4 days ago
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
On Saturday April 30 they closed off the streets around the VFW Hall in my town for a memorial service. A young man from my town, Army Specialist Jameson Lindskog, was killed in Afghanistan on March 29. He was 23, the age of my son. A young man under his command flew in from the Middle East and was hosted by our hotel while he attended the service.
On Sunday May 1 a guest came into the hotel and asked if I had heard the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I spoke out loud my first reaction - it won't change anything. He seemed surprised by my reaction. I have been surprised by the reactions of many Americans considering the fact that they call the people of other countries barbaric and sub-human for celebrating American deaths.
And, really, what have all these deaths gotten anyone? And why are they continuing? And it isn't just death, is it? There are nearly 200,000 disabled vets now. Two Hundred Thousand young people whose lives are forever altered, whose families lives are forever changed no matter how happy they are that their soldier survived. The suicide rate of vets from these wars is occurring at a rate of 18 per day.
So we managed to kill Bin Laden. Hurrah. What does that change? We went to war in two countries and he was sitting around in a
third country to which we have been sending millions of dollars that our vets could really use to try to put their lives back together. Not to mention the people of this country who need jobs and education and health care.
So really, what is it we are celebrating? Are the wars over? Is everyone coming home? Will the military budget be shifted from the industry of war to the needs of those who have served?