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Support troops despite war debate
Courier editorial
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U. S. troops are tasked with a very difficult and vital job, and it is up to us — the American people — to let them know how much we appreciate their sacrifices and efforts on our behalf.
With the battle over the Iraq War, troop surge and related funding heating up, it would be easy to forget those caught in the middle of the debate — our soldiers.
While recent polls indicate the American public is losing its patience with a war that started off questionably, many surveys show the nation does not necessarily support withholding funding. Why? Primarily because doing so would make our soldiers’ mission more difficult and most likely place them in an even more precarious position — fighting a war without adequate supplies and equipment.
Nobody, with the exception of our enemies, wants to see more American lives lost. But while we try to find a way to limit the number of US casualties and end the war on a “positive” note, let’s also strive to show our support for our soldiers — and veterans — who simply responded to their country’s call to duty.
Many of our soldiers are returning home injured, and being treated in healthcare facilities that were fine before the war, but have since deteriorated because of a growing number of patients.
An article in the Washington Post on Sunday pointed to dilapidated conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital, including rotten floors, mold, stained carpets, odors, insects and rodents.
“The common perception of Walter Reed is of a surgical hospital that shines as the crown jewel of military medicine. But 5 1/2 years of sustained combat have transformed the venerable 113-acre institution into something else entirely -— a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients,” the article read.
How tragic this must be for our soldiers, veterans and their families. It’s a situation that must be rectified. Our soldiers deserve the best, and we need to do whatever it takes to fulfill the promises made by our government and military recruiters.
We can start by telling our troops we believe in them. We should tell them “thank you” for their sacrifices. We should help their families who must endure great hardships while they are away. And we should ensure our soldiers and veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned.
Maybe making their situation better means causing ourselves some financial discomfort, but isn’t it a debt we owe? They are fulfilling their promises. Isn’t it time we fulfill ours?
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