This week’s tragedy at Fort Hood is another horrible reminder of the effects of what we ask of our young people who go off to war.
Old men send our young and shiny knights off to war in foreign lands, in places most Americans can’t find on a map or can’t spell. These wonderful young men and women go willingly. They do what they are asked to do. In many cases they come home broken, with an astounding amount of them returning broken not only in body but mentally as well. You, often, can’t see their wounds. They are committing suicide at an alarming rate, and many return home with post traumatic stress disorders. They come home as dark knights, men and women who have seen and experienced things that no human being should see.
War is an unnatural state. Thank God I have never had to experience war. I’ve been told that it is much like the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” with the landing at D-DAY, epitomizing, the chaos and unworldliness of what it is like.
Too often, since the advent of the Volunteer Army, we citizens are too detached from the reality of what our young men and woman are going through. We are asking too much of them. Many go back for tour after tour. They appear to be fine on the surface, but how many have already seen too much? These young people, who have sacrificed so much for us, are really our neighbors children, they are the children of our kid’s soccer Moms and Dads. They are the children we rocked to sleep at night.
If we are to ask for sacrifice in the future, it should be for a cause worth fighting, suffering and dying for. Let us take care of our injured warriors. It is our responsibility and duty to do so. But let us please, only send them to war when it is the last resort, when it is only absolutely necessary. There are only so many white knights among us, those willing to give the ultimate sacrifice. There are too many cemetaries with too many white crosses, too many flowers that will never bloom. Let us work to prevent future dark knights by having fewer wars, and care for our returning veterans better when they come home.