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Thread: 10+ years at war; Have you felt an impact?

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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Default 10+ years at war; Have you felt an impact?

    I have a co-worker who has 2 sons that joined the army right out of high school. Her oldest joined a couple of years ago and is an MP in Korea. Her youngest is one year out of school and is now Army infantry. He is headed to Afghanistan (arrives there any day now). I told her I admired the bravery of her sons as they surely knew what they were getting into. She shared with me the story of her infantryman son coming into her room the day before his departure a few weeks back. In a moment of pure honesty he said to her, "mom, why did I have to think I was such a bad ass? I wish I hadn't done this." He expressed a lot of fear about what he was headed into, and while she is and should be very proud of him, they are both feeling a lot of regret. Her demeanor since he left has changed demonstrably. She is a nervous wreck. She will be for the next 2 years.

    Seeing her stress and sacrifice got me thinking about how very little my life has been impacted by these wars. I don't think I'm out of the ordinary. Outside of her, I've known very few people personally who've been in combat these past 10 years. I have another co-worker that I do not know well, whose son survived a tour in Afghanistan then committed suicide upon returning home. She doesn't ever talk about it. A couple of the young men in my ward have served over the years and returned home safely. At times it is easy to forget that we are at war at all.

    It makes me uneasy to think we can put the lives of so many men and women on the line, and so few feel any personal cost. It seems like war should hurt us all. War should be something so awful to a nation that it is always seen as our last resort. Maybe I'm off, and most of you have felt these wars personally? I'm curious where people stand.

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    According to THIS website, the total cost of the wars since 2001 exceeds 1.3 trillion dollars. Since all of that money is basically borrowed, one might argue that ALL of us are feeling the impact of the war via the economy and national economic outlook.

    But out of respect for the families of the men and women who have given their lives in these wars, I would also point out that our economic situation is meaningless compared to the impact on them.

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    a day late/a dollar short Sullyute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    It makes me uneasy to think we can put the lives of so many men and women on the line, and so few feel any personal cost. It seems like war should hurt us all. War should be something so awful to a nation that it is always seen as our last resort. Maybe I'm off, and most of you have felt these wars personally? I'm curious where people stand.
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    Interesting... the site will also let you see the running cost of the wars by state financial obligation. Utah owes more than 7 billion dollars to pay for its portion of the cost of the war.

    I haven't delved into the research behind the figure, but it is an interesting idea.

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    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I have a neighbor who has been there and back at least twice. He is currently deployed again - not sure when he is set to come back. He has two little ones at home - both under the age of 4. Luckily his wife's family lives near and is very supportive of her.

    My wife's cousin joined the Marines, was stationed in Hawaii, never left the islands during his entire time of enlistment, and is now out of the military.

    While she likes her cousin and is glad he didn't have to experience war firsthand - on several occasions she has expressed confusion as to why the US sends national guard troops on 2-3 different deployments when full-time soldiers like her cousin never leave their post. Why not send the full-time guys and have the national guard guys activate to fill the role of the full-time guys who are deployed?

    To answer your question - the impact I've felt has been mostly through my neighbor. Every time I hear of a helicopter doing down, I pray that it isn't him. When I see his wife out with the kids, I think of him. So far the impact on me has been minimal. It will increase a great deal if he doesn't come home at some point.

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    The only real imprint I've seen are in the eyes and mental states of the students I've had who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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    I work for the VA and so I see the very real and devastating effects of war each day. As I get older it becomes increasingly disturbing how young our military is. While I was screwing around Helaman Halls (May Hall rules!) these kids are off at war being put into positions they will regret and not be able to forget the rest of their lives. I have nothing but respect and admiration for our Vets and troops but would never encourage anybody I loved to join the military. The odds are too high that you be physically and/or emotionally wounded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    It makes me uneasy to think we can put the lives of so many men and women on the line, and so few feel any personal cost. It seems like war should hurt us all. War should be something so awful to a nation that it is always seen as our last resort. Maybe I'm off, and most of you have felt these wars personally? I'm curious where people stand.
    Rachel maddow makes the same point in her book, "Drift."
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    A widow lives behind me with three kids, her husband was killed in Iraq. It's a house that was built a year ago. I'm not sure how she bought the house, there must have been a death benefit or someone in her or his family has some money. She's not working right now.
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    Motor Boatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    We fight there... so we don't fight here.

    The idea of suicide bombers, IED's, and snipers in the streets doesn't seem plausible to most Americans.

    It is happening in their streets, but it can never happen here, right?

    Forward projection of force. Taking the fight to them. The best defense is a good offense.

    Do you guys really believe that if we just pack up all our gear and go home... all of this goes away?

    We thought like that before Pearl Harbor too.
    Last edited by Devildog; 05-08-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devildog View Post
    We fight there... so we don't fight here.

    The idea of suicide bombers, IED's, and snipers in the streets doesn't seem plausible to most Americans.

    It is happening in their streets, but it can never happen here, right?

    Forward projection of force. Taking the fight to them. The best defense is a good offense.

    Do you guys really believe that if we just pack up all our gear and go home... all of this goes away?

    We thought like that before Pearl Harbor too.
    You're addressing an entirely different point, I think. I'm not speaking to whether or not we should be at war. Only that I personally haven't shared in the true costs.

    I do doubt that we'd still be in Afghanistan if the costs were shared more evenly, i.e. a draft. I think it's easier to stay when the few are doing all the work.

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    Living in the Past ... FMCoug's Avatar
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    There is no question that the what it means to be at war has drastically changed since WWII or even Vietnam. Not sure I think a draft is the right answer but we clearly don't see the impact.

    The closest I have come is my wife has a friend whose husband has been deployed to Iraq 2x. The most recent one was just about a year ago for a year and I became a bit of a surrogate dad for his boys while he was gone (Father/Son Campout, them just hanging around the house a lot, etc.)

    One cool thing, they Skyped every day. Modern technology is pretty awesome.
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    Motor Boatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    You're addressing an entirely different point, I think. I'm not speaking to whether or not we should be at war. Only that I personally haven't shared in the true costs.

    I do doubt that we'd still be in Afghanistan if the costs were shared more evenly, i.e. a draft. I think it's easier to stay when the few are doing all the work.
    Okay. Good point.

    I was holding a radio last night that has a 7.62 bullet hole through it. It was worn on the hip of a friend.

    I walk through my office and see encased colors flown over forward bases from Iraq, to Somalia, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I know many that are sharing in the costs.
    "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
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    "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men."
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    Bump. How about now after 17 years?

    Major Brent Taylor, mayor of North Ogden was killed today. He's the brother of a close friend.

    Major Taylor.jpg

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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    Bump. How about now after 17 years?
    It has been worth it (for the military contractors), even now. Here's to 17 more years!
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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo Diddley View Post
    Bump. How about now after 17 years?

    Major Brent Taylor, mayor of North Ogden was killed today. He's the brother of a close friend.
    That photo is absolutely heartbreaking. Obviously a man that devoted his life to public service. If you see a link to what I assume will be a massive fundraising effort for his family, please post it. Edit: Never mind, here it is.
    Last edited by PaloAltoCougar; 11-03-2018 at 07:09 PM.

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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    All of those kids look like they were born after 2001.
    You're actually pretty funny when you aren't being a complete a-hole....so basically like 5% of the time. --Art Vandelay

    I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. --President Donald J. Trump

    Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace. --President Donald J. Trump

    You furnish the pictures, and Iíll furnish the war. --William Randolph Hearst

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    That photo is absolutely heartbreaking. Obviously a man that devoted his life to public service. If you see a link to what I assume will be a massive fundraising effort for his family, please post it. Edit: Never mind, here it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    All of those kids look like they were born after 2001.
    Yep. Poignant commentary on the world those kids were born into all told in a single picture.

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    A friend of mine was near the incident and reported to me. Many in the military are heartbroken. Afghanistan is truly a shithole of a country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    That photo is absolutely heartbreaking. Obviously a man that devoted his life to public service. If you see a link to what I assume will be a massive fundraising effort for his family, please post it. Edit: Never mind, here it is.
    Already half-way to 250K in less than a day. Good people abound.

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    sounds like the thousand oaks shooter was a veteran with PTSD. tragic. explains the use of smoke and his ability to take out 12 people with a .45. mental illness + skills/training can be an extremely dangerous combination.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymountainrain View Post
    sounds like the thousand oaks shooter was a veteran with PTSD. tragic. explains the use of smoke and his ability to take out 12 people with a .45. mental illness + skills/training can be an extremely dangerous combination.
    Holy crap! Hadn't heard this yet.

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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymountainrain View Post
    sounds like the thousand oaks shooter was a veteran with PTSD. tragic. explains the use of smoke and his ability to take out 12 people with a .45. mental illness + skills/training can be an extremely dangerous combination.
    I hope there is a gofundme set up for the victim's families so that the folks that supported the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan can feel better about their past sins.
    You're actually pretty funny when you aren't being a complete a-hole....so basically like 5% of the time. --Art Vandelay

    I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. --President Donald J. Trump

    Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace. --President Donald J. Trump

    You furnish the pictures, and Iíll furnish the war. --William Randolph Hearst

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    I hope there is a gofundme set up for the victim's families so that the folks that supported the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan can feel better about their past sins.
    can you not?
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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_gregg View Post
    can you not?
    Contribute? No. All my monies tied up in NCO. Which reminds me... we need another "surge" or something to get my investments back on track.
    You're actually pretty funny when you aren't being a complete a-hole....so basically like 5% of the time. --Art Vandelay

    I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. --President Donald J. Trump

    Anyone can make war, but only the most courageous can make peace. --President Donald J. Trump

    You furnish the pictures, and Iíll furnish the war. --William Randolph Hearst

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