Writing at Asia Times, Nan Levinson explores the toll of war and America’s ambivalence to her own victims, the victims that are her own, the soldiers:
Theoretically, whole countries go to war, not just their soldiers, but not this time. Civilian sympathy for “the troops” may be just one more way for us to avoid a real reckoning with our past decade-plus of war, when the hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown up on the average American’s radar only if somebody screws up or noticeable numbers of Americans get killed. The veterans at the heart of this story – victims, heroes, it doesn’t matter – struggle to reconcile what they did in those countries with the “service” we keep thanking them for. We can see them as sick, with all the stigma, neediness, and expense that entails, or we can recognize them as human beings, confronting the morality of what they’ve done in our name and what they’ve seen and come to know – even as they try to move on.
Read the rest and remind yourself: It may be the old lie who lie, but it’s the young who die.