It’s the 8th Veterans Day since 9/11 and while hundreds of thousands of troops remain deployed in unstable areas of Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, what’s truly discomforting is the number of Veterans of the wars of this decade who are unable to return to normal citizen lives.
At least 4,780 U.S. servicemen and women are listed as casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post’s excellent tribute page.
Some estimates suggest there are more than 755,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Of that group, more than 181,000 are collecting disability benefits today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. — philly.com
And considering the current unemployment rate over 6% and the fact that as many as 50 million Americans are without health insurance, today is a great day to give back — even just a little — if you’re fortunate enough to have both a job and health insurance and most of all, good health.
So today, I’m donating to Iraq Veterans Against War (part of the Veterans for Peace 501(c)(3)) in hopes that I can boost the morale of troops still on the ground — not knowing for sure when they’ll return. And ultimately in hopes that we won’t have to fight wars in the future that have no clear agenda or endgame.
In conjunction with the AdCouncil, IVAW launched http://communityofveterans.org, a forward looking site for veterans. Below is one of the PSAs featured on the site, posted here via Paul Rieckhoff’s post. See also the documentary Body of War at 7 p.m. EST on Sundance.