Today is our 2,260th day in Iraq.
We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:
Since war began (3/19/03): 4300
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4161
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3839
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3441
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 72
Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 686
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 467
Journalists - Iraq: 138
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,306
We find this morning's Cost of War
passing through: $ 861, 103, 575, 000 .00
Yesterday, Raine focused the blog on our honoured dead. Today, I'd like to look at the living. In all wars, the greatest day is the day it's all over and the troops get to go home. When we win, there are great parades, victory speeches, and cheering throngs that greet our troops when they return.
Our history when our soldiers are not victorious is unfortunately less than stellar. Many a veteran from Southeast Asia got off a flight back to his hometown with nothing more than silence and dirty looks.
Perhaps you know where the Bangor International Airport is. It's in Maine, situated on a hill in the tidy little state capitol. It's the closest US airport of any size to Europe, and by extension, the Middle East.
For years, soldiers returning from their overseas deployment have transited this airport, usually on their way to other places. For years now too, a dedicated group of volunteers has made sure that every flight, no matter what time of the day or night it arrives, is met by a crowd of supporters.
108 comments (Latest Comment: 05/27/2009 13:12:42 by Scoopster