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What Our Veterans Look Like After A Decade Of War In The Middle East [Bumped]

Bobby Henline was trapped inside a transport when he was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

It’s been 16 years since the invasion of Afghanistan, followed by the invasion of Iraq.

At some point you have to ask,

“Just what has been done,

Just what has been won,

That’s worth the suffering of our sons?”

See more, if you can bear it, at: What Veterans Look Like After A Decade Of War In The Middle East

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Steve June 27, 2017, 9:42 PM

    I can’t bear it. How long do we keep this up?

  • bob sykes June 28, 2017, 3:43 AM

    We’re still fighting in Somalia after 24 years, and SOCOM is deployed to over 30 other African countries. We have been fighting so-called terrorists since the Carter administration, 40 years and six administrations. During that time, terrorists and terror attacks have spread across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia and the Philippines. That sure looks like failure and defeat to me.

  • ghostsniper June 28, 2017, 4:07 AM

    Look at that guy, and imagine if it were you.
    That poor man sacrificed heavily for an ideal that was never there, just a lie.
    For a country where most of the people just don’t give a shit.

    They’ll give him pain pills, tell him from wrote memory, “Thank you for your service to our country.”, with boredom in their eyes, and they’ll give him a couple thousand dollars a month, but the damage has been done and it is deep and permanent and no one will ever understand, or even try, what has been lost. And what has been gained?

    Next time you see a spoiled brat at a college screaming about overt nothingness remember Bobby Henline. Next time you contemplate voting for an arbitrary politician think about the scars and realize they will continue.

  • Bunny June 28, 2017, 7:14 AM

    I wish I could upvote the previous comments. But here’s the rub:
    “Just what has been done,
    Just what has been won,
    That’s worth the suffering of our sons?”
    For most of the deciders, it wasn’t THEIR sons who were sacrificed. I have to confess I supported the wars at the time. When have the politicians ever said no?

  • Terry June 28, 2017, 7:29 AM

    Any American parent who encourages their son or daughter to join the military is in essence guilty of child abuse. The US military defends international bankers and other criminals interests, not American citizens.

  • Bunny June 28, 2017, 7:59 AM

    The question is not whether we should have a military, but how it is deployed.

  • BillH June 28, 2017, 8:05 AM

    I spent 23 years flying the taxpayers’ airplanes for them, ending 45 years ago. Lost several friends along the way and had a couple of close ones myself. Luck of the draw. In all that time with all those people, I can’t recall ever knowing anyone who was crusading for our way of life, or for Old Glory as we used to say. We were in it for the exhilarating lifestyle, pure and simple. I could never explain, even to myself, why I felt compelled to do it. Just something I had to do to feel complete. Sure there were risks, and people got hurt or worse, but a lot of lifestyles are like that, and people are still drawn to them. Feel free to call me stupid.

  • Casey Klahn June 28, 2017, 10:48 AM

    I think he looks noble.

    Fight to win.

  • Missy June 28, 2017, 11:16 AM

    I spent time over the past several years in two different VA hospitals before my veteran husband died, completely paralyzed, from his wartime service connected disease. I was around a lot of disfigured vets during this time, and I overheard a lot of their conversations in waiting rooms. What I did not hear much of was self pity or anger at the government. They talked mostly about their units and looking after each other, and often about the really bad guys they fought. Many told my husband they were lucky compared to him. And with my husband they often agreed they would do it all over again. I think this is called the right stuff.

  • Guaman June 28, 2017, 12:28 PM

    I’m a veteran, never in combat. This article and the comments has the odor of the 60’s to it and I just don’t like. This is a volunteer military and we who raise our right hand know the possibilities. All do so for individual reasons. Many of those reasons include doing something that is bigger than the self. It is an admirable motive and it is unfortunate that such things (death, disfugurement) do happen.

    If you didn’t raise your right hand and write the blank check, STFU. Third party projection of regret and sorrow is publicized cowardice. Own it – do not undermine the defense of our great nation and superior culture.

    As Patton said, “We should be grateful that such men lived,” or something like that.

  • Bunny June 28, 2017, 1:10 PM

    I had a father, brothers, nephews and uncles who served and a son who is recently enlisted, although not in a combat zone. I am grateful. But I do feel regret and sorrow for lives lost and damaged. How can you not?

  • Monty James June 28, 2017, 1:18 PM

    It wasn’t explained in 2001 that the character of this would be generational, like the Indian Wars, but a crusade in the manner of World War 2. Except conducted half-assed, trying to pretend it wasn’t really a crusade. We can’t satisfy the grievance Islam has with the West; their grievance is that we haven’t converted to Islam.

    It’s a world that has Muslims in it, sad to say. If they were the superpower with a globe-spanning thermonuclear capability, and we were the gabbling, hijacking, throat-slitting religious fanatic savages, they would have no problem nuking us until we quieted down.

    Shame on us for spending blood instead of plutonium. The way things are headed, we’re probably going to need plutonium anyway.

  • earthman92 June 28, 2017, 1:52 PM

    BillH June 28, 2017, 8:05 AM
    My son has said something similar. Which is why he’s over in Afghanland again.

  • azlibertarian June 28, 2017, 2:50 PM

    My blood is half boiling at some of the comments here. I’ll try to keep my senses with mine.

    I am a veteran, and proud of it. Before anyone goes there, there is no need to thank me for my service because I’d do it (and more) all over again in a New York minute. Like Guaman, I never saw combat….I am too young to have served in Vietnam and too old to participate in our current wars. None-the-less, my service made me who I am.

    I look at those pictures and I am in awe. These are people who have given **everything** for this country, took injuries in the process, and have still not given up. Swim with no legs? Are you kidding me? Run a marathon in 6 hours and on prosthetics? Are you EFFING kidding me? How many of us able-bodied can run no further than to the mailbox?

    I don’t understand why some here see these photos and are sorry at what you see. These men and women are heros and we ought to celebrate them.

    Steve and bob sykes ask how long we’re going to have to put up with this. Well, I can’t stand the guy (and have been voting against him since forever), but John McCain was absolutely right when he said this was going to be a 100-year war. http://lidblog.com/john-mccain-and-100-years-war/

    He was right….this war is going to take generations. Many in Islam (and some here in the West) refer to us as “Crusaders”. There is a Crusade going on here, but it isn’t by the West. This is an Inverse Crusade where the radicals in Islam are dragging whatever moderates they have into a Crusade where they take over Europe (and perhaps Russia) first and America after that. We’re still hearing questions about why Islam isn’t going to go through a “Reformation” and moderate itself. Guess what, kids? Islam **is** going through a Reformation. The problem is that they’re reforming in the wrong direction. This Inverse Crusade is what we face, and yeah, it’s going to take a looong time until it’s over.

    The question is: Do we have the stones to defend ourselves, and our way of life, against it? As I look at the faces in that imgur gallery, I think that as long as we can see that same strength in those eyes, that we do have those stones. How can you not just love this guy….”The blast took Jason’s legs (and part of his hand) but it could not take his spirit.”

    I say all this as the father-in-law of a front-line military man. If any of you were to meet him, you’d come away with the impression that he’s a smart, soft-spoken guy. You’d have no idea of what he does. But I know enough to know that when he puts on the uniform and goes to “work”, I know that he’s a badass mo-fo and could be killed or maimed at any minute. I can’t say that that doesn’t concern me….after all, he is the husband of my daughter and father to my grandchildren….but I do not wish that he was not in that position. He (and everyone else in our service) is good at what he does, and I’m glad that he’s there for us.

    Which begs the question: Are we good enough for him?

  • ghostsniper June 28, 2017, 6:08 PM

    On April 20th 1975 I became a disabled veteran – 42 years so far.
    I have earned the right to criticize.

    BillH is mostly right.
    Born in Gettysburg into a family where all the males have always served since the 18th century, I knew I was going in from the time I could understand the words. Never questioned it, it was just something that had to be done.

    After joining it didn’t take long for me to start regretting it. I can’t count the reasons why but clearly the worst part was learning that the soldier doesn’t matter. There is a reason the fodder consists of the youngest – they haven’t figured it out yet. Perhaps its always been this way throughout history, and perhaps there is no other way, but if all of that is true it still doesn’t make it right.

    When our son turned 18 and was required by law to register I told him that before I let him join up I would chain him to a tree. He told me he wouldn’t join and I was relieved. They were not going to get the chance to destroy the thing I cared about the most.

  • itor June 28, 2017, 8:25 PM

    Just what has been done

    Well, the petrodollar is still kingish, so there’s that.

    A more definitive answer may be found in the rantings of a marine,
    Gen. Smedley Butler, “War is a Racket” c1935.

    Gen. Butler recognized the truth despite his background & exposure to unrelenting propaganda,
    an ability which seems to have lost generations ago.

    ” WAR is a racket. It always has been.
    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…”

    The winners? Bankers – recognized so long ago – some old white fella noted that endless money forms the sinews of war.

    Yet, for those raised on jingo, chant & slogan – and a heapin’ helpin’ of Sousa martial musique – why it’s
    all the rage.

    And, for those lookin’ fer a stroll down the 60’s memory lane:

    Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
    Uncle Sam needs your help again.
    He’s got himself in a terrible jam
    Way down yonder in Vietnam
    So put down your books and pick up a gun,
    We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.

    And it’s one, two, three,
    What are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
    Next stop is Vietnam;
    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
    Whoopee! We’re all gonna die.

    Come on Wall Street, don’t be slow,
    Why man, this is war au-go-go
    There’s plenty good money to be made
    By supplying the Army with the tools of it’s trade,
    But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
    They drop it on the Viet Cong.

    And it’s one, two, three,
    What are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
    Next stop is Vietnam.
    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
    Whoopee! We’re all gonna die.

    Well, come on generals, let’s move fast;
    Your big chance has come at last.
    Now you can go out and get those reds
    ‘Cause the only good commie is the one that’s dead
    And you know that peace can only be won
    When we’ve blown ’em all to kingdom come.

  • ahem June 28, 2017, 8:51 PM

    You ought to look up ‘Bobby Henline’; he’s one hell of an inspiring man.

  • mushroom June 29, 2017, 7:01 AM

    I love my country and would make any sacrifice for it. My government, not so much.
    Government is a necessary evil, like medicine. The deadliest addiction is this country is not opiods but government.
    Sometimes the aim of the government aligns with the good of our nation; other times, it does not. The aim of government is always to grow. When a nation needs to be on a war footing, growth in government works for the nation’s benefit. This is why governments love war and perpetual, simmering wars most of all.
    With the help of the Lusitania, an isolationist America was dragged into a European war. With the help of the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, isolationist America was dragged into another world war. With the help of the communists in the Soviet Union and Mao, reluctant Americans were dragged into an unending Cold War that included Korean and Vietnamese police actions.
    When the commies were defeated or tamed, suddenly the Muslims conveniently appeared to drag us back into playing world police.
    Never trust your government, and especially never trust your “intelligence” agencies. You do not know for whom they work because it is “top secret”.

  • pbird June 29, 2017, 11:17 AM

    Yes, the men are beyond valiant.

    But they are used up in this evil racket. I don’t see any way of changing it short of GOD saying “enough!” though.

  • Director Mitch June 29, 2017, 5:03 PM

    Let’s not confuse “government” with “Obama administration”. Obama squandered what we won in Iraq, leaving a vacuum that ISIS filled, requiring more men to fix. Afghanistan was ignored, all the while letting masses of enemies into our country. Trump seems to delegate – lets the warriors fight the wars – and today marks the start of a immigration policy of keeping some of the enemy out.

    But let’s be realists here: we are at war with Islam whether we like it or not. We can take the war to them, or wait for it to come to us.

    Either way, these pictures broke my heart.

  • Snakepit Kansas June 29, 2017, 9:11 PM

    My cousin was seriously wounded on 28MAY2014 in Afghanistan on his second tour due to a Blackhawk crash. Broken back, pelvis, ruptured bladder and more. His injuries are healed as much as they probably will be. To watch him now, he walks around fine. Watch him get into a truck and it will make you cringe.

    God bless all of our veterans.

  • Keet June 30, 2017, 1:06 PM

    100 years to defeat terrorist muslims? BS, we could eradicate terrorism in 6 months if we had the will. Long wars enrich bastards like McCain and his cronies, while sacrificing our best young men and women on the altar of money and power. GW should be stood up against a wall once every 24 hours, (never knowing when, maybe at midnight, maybe at three in the afternoon, maybe right after breakfast, just “it’s time”), and kicked right in the balls. Same with BO, but make it twice a day for him.
    Every day for the rest of their sorry lives.

  • UdonNomi June 30, 2017, 7:33 PM

    I gave over 23 years of my life to my country, most of it I most certainly would do again, but this time I be ready for the loss of friends, 3 wives and the families that went with them, maybe even at times my sanity. I must have been somewhat crazy to think that we would come home to a country that appreciated the sacrifices and wounds we suffered..that is, those who came back…over 50,000 didn’t.

  • Bill Jones July 1, 2017, 5:54 PM

    Patriotism is the love of the Patria: the land, its people and their customs.

    It has nothing to do with the corrupt crap in DC throwing money and bodies into wars for the shitty filth in Israel.