our way out of the mess we're in, or convince the leaders to stop trampling our rights.

      Delete
  4. Every American should give thanks to the men and women sacrificing their lives to keep us safe. I totally understand the serviceman who spoke out against Obama. When you're putting your life on the line , and you have a Commander and Chief who doesn't have a clue about anything other than going on vacation and playing golf, it would concern me also. And when there is a no win strategy, what the Hell are we doing there? Time to stop aid, get our troops home, and move on. Let them destroy themselves. The world would be a better place if they did destroy themselves.We can send Obama to vacation there after we throw him out of office in November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this. The truth is that it is not "Islamists" we should fear, but those that continue to claim we must go halfway around the world to fight them and die. They claim it's necessary for "freedom", while they sit in their ivory towers thinking up ways to enslave us.

      God bless our troops will to pay the highest price for America.

      God damn those willing to exploit them for money and power.

      http://pipelines.curry.com

      Delete
    2. To postion myself, I served in the 82nd Airborne almost 40 years ago. My son in law served in the 82nd and is recovering from his wounds in Iraq. Every male in my family before me has served in one of our military services.

      With this in mind I would still urge caution about unquestioningly supporting the actions or our government. Our leaders are not always that smart and the interests of USA, Inc. as an institution do not alwalys coincide with the interests or liberties of its citizens. However, that does not conflict with supporting our young men and women who serve this great country.

      For those who question the "no win" strategy, all I can offer, is that sometimes achieving your objective does not require victory, per se. The best explanation I have read basically states that the USA's strategic interest is in assuring that no single power or combination of powers will be permitted to pose a serious threat to the USA. As such, our military actions are intended to be disruptive of the potential for such risks to form, such as a radical Sunni Islamic power in the Middle East and Central Asia. And, maintaining or shifting the balance of power between potential adversaries or challengers.

      In the immediate case our potential threat is/was radical Islam in its Sunni Islamic form under Wahabism which has its roots in Saudi Arabia (our ally?) and also where most of the money to support Osama Bin Laden came from. If you look at the map today, whatever "power" Sunni Islam had has been degraded in its radical form (Osama) and its secular conventional military form (Saddam). Iraq was the balance to Iran from the perspective of Sunni Islam. Now, there is only one power, the USA, that can protect the Sunnis (Saudi Arabia) from the Shia (Iran). And, the USA is in a position to at least monitor and hopefully contain the other threat (Shia Iran). All this is very messy. And, we cannot pursue an objectively clean victory at the expense of forgetting the threats posed by China and Russia, Etc. Thus, we begin repositioning the great but still finite resources we have.

      Welcome to the burden of Empire.

      Justin McCarthy

      Delete
  5. Thank you for visiting The Unknown Soldiers blog. While your comments are welcome and appreciated, please refrain from using profanity and also keep in mind that many families of our nation's fallen heroes visit this website. There is nothing more sacred than honoring the memory of brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belief and faith in God in your life is more sacred. Seeking truth is more sacred. Applying the Golden Rule in life is more sacred.

      Question is, have these men and woman died for our country or died at the whim of politicians? This question needs to be asked. I understand that many may believe that they fight for our country, but it should never be assumed. A healthy dose of skepticism should be applied to government actions. Of course, that is heavily discouraged in the military. Can't have underlings questioning their superiors' orders or the stated goal. "Hearts and minds" means what now? 1. converting to democracy or 2. two to the chest and one to the head? Ask the average person in the military what they think. Now compare that to the U.S. publicized goals for the middle east.

      Delete
    2. The current war is as misguided as the Vietnam war was, during which I served as a commissioned officer in the U.S Army infantry. Sad, though it is true, all these wars to convert countries that hate us to democracy are a waste of our nations blood and treasure.

      Delete
  6. TOM....DO NOT CENSOR THE COMMENTS! STOP IT!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The only comments that have been removed are the ones that contain profanity and/or rhetoric that is overtly hateful in nature. Please feel free to re-post your comments without using foul language, while remembering that relatives of fallen heroes visit this blog. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. TOM, how much longer must we hide the truth from these families who have lost their loved ones??!?! THEY MUST know that their loved ones are being used for nothing more than mercenaries and then being tossed out in garbage piles like they are dead dogs!

    DO YOU UNDERSTAND!! These families have been fed propaganda and have bought into the BIG LIE that their soldiers are fighting for freedom!! THIS LIE MUST END! Let them mourn...this is right...but LET THEM BE ANGRY AT THE TRUTH of their family members DEATH! IT'S ALL IN VAIN!

    They are dying for NOTHING! The soldiers in Afghanistan are dying to protect POPPY AND MARIJUANA FIELDS!!!!! Where is the FREEDOM IN THAT???

    CMON TOM!!!! 33 soldiers died in APRIL FOR THIS??????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are fighting an extremely evil cult religion and a bunch of animals who stone women to death for speaking to a man other than their husband. C'mon, Ben...would you have said the same in WWII about the Jews in Germany? We shouldn't have gotten involved?

      Delete
    2. Ben, quit hating, start praying! How do you draw the conclusion that they have all bought into "The Big Lie" I would suggest that each and everyone one of these people have their own opinions as to the war and I would bet the vast majority want their men and women home now. The American People are not stupid, well at least 50% of them aren't, can't speak for the other 50% if you know what I mean. I just know our men and women in the military and their families deserve our respect, support and prayers.

      Delete
    3. Thankful....I agree...pray for the troops! If these people havent bought into the"Big Lie" then why are they allowing their children to be sacrificed for the BANKERS gain?

      Wakeup....LMAO! That's pretty much all I have to say about your comment. Just like the Bart below, I suggest you read up on REAL history and not the history taught in your public school. Start with the book entitled, "Pawn in the Game" by William Guy Carr. It's available online for free since it's been a while since its publication. The truth is out there...you just have to want to know it!

      Delete
  9. I hate to say it, but the vast majority of Americans simply don't care at a gut level. And why should they? They have no skin in the game! The men and women being killed and wounded and simply over-worked aren't THEIR sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, nieces, nephews, godsons, goddaughters, aunts, uncles... no... by and large the closest most Americans come to having "skin in the game" is the $2.99 they spent at Walmart for a Chinese-made magnetic yellow ribbon they've attached to their vehicle. Heck... Americans aren't even paying for the war in terms of financial sacrifice; the money is borrowed! I am constantly ashamed of my fellow citizens. As for our government... they're the worst of the worst.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Media are Corrupt!

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio: "10 Times Worse Than Watergate; Biggest Media Blackout In History."

    ReplyDelete
  11. God bless our troops, as a vet myself, fortunately during the cold war, I know how hard it is for those at home. We all should be lifting our men and women in arms and their families up every day in our prayers and NEVER, NEVER, EVER forget the sacrifices our men and women and families at home make each and every day. God bless you all and thank you for keeping us all safe, we love each and every one of you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. William,

    Are you saying that you are ashamed of Americans for buying the magnetic ribbons? Did occurr to you that maybe that's all, and then some, that the average American CAN do? A Canadian friend of mine recently told me that he didn't understand how John Wayne could be so patriotic in the movies and, yet, not serve during WW@ or Korea. I informed him that Mr. Wayne went to join the war effort in WW2, but was turned away because of an old college football injury that would have prevented him from performing optimally on the battlefield. Yet, all those war movies that he made did more to help America win WW2 and Korea more than any politician ever could have. Same goes for Tom Clancy and his books. Not every patriot carries a gun, sir. But, every American patriot -all the John Waynes and Tom Clancy's- loves America unreservedly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get your facts straight, Bart. Wayne Wayne obtained 3-A status, "deferred for [family] dependency reasons. My Father, same age as Wayne, enlisted in the Navy in '43 even though he had three kids and a job in the oil industry that made him draft proof. Wayne became a star and a wealthy man by cranking out 13 propaganda films in WW2. One of them, 'Sands of Iwo Jima' made long after the war ended, capitalized on the men that raised the flag on Surabatchi. See the film and see how many frames actually concerned those guys. Korea? Nuts. Name one. Wayne made a few good films but he made his patriotism a PR thing and I detest people who do that.

      Delete
  13. Furthermore, all those Americans who have lost their homes and their livelihoods in this damned recession are fighting tooth and nail on the HOME FRONT to put food on their tables and clothes on the backs of their children. There are your patriots right there, good sir!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bart...."That's all the average American can do." NOT TRUE! ALL AMERICANS can stand up and fight tyranny in that reside WITHIN this country. You do not have to be a soldier to do your part. What William is saying that Americans do not even realize that they are part of the system and are being used by this corrupt system.

    Think about it....the bankers have sent our jobs to asia. John doe goes to walmart to buy an ribbon supporting the troops. THESE SAME TROOPS serve the INTERNATIONAL BANKERS WHO BOUGHT OUT THE CONGRESS WHO IN TURN ALLOW THE COMPANIES TO MAKE BILLIONS OF UNTAXED DOLLARS OVERSEES. So John doe has given the corrupt corporation his hard earned wages to show support for the soldiers who enforce the above mentioned process of killing America.

    MAKE SENSE? I agree with him 100%. It's not about vietnam or WW2....those wars were for all started and fought for the BANKERS as well. Learn the REAL history of this corrupt system. You did not fight for my freedom either. You fought for the BANKERS. Sad but true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WW2 was fought for the bankers? Your rage has imbalanced you...since you hold your freedom in such low esteem ("you didn't fight for MY freedom"), why don't you take your carcass down Mexico way: they didn't fight for YOUR freedom either!!

      Delete
    2. @alphavirus Your ignorance of history is clear. My rage is clear and direct. The International bankers who run the show in this here country of ours have manipulated history for decades. The statement should have read, "You didn't fight for AMERICAS freedom." You are correct...my freedom is a phantom freedom. It doesn't exist. Sadly yours doesn't either. The following support this: Patriot Act, NDAA, CERPA, etc etc etc. The last "freedom" to fall will be the 2nd amendment. Our enemy lies in our Government, not ONLY some foreign land.

      Delete
    3. Ben - you are one angry dude! Than again, I've never met a liberal that wasn't angry, or for that matter a victim. Its amazing, people living under a communist regime like China can become millionaires, and billionaires. Yet, Americans born in America - the land of opportunity, find the time to walk around bitchin and moaning, "I'm a victim of this, and that, whaaa, whaaa, whaaaa. Move your sorry ass to a place like Somalia and get a real perspective on life douche bag!

      Delete
  15. 630 servicemen died in Afghanistan during the Bush administration. The last figure I saw under BHO was 1023, but that was last year. What is the current number? Why doesn't Cindy Sheehan protest that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy Sheehan is protesting this carnage and if you would pull your head out of Rush Limbaugh's butt and pay attention - you would know that.

      Delete
  16. It's amazing how great war is when a Democrat holds the Presidency... there aren't any casualties, no body count, no injured.

    If a Republican were to hold the Presidency, war and a casualty count, not to mention cost, would be daily front page news.

    Gotta love that "objective" news media. The war ended when Obama became President.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The majority of the politicians care about the members of our military only when they can be used as a prop for their own needs. It amazes me how so many of them can look for reasons to bad mouth our military, but for political purposes, always say "our brave men and women". Hypocrits unworthy of the freedom brought by the U. S. Armed Forces. How dare the president make what is nothing more than a campaign visit to Afghanistan today. Shameless!

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Vietnam Conflict (WAR?) ended 37 years ago with a total of over 50,000 American casualties, not counting the ones with PTSD and other afflictions. Looking back, what did THEY give their lives for? You tell me because I can't think of anything.
    The (WAR?) conflict in Afghanistan is about an oil pipeline, not the support of narcotics. Although that is a whole other topic.
    This current conflict and Vietnam are both preemptive assaults by military and corporate bonds. Halliburton was the first in Iraq with no contract. Does that tell you anything?
    The writing is on the wall written in blood. All you have to do is read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've asked my father, a 17 year old drafted Marine during the Vietnam War, the very same question. What is it that you were fighting for, dad? Any honest soldier knows the answer to that questions and the truth, that they fought and died for nothing, NOTHING, the same thing our men fight for today.

      Ever been to a VA hospital with your dad, being treated for exposure to malaria and agent orange? Try telling a sick ex-marine your delusional war hero stories about how you "protected" America. He knows better, and he did me the honor of teaching me better.

      Delete
    2. When I was drafted into the Vietnam conflict (#34), I too asked my father about his feelings towards his service in WW2 and my situation. He told me the ARMY didn't do anything for him. And that is putting it politely for this comment page. This was a guy who went from North Africa, up through Italy and ended up at the liberation of Dachau.
      At the time I knew four boys from my high school who volunteered after graduation who were KIA in Vietnam.
      WW2 was a different animal compared to the later "wars" we are familiar with.
      There are three films (docs) I would like to suggest here for people to view.
      "Inside Job" won an Oscar for best doc of 2010. You must see this!
      "Fog of War", another must view documentary. Especially about Vietnam.
      And if you really want to lean to the left, Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young "Deja Vu". It's not a concert video. Neil Young was behind this one.
      I agree with your Dad, Prophet Six. I'm a generation ahead of you, but my Dad felt the same way too.

      Delete
    3. To start with, 'prophet', the draft age for Vietnam was 21 to 29. Your Dad wasn't drafted at age 17. I resent your statement that any 'honest' soldier knows they fought and died for nothing but I am not allowed to express my feeling about you and I suspect your entire anti-American tale is pure balogny. Just what did your Dad expect from the Army, Arthur? He got the GI Bill, free university degree, home and land loans at low interest, health care, etc.

      Delete
    4. He didn't expect anything, Willard.
      And there was nothing "free" about Veterans benefits either.
      In return, he was a chain smoking, hard drinking manic depressive when he got back.
      My mother said he was not the same person after he returned.
      The prices we pay for freedom are not benefits.

      Delete
    5. I would like to recommend a book that everyone should read.
      "About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior."
      By Colonel David H. Hackworth

      You can find it on Amazon used for 14 cents.

      Delete
    6. The troops that fought in Vietnam were fighting a hot "Cold War". NV was just the proxy for the Russians and Chinese. As a result the Cold War was won. The longest, costliest, and most casualties of all wars put together. Whether Vietnam was the way to fight the Cold War I'll leave to the historians but we did win and won big. We got freedom from a nuclear cloud hanging over us and countless numbers of people got freedom from the USSR. Even the people of China benefited from our winning the Cold War.

      BTW I've been sitting in a wheelchair for 43 years and no way do I feel my Army time during Vietnam was for "nothing". I do however resent anyone who thinks it was for nothing.

      Delete
  19. I am humbled by our servicemen's sacrifices, and ever so greatful. They ARE remembered by us, and are the only real definition of "hero" to me, and mine. God bless them all.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My grandfathers fought in WWII, my father and uncles in Vietnam, my brothers in the Persian Gulf... the only people who forget, abuse, write-off, ignore the military is the federal government.

    What did the men in my family tell me as I grew from a boy to a man? Simple, never join the military, you will be hated by the very people who want you to kill and die for their own greedy causes, you are less than nothing in the eyes of those who run this country.

    Bring them home, bring them all home.

    ReplyDelete
  21. As a Vietnam vet,let me say this:
    Other han career folks, Most if not all service members when there was a draft, went because they had to. At $78 bucks a month what ther reason could there be? Today I suspect most go because it is job at decent pay, with predictable pay, benefits, and excitment.
    You will notice that there are few if any members over 40 losing their lives or their limbs suprisingly enough most opposition suicide bombers are pretty young as well.
    It will happen to the other guy . At 20 something, I remember being good looking, invisisble and invulnerable. At 40 something I knew better, and so do most.
    Connect the dots folks ,and take the emotional irrelevant crap out of the equation..I dare you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $78 a month? What were you, something below a private? As a Corporal in the Corps I drew $108 a month inc combat pay and that was in '50 - '53. Sure a lot of whiners commenting here and something fishy about their tales of woe.
      My Grandson just completed 1 year in Afghanistan and he's proud of his service as was my Dad and I.

      Delete
  22. What was it all for? This is what I am reading in these comments. I can barely contain myself. I am a wife to a Marine who served as the "Tip of the Spear" in 2003. And I know the worry, the sickness of fear, and the pure horror of seeing a grieving widow (who didn't know I was in the room as she tried to quietly cry to herself)over the loss of her man - knowing that could have been me in her shoes. You anti-war sympathizers disgust me! Those men who died - over the last 200+ years of our great countries history ALL had purpose. Every last ounce of precious blood that was shed for this country, whether under auspicious or dubious reasons, ALL had purpose. That blood bought a reputation throughout this world that no other nation has ever known. All countries know you don't mess with America - because we will kick your butts! When called, for whatever reason, our military will respond and will fight to the death if necessary solely because our military believes in our countries FREEDOM. Yes, our freedoms are less today than they have been, but we are still the greatest country on Earth - in all of history, there has never been a country or empire as mighty as America. And the blood of our military is what seals that. Period. War sucks, but so does having to wipe your nose - but sometimes it just has to be done. The pure strength of our military is what keeps us free - and I prefer the fight to be over there in the Middle East than over here. Our enemies would love to bring the fight here - but due to our presence over there, we have them on the defense. Keeping the fight on their turf keeps my children safe here. Today's war was declared by them - not by us. And it goes on because our enemy isn't willing to cry "uncle" yet. And just one more thing - Elliot complained that he didn't get to choose where his tax dollars went and so therefore his freedoms were trampled on. For him and those like him who probably voted Obama, that anti-war socialist was totally against all aggression in the Middle East. And what did Obama do when he got to office, he EXPANDED the wars. So armchair quarter backing is fun, but apparently reality is a pain in the butt because the biggest anti-war guy had to shut his mouth and break his promises to the his anti-war buddies. To those anti-war do-gooders out there, your own kind uped the anti in our wars - so apparently something must be worth keeping our guys over there or don't you think Obama would've brought our guys home by now? Bunch of Obama, Utopian dreaming fools - stop the conspiracies and dreaming and take a look at reality. People want to kill us for crazy, religious reasons. And I thank GOD for our military and our country that our men are willing to stand up and say NO YOU WONT! God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bravo, Mam. I've always said that mothers and wives are the unsung heros of all wars. I didn't learn until I got home that my Mother spent many hours crying because of her constant worry about me. I can only say thanks for your excellent words.

      Delete
    2. "You anti-war sympathizers disgust me!"

      Why does opposition to war disgust you? Have you seen what happens in war? Does it not disgust you to see how American veterans suffer losses and are often abandoned by their government when they return? Does it not disgust you to see the heavy toll on civilians in war zones? Does it not break your heart to know that many of those innocent victims are a direct result of US leaders' choices, who presume to act in your and my name?

      For the record, I'm not a "sympathizer" for any group. I'm simply opposed to waging war without a very, very good reason. My opposition is for the sake of the young Americans sent into harm's way by leaders who often do so for political reasons, leaders who lack the honor of the warrior who knows what it is to fight and lose comrades.

      My father, who was a 26-year veteran, told me at a young age that war was not glorious or noble, but was like walking through a ditch full of filth. He was patriotic, instilled with the determination which arose from serving during the bulk of the Cold War. But he warned me that I should never allow myself to be made into cannon fodder and gave the example of troops who were left behind during the Korean War, who suffered horrible torture.

      "Those men who died - over the last 200+ years of our great countries history ALL had purpose."

      I wish that were so, but I'm afraid it isn't. Despite tens of thousand of American deaths, communists took over South Vietnam. Had Americans just stayed out of it, tens of thousands of them would have had lives to live out here, and hundreds of thousands would have been spared the horrors. We can only imagine what the civilians in South Vietnam would have suffered if the communists had invaded without the US being involved. But with up to two million dead in the conflict, the communists would have had to have been horribly ruthless to match that level of carnage.

      Delete
    3. "That blood bought a reputation throughout this world that no other nation has ever known. All countries know you don't mess with America - because we will kick your butts!"

      Except Vietnam. Even in Iraq and Afghanistan, dirt-scratching savages learned that with primitive means they can still do damage to the biggest super power, still engage in an asymmetric war of attrition, which even if they fail to get what they want, exacts a heavy cost to Americans as well as the locals.

      "The pure strength of our military is what keeps us free..."

      If that were the case, then the citizens of the USSR would have been free at the height of their military power.

      "Keeping the fight on their turf keeps my children safe here."

      Your children would most likely be just as safe without the invasion of Iraq and without the nation building in Afghanistan. And, they wouldn't be saddled with as much debt before they even get their first paycheck.

      "Elliot complained that he didn't get to choose where his tax dollars went and so therefore his freedoms were trampled on."

      Not exactly, but if you want to phrase it that way, fine. If you want to tell me that you are protecting my freedom, then you'd better have a reason other than you forced me to give money to pay for an invasion I didn't support because not paying that money would land me in prison.

      Like I said, I could have been PERSUADED to VOLUNTARILY contribute to attacking al Qaeda in 2001. Had it been handled that way, those who fought could honestly say, with my blessing, that they fought for me.

      "For him and those like him who probably voted Obama, that anti-war socialist was totally against all aggression in the Middle East."

      You have no clue, whatsoever. My political views are pretty much the opposite of Obama. I opposed his going to war against Libya and expanding the war in Afghanistan (which was the proximate reason my nephew was sent there).

      I despise Obama AND Bush, and all the other politicians and bureaucrats who lack the honor of the man on the ground who has to see his friends killed because stupid politicians can't let those backwards people sort out their own affairs.

      I've echoed the same criticism of Obama, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize, for being no different than Bush, and all the rotten peaceniks who marched in the streets in opposition to Bush's wars but who said nothing when it was Obama at the helm.

      My opposition isn't to damage any political side or promote another. It's to retain the ethical integrity of Americans and to ensure that those warriors who serve with honor are only used when absolutely necessary, their lives being more precious than the barbaric puppet leaders.

      Delete
    4. 'troops who were left behind during the Korean War, who suffered horrible torture' An outright lie. 'Does it not disgust you to see how American veterans suffer losses and are often abandoned by their government when they return?' More lies. You wasted a lot of words to say nothing.

      Delete
    5. Willard: "'troops who were left behind during the Korean War, who suffered horrible torture' An outright lie."

      Osan Air Base, which was overrun at the outset of the war. Americans, South Koreans, and civilians were hung on meat hooks in a hangar.

      My dad was at Kimpo in the early 60s, about 50 miles away, and related this to me.

      "'Does it not disgust you to see how American veterans suffer losses and are often abandoned by their government when they return?' More lies."

      Read the news. Countless Afghanistan and Iraq veterans suffer with PTSD without adequate support.

      At least during the Vietnam war, they'd pull units out of the field every few months for R&R. With the military stretched so thin, there are troops stuck in country, with no relief, for full tours.

      Delete
    6. All that I can suggest to you, Elliot, is that you read the history of the Battle of Bunker Hill to your father. It was at this point that we drove the commies back to the 38th. In other words, we won. Nobody was left behind. You seem to confuse casualties with abandonment and I can't help you there.

      Delete
  23. The mass media have mutated into amoral shameless hypocrites covering for the worst President since Carter. It's really despicable. If Bush were in office BLOODIEST MONTH would be the headline around the nation.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My question is are we going to stand by and lets this happen to our soldiers and America. Back up your rhetoric with a determination to vote the Obama Regime and his minions out of office on November 6th 2012. Tell your friends and family we need their vote to save America!

    ReplyDelete
  25. There is alot of negatives to War, However those that oppose should consider this, Thousands of men who have been raised to Hate Americans and to give it all including their lives to Kill and maim any American they could find including our Women and Children, have died at the hands of our Soldiers on thier own soil and not ours. The Iraq and Afgan wars have drawn these terrorists out of there dark dens like bears to honey. Many are not Afgan and or Iraq citizens but they want to prove themselves against us. What better way than against us in someones elses backyard instead of ours. YES these brave men are fighting a tough and non likable war but all wars are that. At least our women and children and those of you with opinions and sit in front of your computers and prophecy about the greatness of OBAMA are safe on your streets here in the Great USA.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And now we hear that the cold, calculating sociopath has landed in Afghanistan to formally spike the football in the end zone. Has he no shame? Not content with merely claiming victory only for himself he also attacks anyone who dares to disagree with him by stating only he was capable of making the tough call. You must always remember his plan is, and all he cares about, is any means justifies the end and that is the absolute transformation of America into his idea of fairness and redistribution of wealth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it would have been much better if he danced around on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit braying "mission accomplished."

      Delete
    2. How dishonest of you - I recall no dancing and the mission for that carrier was accomplished. You are below contempt! But even if that was a poorly chosen event how do you just this idiots behavior? You can't but you are too self absorbed to admit that much like this dirt bag it's all about your ego at whatever expense to others - as long as you dont; have to admit you were and are wrong.

      Delete
  27. Tom - should the link contained in the article actually be icasualties.org?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. While the actual link was directing readers to the right place, there was a typo in the hyperlink spelling.

      Delete
  28. Tom -

    Great column and a great blog. Unfortunately with FNC working overtime to become a card-carrying member of the mainstream media, the news from Afghanistan becomes more and more like PR.

    I picked up part of your column with a link back to this blog. Hopefully, it will help give you "legs."

    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for presenting a strong arguement for immediate withdrawl from Afghanistan. Our soldiers continue to die and suffer crippling injuries for no significant reason. Our mission was accomplished years ago. It's time to bring the troops home.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Forgot - Here's the link:

    http://bejohngalt.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ben seems to be the only one speaking the truth on here, its coming to a point where the AMERICAN divide will be the ones who know the truth.... and then everyone else{ the propaganda kool aid drinkers} , its unfortunate our own soldiers dont even know what they are dying for,,, all this FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOMS is propaganda,,,i support our troops but i dont support Wars For Banksters and A foreign nation{israel}we have to wake up and become critical thinkers, Our" Elected Officials" have no problem sending us to die or plundering the american tax payer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. or perhaps you truly are the lunatic fringe and that's why you are so outnumbered - thought of that? When all else fails try logic

      Delete
    2. 'i dont support Wars For Banksters and A foreign nation{israel}'
      I think that says it all. You don't fight and you should therefore shut up.

      Delete
  32. To publicize their deaths puts the media at odds with the President which they must not do. Just a mere month ago Obama in response to critics that the losses are increasing thoughtfully pointed out that they were wrong and that the rate of loss was actuually decreasing. I guess they should have asked him the relative basis for his claim, the worst days in Iraq?

    ReplyDelete
  33. For the most part the left-wing national media has kept the elevated casualty count quite because it would hurt their secular God, Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I hope you are aware that the link to this page has just shown up on the front page of Drudge.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The media couldn't wait with the death totals when it was Bush in office, and I seem to recall the count to 1000 dead, or 2000 dead as if it were a milestone.

    But the lame stream lap dog media knows that giving the death count harms the man in the Oval Office and that is why there is no reporting.

    I bet if Leno did a jaywalking segment, most of the people wouldn't even know that we were fighting in that country

    ReplyDelete
  36. My husband is currently deployed so I am hyperaware right now of these deaths. But even when he is not deployed there is not a day that goes by that I don't pray for them and their families. I cannot imagine losing my husband. He is my very best friend and our kids superhero.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mandy, thank you for the sacrifices that you, your husband, and your entire family are making for our country. I will be praying for the safe return of his entire unit and hope everyone leaving comments on this page, regardless of their political beliefs, will do the same.

      Delete
    2. My son is deployed now and I recognize one of those names because of that. These young men are doing a job whether they agree with it or not. That in my book deserves respect.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for this comment. I deeply appreciate your son's service to our country.

      Delete
  37. Your president is an a-hole and your media is corrupt. Good luck with that.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yup..if Bush were President, these names would be scrolling across the bottom of the news every day.. but not during OBAMA'S election year...

    ReplyDelete
  39. The comments here are scary. Many of you make a semantic error that reveals a deep underlying and very important misconception.

    American forces in Afghanistan are NOT fighting for the freedom of Americans. There is no conceivable possibility that any group of people in Afghanistan or Pakistan or even Iran could in any way threaten the Freedom of Americans. They could conceivably kill a few Americans, but that is not an attack on our freedom, it is a relatively small attack on our Security. Security is not Freedom. As a matter of fact, real freedom only flourishes in an environment where risks exist. Real freedom and tight security cannot co-exist.

    At the same time that American soldiers fight to put down the Afghan rebellion against the American occupation (that will not stop until Americans leave Afghanistan), the US government is making mincemeat of the Bill of Rights. This is to be expected if the government is striving for perfect security. It is anathema if the goal is the protection of our freedom.

    The truth is that the only group of people that can rescind Americans' freedom is the government of the United States of America

    ReplyDelete
  40. What happened during WW2 was horrible I think what we are all trying to do is stop it from happening again don't you agree?

    ReplyDelete