Editorial: Military personnel still deserve our attention both at home and abroad

By Laura Hancq
April 12, 2011

It seems like a really long time ago that the United States invaded Iraq. It was 2003 and most of the new editorial staff for the Loquitur was in sixth grade. We are now hitting our 20s and approaching our junior years of college.

As of Sept. 30, 2010, the United States had 96,200 active-duty military personnel in and around Iraq and 105, 900 in and around Afghanistan.

With these numbers, one would think we would be constantly recognizing our troops. However, it seems that many of us forget our troops subconsciously during our day-to-day lives and spend our time thinking about more immediate issues.

While none of us will forget where we were when we heard of the attacks on Sept. 11, many of us seemed to have put the war on the backburners of our minds. Yes, we can still see the coverage in the media, but because this war has now been going on for eight years, it no longer affects the average person’s day-to-day life.

However, in light of the Feature article this week about one man’s journey and struggles regarding leaving his family to go serve, we are reminded that this war is still very real. For all of those who have served, are currently serving and for all of the loved ones of these brave men and women, this war is very much alive and the least we can do for them is recognize.

The controversy surrounding war and whether or not someone supports the combat is irrelevant to the respect that our country’s men and women have earned. In many cases, we have captivating advertisements and films that depict American people as proud of the military efforts in keeping our country safe.

On the other hand, we have those who protest war efforts at funerals. However, those who serve the United States are not responsible for the war and deserve to be honored and remembered with the utmost respect.

The United States as a whole speaks very highly about service members but is it just talk? Is the government taking care of disabled veterans? There are currently 500,000 veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, injured limbs and brain trauma who have outstanding claims for benefits, with nearly 40 percent waiting for over four months.

Despite personal beliefs about whether the U.S. should be in Iraq or at war at all, the Loquitur believes that honoring the military is part of our duties as American citizens. As the article in the Features section reminds us, those who make the commitment to serve are making a tremendous sacrifice on our behalf.

How many of us would be willing to leave our hometowns, families and friends and put our own lives on the line for the sake of protecting others? The Loquitur believes that these individuals truly deserve more recognition from average citizens like us. As the saying goes, “if you don’t support our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.”

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Laura Hancq

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