Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paying the Price

Bob Herbert looks at the aftermath of war on the men, women, and families who are touched by it here.

The air is filled with obsessive self-satisfied rhetoric about supporting the troops, giving them everything they need and not letting them down. But that rhetoric is as hollow as a jazzman’s drum because the overwhelming majority of Americans have no desire at all to share in the sacrifices that the service members and their families are making. Most Americans do no want to serve in the wars, do not want to give up their precious time to do volunteer work that would aid the nation’s warriors and their families, do not even want to fork over the taxes that are needed to pay for the wars.

To say that this is a national disgrace is to wallow in the shallowest understatement. The nation will always give lip-service to support for the troops, but for the most part Americans do not really care about the men and women we so blithely ship off to war, and the families they leave behind.

Not only that, it will do its best to forget about them when the war is over and they need the medical care if they have been wounded or even try to get them back on their feet even if they make it through and need to find a job.

We blew it after Vietnam. This time there is no excuse.