Our loss | Eastern North Carolina Now

   Publisher's Note: This article first appeared in the Beaufort Observer.

    Yesterday the famed 101st Airborne returned home to Fort Campbell Ky to a well deserved homecoming with their families after a year of combat in Afghanistan. Unfortunately 132 of their members did not come home to cheers and applause. Instead those courageous warriors bodies were returned home to grief and tears, their souls now standing guard at the gates of Heaven.
SM Sgt (ret) George Schryer as the master of ceremony at the dedication of the Wall that Heals Ceremony, held April 22, 2010 in Washington, NC.     photo by Stan Deatherage

    Have you ever thought about the real extent of that loss? Not only has the extended family, mother, father, sisters, brothers, grandparents, wife, husband, and children lost a precious piece of their life but the country too has found itself missing an important piece.

    Those individuals could have become doctors, lawyers, men of the cloth, inventors, scientists, or founders of the the next big corporation. This is what is lost every time one of our military comes home in an aluminum box. This is the real lost treasure of warfare.

    Is this national loss worth whatever we are or have supposedly gained in some 3rd world country? For me the answer is an emphatic no. The generals will say yes because that is what they do, the politicians will say yes because it is a means to their ends but to a combat veteran they want to know that it is not in vain, that they are offering up their life for something more important than propping up some corrupt dictator.

    Just like our national debt we are spending with no thought to the damage to our future so are we spending the youth of our country with no thought of their future.
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