Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No parade for troops returning from Iraq

A thankless task:

Americans probably won’t be seeing a huge ticker-tape parade anytime soon for troops returning from Iraq, and it’s not clear if veterans of the nine-year campaign will ever enjoy the grand, flag-waving, red-white-and-blue homecoming that the nation’s fighting men and women received after World War II and the Gulf War.

Officials in New York and Washington say they would be happy to help stage a big celebration, but Pentagon officials say they haven’t been asked to plan one.

Most welcome-homes have been smaller-scale: hugs from families at military posts across the country, a somber commemoration by President Obama at Fort Bragg, N.C.

With tens of thousands of U.S. troops still fighting a bloody war in Afghanistan, anything that looks like a big victory celebration could be seen as unseemly and premature, some say.

“It’s going to be a bit awkward to be celebrating too much, given how much there is going on and how much there will be going on in Afghanistan,” said Don Mrozek, a military history professor at Kansas State University.

Uh, yeah it would be awkward, because it would remind us that these troops in Afghanistan are fighting and sacrificing in harm's way for the outcome of a foreign, tribal, civil war that is no longer related to America's national defense.

It would be awkward because those troops should get to come home too. Maybe instead of not throwing a parade for returning Iraq War veterans, we can bring the troops home from Afghanistan and throw a parade for all of them?

I am so damned sick of this country using its soldiers as political props, glibly mouthing the words "Support Our Troops," and yet continuing to abuse, ignore, and NOT support our troops.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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