Today we have another guest post from Larry Hodgden. Larry is a retired Viet Nam era veteran of the USAF. He and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, have three children and seven grandchildren who keep him very busy. Family, education, church and politics have been a lifelong passion. The welfare of our military men and women strikes close to home for him.
Remember “weapons of mass destruction” and the “direct link to Al Qaeda”? Turns out we were taken to war under false pretences by President Bush who avoided combat in Viet Nam by joining the National Guard, yet had the gall to fight his war with the National Guard. If he had the courage or intelligence of his father, he would have asked for the draft and raised taxes to pay for his fiasco. He didn’t, of course because he knew Americans wouldn’t stand for it.
After 10 years of combat engagement, our Nation and our military are drained emotionally, physically and financially. Our troops have been torn away from their families and jobs for multiple deployments in the combat zones at an enormous cost to their lives. All this came after achieving our initial objectives of defeating the Taliban and overthrowing Saddam Hussein.
So what happened? The neo-conservatives and their friends in the “Military Industrial Complex” (which President Eisenhower warned us about) were calling the shots in the Bush White House. Every time the military would reach an objective, the mission would change and if you think the impact on our military was an important consideration, you haven’t been paying attention. Dick Cheney and his “Defense Leeches” at Halliburton were of prime concern. The longer we could keep our military involved, the more billions Cheney’s buddies could rake in.
So now reality sets in and the bills are coming due as we face enormous burdens of caring for our mentally and physically wounded warriors. Nearly 80% of our returning veterans are coming home with physical and mental problems. Many so severely injured they will require a lifetime of care if we can provide it for them. As of now we are failing in our responsibility to care for them, especially with regard to mental issues which have resulted in an average of 15 suicides per day by veterans, not to mention the homelessness and high unemployment rate of veterans. The cost of this will run into the trillions of dollars in their lifetimes but that cost does not matter. We owe them whatever it takes for answering the “Call to Duty.”
Our country has paid a terrible price for Bush’s great adventure not only in terms of lives lost, lives destroyed and huge deficits and debts, both past and future. President Eisenhower (Ike) was right, we need to beware of the “Military Industrial Complex” and we can do that by electing a President who is not in the hip pocket of billionaire industrialists nor a puppet for the neo-conservatives who never met a war they didn’t like.
That leaves you one logical choice come November and that is Barack Obama because when it comes to war, we need a President who will “Think Twice, Then Think Again” before sending young Americans off to die.