Sunday, May 25, 2008


This afternoon as I arrived in New Orleans I walked past about 8 soldiers waiting to board. I looked them in the eyes and said, "Thanks to you all for serving." There was a variety of responses, including: "You're welcome" and "No problem."

I try to say this to every man and woman in uniform. And I mean it. But there was a problem. After I walked past them I wondered how many would make it out of the service alive. And I wondered what horrors they have already faced and may face in the future. And I tried not to completely lose it right there in the terminal.

Juan Cole has a sobering post up for Memorial Day. I commend it to you all.

A tidbit:
Investigative reporters at CBS News found that in 2005, 6,250 veterans took their lives, nearly 18 a day.
19 percent of post-Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with possible traumatic brain injury, according to a Rand Corp. Study in April.

The toll of the Iraq War is clearly far higher than the number approaching 5,000 that I post here almost daily.

His conclusion:

I think all of us Americans fall down crying this time every year. We want it to be over with.

--the BB

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

"Thanks to you all for serving."

I do that too, Paul. It's something.

The suicide rate is horrifying. That we're driving those who serve the country to take their lives! What does a just God make of this?