Wednesday, January 23, 2008

War lies leave local Iraq veterans empty

Sometimes I have to write as a military veteran instead of a journalist. This is one of those times.

A report posted yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity leaves me and thousands of other troops and their families just spitting bullets. The news story itself is being picked up today by news organizations across the country.

It's one thing to have critics make claims and ask you, "how does it feel to have been sent to a war zone when it was all a lie?" It's another, to have it displayed in black and white.

How are we as service members supposed to feel when we've volunteered to serve and sacrifice under the belief that our leaders will deploy us responsibly ... only to later find out that we were put in harm's way based on fabrications? Not just bad data, but manipulated info?

I could rant and rave for hours on this topic ... but that wouldn't get me anywhere. And believe me .. I know I was one of the lucky ones who endured my tour of duty and survived, so I recognize how blessed I am.

But to be honest, there are days when the facts and the truth about the war in Iraq slap me and other veterans silly that our lives were needlessly put in danger .. that our families were needlessly made to suffer .. and that the battle scars we now carry were given to us by choice and not necessity.

It is on days like these ... that while I'm thankful for all the yellow ribbons, the American flags, and the "welcome homes", I still can't help how hollow I feel on the inside.

Thanks for listening .. Eric

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your patriotism and your commitment to our country, to freedom and to opportunities and safety for all citizens can not be diminished one bit by the poor decisions that have been made by those in charge. The sacrifices made by all active service personnel and veterans are a vital part of the foundation of our country and the freedom we enjoy every day. Don't let any of the revelations about bad data and bad leadership take that away from you. While we all need to do what we can to support better decisions and better leaders so that this can be avoided as much as possible in the future, the individual efforts of all of our vets is still greatly deserving of our deepest appreciation and respect.