Thursday, September 10, 2009

The War Within the So-Called War

"There were 110 reported active duty Army suicides from January 2009 through August 2009. Of those, 71 have been confirmed, and 39 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 89 suicides among active duty soldiers."

The information above is from the Department of Defense website that you can access on your own.

Sadly, amongst those suicides, are officers and chaplains. As a matter of fact, the Chaplain group is suffering one of the highest rates of suicide.

Why?

Let me offer my observation. There is no official observation.

My observation is based on knowing Chaplains and officers who have been in the midst of the Iraq and Afghanistan "situations".

I don't call them wars.

We are not at war with Afghanistan.

We have not been at war with Iraq since we captured Saddam Hussein in December, 2003.

Imagine you are a soldier.

Imagine you are a leader of soldiers.

You are trained to eliminate America's enemies.

What the hell are you doing in Iraq? A country in which we still have over 130,000 military personnel on the ground. But, you are constained to your base.

What he hell are you doing in Afghanistan? Trying to make friends with a tribal leader that will tell you what suits him in his battle to keep his power based on familial loyalties?

Our military folks have seen things in the past 8 years that no human should have to see.

But, since we are in territory where human life has no value, they have seen it all.

No Hollywood horror movie can come close to what thousands of our young men and women have seen and dealt with.

And who has to manage this?

The officers and the Chaplains.

They get to call the families in America about what has happened.

They get to counsel the buddies in the regiment.

They get to go back to their tent or trailer at night and try to make sense of what they have seen.

They are away from their families. They are challenged to trust their Commander in Chief and their God.

Our military has been so misused in Iraq and Afghanistan that it makes me sick.

Our military is designed to eliminate our enemies.

Our military is not designed to be a police force.

Our military is not designed to be UNICEF.

But somehow, that is now what they are required to do.

And, worse, that is how their effectiveness is judged.

America's miltary, as harsh as it sounds, is there to kill the enemy.

Our elected leaders do not understand the world conflicts that they have put our military into. Our elected leaders have no "big plan" as to how to end it.

Pray for our military.

Pray especially for our officers and our Chaplains.

It is very hard to understand the death of a young soldier when you don't understand what the mission is.

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