Magazine article VFW Magazine

Veterans Day 2006

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Veterans Day 2006

Article excerpt

Remembering those who serve or have served in war is a priority within VFW ranks. That tradition means respect and recognition.

America's armed forces are at war in two theaters-Afghanistan and Iraq. This fall marks the fifth anniversary of the Afghanistan War; operations in Iraq have been under way for well over three years. Already, 1.3 million GIs can call themselves veterans of these conflicts.

So what does the nation owe this newest generation of warriors? What comes to mind immediately are respect and recognition. They are placing their lives on the line for a society largely unable to identify with their sacrifices. With those in uniform constituting the mere fraction of 1% of the population, it is the least the public can do.

This lack of a shared sense of sacrifice is a subject that occasionally comes up in newspaper print, but not often enough. Consequently, it is imperative to note some of the related commentaries.

"This is one of the most challenging and uncomfortable subjects in American society-the lack of shared responsibility, across all social and economic classes, in the nation's defense," Dan Rodricks wrote in the Baltimore Sun. "We support the troops, but most of us have no interest in seeing our own families engaged directly.

"The point is, one part of America is fighting this war and making all the sacrifices while the rest of us go about our business, concerned but hardly strained. ... In fact, those in uniform and their families are being asked to make sacrifices on top of sacrifices. …

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