The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

ONE FOR TEN |

November 01, 2011

Name: Garrett Phillip Anderson
Returned from: Iraq and Afghanistan
Hometown: Portland, OR
Email: [email protected]
Milblog: Iraq/Afghanistan and More

Out of Iraq by the New Year. The sand will blow over the carcasses of our blown-out vehicles like it does for the old Russian tanks in Afghanistan. I will live a life and so will all who survived the country, and somewhere out there will be the metal and fabric skeletons that we used for our war. Framed Anderson ONE FOR TEN

For the Veterans of this war, we will have to begin to make a shift in care as these wars come to an end. We will journey the transition from current news to a distant memory, most likely similar to that of our Korean War. There was a war in Korea. I know! It ran from 1950 to 1953, and if you compare the numbers it blew US Vietnam killed in action statistics out of the water. The Korean War had been overshadowed by the hype of the end of the Second World War, and afterwards was minimized because no clear victory was achieved. Loss of life for the war on terror is infinitesimal compared to other American wars.

My hypothesis is that our connection to society as Veterans will be disconnected as soon as the war plug is pulled. Average Americans were not concerned about this war because it did not affect them. With no draft and no personal obligation to service, for most Americans these wars were a television show that ran long in seasons, with the same story since season four. This of course has happened before, to our brother and sister Veterans from Vietnam. Our problem is going to be in representation. Because it takes so few troops to conduct a war, we are a true minority and will always have few numbers to voice our needs and concerns. A society will not suddenly care for a cause it had no previous interest in.

I hope that all of the Veterans of this war come together and organize to make sure that we continue to advance the level of care that we receive, because we earned it.

I hope our Vietnam Veterans who have been through this before guide us, and that America suddenly sees for the first time since WWII that Veterans are their friends and should be respected for risking their lives bravely for policies that they had no control over. I hope that when I fart it smells like fresh-cut flowers. If we took one month out of what we spent for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we could provide ample Veteran assistance for years to come. Imagine if we took one year of that budget as a debt of gratitude from a nation to its Veterans, as payment for a decade of service. As if we just pretended that the war was still going on for one more year: after all, Veterans who come home have to fight another war. I call this the One For Ten for Service plan.

Comments

I hope you're wrong on some of your assumptions, but suspect that you may be more right than anything else.

I occasionally get that deja vu feeling all over again. Last one happened when I heard a Vietnam veterans organization had voted to exclude from membership veterans of more-recent vintage. I'd hoped we'd learned more from the post-Vietnam experience.

Veterans need to tell their stories. Let people know what we did on their behalf. Let them know what it's like in other parts of the world. Let them know specific ways they can help, beyond airport greetings of "thank you for your service."

Keep up the good fight!

Veterans are really heroes during their time. They should be given proper recognition.


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Protect yourself from immediate death.
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Really sorrowful, hateful disasters, it create difference between nations.


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I can remember returning VN vets being denied membership in the largest and "most patriotic" vet organization in our country. How soon some of our people forget.

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