The price of war
War is expensive, as is defense. Our annual U.S. military budget is $740 billion, a stunning figure that amounts to a full 60% of the federal government’s discretionary spending. The human cost of war is also expensive. Nearly 5,000 troops have been killed in Iraq and more than 2,000 in Afghanistan. More than 50,000 have been wounded. Expensive or not, we must find the funds to pay for the best health care and the best support services possible for these men and women. This is the least we owe them.
In addition, there is something else in our power to change. Most Americans have little understanding of the combat veteran’s pain and suffering. Simply acknowledging this would be a step forward. As individuals, many of us could also volunteer our help or financial support to the wide array of non-profit organizations that assist veterans. (For a list of dozens of organizations that help Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families, and survivors, you can visit: http://coalitionforveterans.org/who-we-are).
There are many ways to honor our veterans. The thing is, we should do it on more than one day a year.
[One Iraq War veteran tells his story. See page 5.]