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September 17th, 2009
06:40 PM ET

Soldier: “Do they realize we're still over here?"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/17/cnn.team.with.rescue.medic.jpg]

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Medical Producer

I remember shuffling through moondust up to my knees in Helmand Province when a U.S. Army combat medic turned to me and said, “If I ask you something, do you promise you’ll be honest?” I nodded yes. “Do people back home still think about us? Do they realize we’re still over here?”

I’ll never forget that moment.

Truth is, while most of America might know that 62,000 U.S. military personnel are in theater, they apparently aren’t happy about it. A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found that support of the war in Afghanistan has hit a new low. Only 39 percent favor U.S. military action in Afghanistan.

But does supporting the overall mission go hand-in-hand with supporting the troops?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta and I recently embedded with U.S. Army combat medics in Afghanistan. I slept where they slept, ate what they ate, and followed them day in and day out. Their job is to rescue and triage injured soldiers at a moment’s notice. They are always ready. They even sleep with their shoes on.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that these soldiers were no different from the factory worker in middle America. Both work tirelessly in their jobs, both want to succeed, both want to provide for their families. And despite the echoes of mortar fire over their shoulders, extreme heat and no communication with loved ones – I never heard the soldiers complain. I watched the medics save countless lives: sons and daughters, husband and wives from all around the world. Why? It’s their job.

So as I looked in the eyes of that U.S. soldier – the one who feared America might have forgotten about him – I realized my job is to not only report on the medical military operations but also to highlight the courageous stories of those risking their own lives to save others in Afghanistan.

I am back home now…and yes, I still think about them.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Chris Fidler

    Hey just wanted to say I grew up in a military family. I know first hand the sacrifices that you make and the effect they have on the family. I want to say that I do not support the war but I DO support our men and women in uniform. I know its far from home but you need to know that you are thought of daily and often. We love you!!!!, and thank you for all that you do. take care of one another, We want you all to come home.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  2. Matt

    We realize you are still over there, but we also are wondering why? No country has ever successfully occupied Afghanistan. How many more lives must be lost until we stop being stubborn? The amount of instability created by this war has made our country and the lives of people who live in Afghanistan LESS safe. Over half a decade later and Osama Bin Laden, assuming he isn't already dead, is somewhere laughing at us while we did exactly what he wanted-put our men and women in harms way.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Agata

    Mr. Cooper, please know and never forget that your commitment and passion to teaching and informing viewers of what goes on in the world is incredible. I'm just one woman in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada that is always moved by your absolute professionalism and hart that you put into your everyday work. You are a gem.

    Thank you for that.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  4. lahrein

    I do think of our troops overseas and their families at home every day.

    I'm disheartened by the stop loss policies that turn our volunteer soldiers into prisoners of war and returning them again and again to dangerous situations.

    I cannot help but think Bob Mayer is right – if the draft were in effect, the opposition to war would be much higher and all Americans would would have a vested interest in this war. Instead a few risk everything time and again, for the many.

    Visit the VA hospital closest to you, tomorrow, in a year, in ten years, in 25 years and decide if you'd leave a loved one there for care. We must all insist that the few who have risked so much have the absolute best care possible available to them for the rest of their lives.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  5. Maria

    A MOTHER'S PRAYER

    You are not forgotten. I pray for each of your every day you are there or here. Please don't forget that you are loved. Keep in touch with your family and stay connected. Please forgive those who seem to forget. They don't understand the pain of separation. They don't understand how hard it is for you to get excited about life moving on at home when the days are endless there. Make plans for your future because dreams keep the spirit alive. Sleep, and then sleep some more. Fatigue and living on adrenalin is tough on the body. Please take care of yourself and come home safely. You are not forgotten. You are loved.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  6. Teresa

    As a mother of 2 active duty soldiers 1 going to Iraq and the other Afgan. I think of you all every day. I go to the Army web page everyday.
    My grandson will live with me for a year with out his parents and I think of all of your families everyday.
    We need to make sure we send what is needed in boots on the ground and supplies to get the job done right and once and for all.
    We must always work for peace and help the people.
    Lets get this done and bring them home. We can never thank you enough soldiers and our veterans. Lets take good care of them when they come home. We love you you can believe in that.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  7. Maheen

    Dellorto,

    This is by far one of the best works I have read so far. Straight from the heart and a brilliant insight to a great soldiers heart. Come to think of it, all of us are soldiers in one way or the other; spiritually, socially, politically and most importantly on an economic level as well.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  8. alaska pink

    I will never forget my fellow service members. I just returned from my 1st deployment.... and believe me its a different world over there.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  9. Shannon

    I absolutely think about our soldiers and my four children, Marine husband and I pray for their safe return every night. "Thank you" isn't nearly enough to express my gratitude for the sacrifice they're each making. Every once in a while I think about how our soldiers are living in Iraq and Afghanistan and I feel guilty about the comforts I enjoy – like sitting at my computer typing this comment.

    So while it doesn't nearly cover the bill for the service they're giving and the sacrifice they're making, it's all I can say. That, and that they'll never be forgotten.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  10. Terri

    You bet I still think of these troops all the time, day in and day out. My son was there last year and soon will be going back. I also keep Bowe Bergdahl in my prayers. Our soldiers, Marines and Air Force and Navy need our prayers and support..

    September 17, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  11. Jennifer, from CA

    Danielle, I'm so glad you did this piece.

    I have thought for a long time that America has almost forgotten about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Desensitized, maybe, by the images on TV, we've turned instead to meaningless media. Oppressed by the economy, we have fallen back in default ‘Just Get By’ mode. Or maybe our political views have made it difficult to distinguish those that give the orders from those that are required to follow them. For whatever reason, we have distanced ourselves from the soldier's plight for the sake of our emotional wellbeing.

    I didn't support the war in Iraq. But I never forgot that our young people were over there giving everything they had. In fact, my position against the war made me think of them even more. It saddens me deeply to know that those that died in Iraq didn't need to. And it angers me to no end, that our enemies in Afghanistan have had time to regroup.

    This is war we should have been fighting form the start. But honestly, I'm torn between saying, " they have given enough", and wishing them a defining victory. In either case, I am always thinking of them... and thankful for them.

    To the men and women of the armed forces: God bless you and your families. Come home soon.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  12. proud marine mom, P. hernandez

    my daughter just returned from Afghanistan and while she was gone I thought of little else, I sent care packages, I prayed , I bragged about her , and now that she is back in Hawaii , I still think of all the troops who are over there , I am "adopting a Marine" to send packages to I love all our service men and women , we had the misfortion recently to see a beutiful Marine in the last momments of his life ,and its been a terrible month for us .Lets all support our troops by letting them know how much we care , Ashley told me that they love getting packages , it does not matter what was inside , it was the outpouring of love they enjoy, (she did say that most were geared toward men so all the women were using male hygiene products and she was exited to be able to smell like a girl again ) socks, candy, snacks , silly little toys . all these things are appreciated. I work on a military training base and one of my best/worst momments was on a snow day last year I looked out the window to see these brave kids playing and running in the snow slipping and sliding having a grand old time , and it hit me , in the next year many of them are going to be deployed some may not come back , wow, SHOW THEM YOUR LOVE PEOPLE ,it means the world to them, they shouldnt have to wonder if we think about them they need to know ! god bless and Semper Fi,

    September 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  13. Old Salty Corpsman

    I did not agree with the Bush administration when Afganistan was put on the back burner to invade Iraq but the Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers fighting either war was not and will not be forgotten. This 21 year veteran will never waiver in my support of those serving. You need only to review a sampling of the most commented on news articles to get an idea of the support you still receive. My flag still flies.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  14. BlackHawk Maker

    As a fellow Airman who served in both OIF and OEF, there is not a day that goes by I dont remember my brothers and sisters overseas. Not just in the Middle East, but in other lands too.

    The sacrafice military members make to protect the freedoms some have fogotten about are heroic! There are still military members here stateside that protect our freedoms as well. They train for the call of duty everyday, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At some point or already have, they will board a crowded plane, and fly into the battle zone unknowing of what tomorrow will bring.

    Have you ever gone away on a business trip for a week and felt how much you missed your family back home? You brought them gifts, to show you how much you missed them. You called them nightly to tell them good night and that you will be home soon. You ran into your loved ones open arms at the airport when you returned. Now, take that image and those feelings and multiply them by 52 (thats how many weeks on average military members spend in the "Z"). Oh, and those nightly phone calls...how bout a 15 minute call once a week if you are lucky. And I wont even get into the stuff that happens once a military member goes through when they get home.

    The families that support their loved ones who serve this nation are valiant!

    As long as one military member is overseas doing their job I will NEVER FORGET!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Madge Gibson

    I have a son in the Marines at Camp Leatherneck and some of his buddies are also at Camp Dwyer. I've sent numerous packages over there and wish I had the means to send more. If anyone wants to do something to make these men feel like they haven't been forgotten, you can go to the website AnyMarine.com and check out what they need. There is a site for any branch of the service you want to support. You will be surprised what our military men and women need. Basic hygiene items, snacks, coffee, socks, t-shirts, underwear...you name it, they need it. There are requests for supplies from Iraq and Afghanistan other places as well. Quit talking about how much you appreciate them and show them with a care package. You could get your church group involved or your beer drinking buddies, but spend a few bucks and really feel like you've done something...send them a care package and write a note and put it in the box. You'll never forget helping one of them out, I guarantee it. You can fill up a large flat rate box and ship it for $11.95 and if you want to insure it add a couple of dollars to that figure. You can get quite a bit in a box and it will be one of the best things you can do.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Robert in CA

    To the men and women currently serving overseas: You are NOT forgotten. All Americans know the price you all have paid to be at the front lines of terror, providing stability and justice with compassion. Never fear that you are somehow lost for we all know where you are and what you are doing.

    God bless all of you!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Jeannette

    I don't like the wars, either of them.

    However, I have not forgotten the people over there. How could anyone forget them? How could the leaders that claimed to be speaking for us send people off to fight in a battle that maybe isn't what it's supposed to.

    However, as people here have said, they will continue their jobs, not complain, and honestly, people still here have no right to complain. Mortars aren't being thrown at us every morning, but they have to put up with that. I commend them, as does everyone else, I'm sure.

    I hope they get to come home too.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Rhen

    Never Surrender. Never forgive. Never forget.

    The men and women serving make me PROUD to be an American. I attended many funerals during Desert Storm, more for Operation Enduring Freedom, and even more for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    Do us proud, and come home safe!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  19. william

    I as a lot of others have served my country, and no one who served will ever forget those who are now serving our nation, I pray dily for their safe ,speedy return home.

    what I find sad is this war on terrorism is again becoming another vietnam once again our politicians are more concerned with saving face with the rest of the world than getting the job done, they would seem to have forgotten the lessons of vietnam, one being they talked to much, talked right up to the time we lost

    what I also find sad is the hype and talk about restricting the 2nd ammendment rights of veterans returning either because their training makes them threat to our security of because of their phscological problems.
    amazing we sent them to war and while doing so want to restrict or remove their rights.

    we need to remove the politicians, add term limits,

    May God Bless our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces around the world . please keep them in your hearts.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  20. Laine

    Our brave service men and women serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and everywhere else. You are in my prayers daily. May God surround you with His love and angels.

    Anderson: How can we write to these brave souls?

    September 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  21. Everett Lott

    I am 58 years old and every day I think about our troops. The heat, the deprevation, the IED's, the mission, the need for approval from our population. These kid's have a tough job, for sure, but they perform it with gusto, experise and pride.
    I wonder, those that made the ultimate sacrifice, if they had grown up, would they or their children have been another: Einstien, Gandhi, Saks, FDR?
    Let's not loose sight of the facts. We were attacked and we are taking the fight to the enemy. Was there advanced warning? Some say so but we did not see, remember the first WTC bombing! To warn otherwise may have not been politically correct.
    I have served two tours in Iraq and I am proud to have done so. I was there for the war and the aftermath (2003-2004, 2008-2009)
    When these troops leave the wire they are on their own, at the mercey of every male who wants to make am name for himself on his block (sounds alot like it does here in the bad neighborhoods in the US)
    When they are in garrision, they have the best food available, air conditioning (well, maybe not the Marines, they do not want to be coddled!) and everything the military and contractors can throw their way.
    Now that I am back "in the world", whenever I go out to lunch (in uniform), often times my lunch is paid for and I have no idea who paid for it. We in the military disourage this, but we tear-up when it happens, no face to it, it could have been anyone in the house who paid for it.
    I recall a time, during Viet Nam, when the military landed in California, folk's spat on us. Returning flights do not land in California in this war, thank the Lord for that!
    Naw, ya'll ain't forgot us! I see it every day. Just give us a job when we get home.

    Old Soldier

    September 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  22. SJC

    The troops are always in my thoughts. In fact I wonder if Bush and Chaney think about these amazing Americans who have died in a war that was suppose to be "Mission Accomplished" way back in 2003.

    Yes we think of you and this is why we voted for CHANGE last November.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  23. Mike

    I have not forgotten them and I will never forget them. I think about the troops every day.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  24. Matt Friesen

    I haven't, nor will I ever forget the sacrifice that the brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States and Canada have given for their countries. Living in Canada, I fully support any serviceman that risks his/her life for his/her country.

    Never orget the Men and Women who have died for their own seperate beliefs. They may not be in the Americans favor but some of us know that those brave people over there are living, fighting and dying for the men/women next to them, and for all of you back home.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  25. Noreen

    For all of you here who served in our military at one time or another, THANK YOU so much and God bless you and all our troops. You're never forgotten

    September 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  26. Father of Active Guardsmen

    My sons were there and back. Talks are in the wind for another. As a Veteran I can tell you my heart is with You. I know the trials and suffering and disagree with the fighting politics. And Yes, Everyone of You are thought of everyday that you may come home to Yours.

    It is fair to invoke the Supreme Architect that He may bless the Good and let the Evil Disintegrate to Dust.

    While the Governors have stood up to Mr. Bush as to the use of our National Guard, It is a dark day to know that the 50 Guards of the USA continue to be used as a Draft Bank.

    Maybe America should bind together and vote herself an ALL New
    Membership on Capitol Hill every 4 and every 2. WE might see a new
    breeze blow into town and have a new fragrance in our politics.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  27. 9th Grader, MN

    The fact that a soldier had to worry about that in the first place really puts a new face on things. I can shamefully admit, I'm not thinking about them every day. I think about them in my prayers, but unlike so many other wars, it hardly influences our day-to-day life. It is truly horrible that we can turn our faces away from such a travesty of justice, that these men and women have seen such horrible things without the consolation of our thoughts and prayers. I have friends with relatives that have seen these to such an extent that it is incredibly difficult for them to readjust upon return. The lack of support in the war doesn't mean in the soldiers themselves, however. I believe that if we take the time, we can all be unendingly grateful for those who risk their lives to protect their country and ideals.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  28. Cy Spackman

    'Right on' Bob Mayer. If we are going to get into a war we need to have a Draft. It isn't fair to expect the same few guys to serve their time in either Iraq or Aghanistan and then go back over there a second or third time. Many have young families with kids who are growing up not knowing their fathers and in some cases their mothers. Iraq was a mistake. Afghanistan should have been the main thrust as that is where Osama was hiding out. He was sort of conveniently forgotten when we invaded Iraq. Iraq was so terribly expensive both in lives and in money and it still isn't functioning properly. Lives still being lost there. Likely we will have a force there for years. Can we afford to clean up that part of the world including Pakistan? It goes on and on. I pray for our wonderful and brave troops every night.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  29. Scott

    I do think about our troops, and I always wish the best no matter where they are. No one likes war, but sometimes we have to fight them, especially against the Taliban. This is not Iraq, who was not at war with us. If the Taliban take over the country, they will gain a greater foothold in Pakistan, a nuclear country. Also, Al Qaeda will be able to run its camps. I'm unsure what those who oppose this think will happen when we leave and whether it will cost more in the long run. Still, many, hopefully most, think from time to time about those fighting for our system and beliefs overseas.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  30. Brenda

    How can I not remember our very brave soldiers? My only child, my only son has been there since May, he's only 19 years old. My very brave son there with many others I pray for every single day. Hope is all we have to live by and to believe we are over there for a purpose, is a thought that lives with me, day in and day out. We are losing too many of our troops, that's for sure, it's senseless. We are allowing our troops to walk the grounds with the fear, that might be their last step. Where are the resources they need to better protect themselves from IEDs? We are too technically advanced to allow this to happen, to allow fear in our very young brave troops. I read a story the other day about a unit walking one in front of the other, one soldier stepped on a pretty small bomb, however this small bomb triggered a larger bomb and boom- he fellow soldier behind him just disappeared. When the debris and smoke cleared, they found their fellow buddy one piece at a time, his arm first with his watch still on, and ticking. They had to gather their thoughts, although in horrible shock and carry on and complete their mission for the day with their fellow friend, their fellow buddy on their minds. I cried for days for the family of this young soldier, my heart still hurts for his grieving family. Him and many others like him. Please do something to help our soldiers either beat this war or bring them home. Semper Fi from a mother of a marine.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Minh Nguyen

    We need to bring this kind of story up daily if possible. When I was in Irag in 2004-2006 as a DOD's contractor and got home for RnR, I found out that not many people was really knew what was going on to our troop over there. They were sacrified their family needs, their lives to serve the country, and to be in a hostile, hash environmet where I would never want to come back. They are my heroes.

    You're doing a great job! We need more people like you.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  32. Eddie Paez

    I am an Army vet from the first gulf war. Everyday that I wake-up I think about the solders overseas. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about them. I for one know the sacrifice that they endure. Unfortunately can nolonger serve because of a bad back but if I could I would be right next to them. I say this with all of my heart and soul, God bless and may you all return soon.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  33. USMC... Lance Cpl. Enrique II MEF

    SEMPER FI.
    Always faithful, Corp and Country.

    May God Watch Over Our Coalition Soldiers
    And Bring Them Safely Home!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  34. Ann, Grand Coulee, WA

    I have never forgotten our men and women in the military! I shed tears each and everytime a soilder has died. I have a son in the Navy that is overseas, but not in a war zone. I admire their duty to our country, but wish they were safe at home with their families. Please let them know that they are never gotten they are in our prayers each and every day.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  35. Crystal Zinninger

    Yes we remember and wish they were at home with their families. We miss them all and love them. War sucks we want them home safe with us. Times are hard on both sides families are trying to keep it all together here and over there they are trying to stay sane in the mist of craziness.

    You guys over there are never forgotten. Your in our hearts and our prayers each and every single day. Stay strong and I hope you guys come home really soon. Time for this War to be over and done with I think.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  36. Uncle Gary

    To the service men and women of the USA, you are not forgotten.
    I went to Ft Hood today and donated a pint of blood.
    God bless you all, from deep in the heart of Texas.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  37. Thankful US Air Force Vet

    I will always support our troops and yes I remember where they are and what they sacrifice everyday.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  38. Frank

    I think about them and worry about their well being everyday. I myself am only a decade removed from my own military service, and I understand the tremendous sacrifices they make in both peace and war time to keep us safe. This mission is no different.

    The mission, however, is not complete, a stable Afghanistan is only part of the mission. Removing Al Qaeda as a threat is the mission and that mission is not complete.

    Anyone who has forgotten our wonderful troops and their support organizations that have been in the field for a better part of a decade must also have forgotten how they felt on the morning of September 11th, 2001.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  39. Garrett

    I appreciate all that the U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan and done for those people and for us. They have protected our freedom and prevented a war from coming to our homeland. God bless them and their families. A personal opinion of mine is that if you do not support the wars that are already taking place you do not support our troops. I support them 150% and always will.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  40. mcdonald

    while i was deployed to Iraq i got quite a few packages from elementary schools full of letters. I even read them in front of all my peers and they always seemed to lift spirits. Those things are the little things that keep us going over there. The Red Cross and churches often are the easiest ways to get contact information over there to send care packages. trust me it boosts morale!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  41. DKC

    We know you are there and appreciate your service and sacrifice! We also know that your families at home pay a hefty price with the long deployment separations and knowing the dangers that you face. Keep up your spirits and know that you are not forgotten.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  42. In Memory of SFC Brian Woods

    It irks me when I think about all the people in the US who have the privledge of not worrying about a loved one serving in the Middle East...to know there are Americans that don't even think about Afghanistan/Iraq. :My fellow Americans: takes on a new meaning to me when I realize we not united in support. It kills me to know only 39% of Americans support the US effort in Afghanistan. What percentage of these poll voters have a loved one overseas? Does the common citizen claim to understand the complexities of war? Why have so many people lost trust in a President we elected so recenlty? I trust he knows more about the situation than me, and I trust he will do the right thing. He is the President for the people, elected by the people.
    As far as the soldiers over there- they volunteered to be there and they ask nothing of us here in our warm beds in America. All they ask is that we not forget their sacrafice. I will forever hold my head high that I am an American– in their honor.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  43. Verity

    I support our soilders over there indefinatly!! my boyfriend just got medicaly discharged from the ARMY 2 months ago and many of our friends are in Afghanistan right now.....me and my boyfriend both pray for all the men and women over there and hope they all come home safely

    September 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  44. Jane

    I've never forgotten them and I never will. My son leaves in a few weeks for his first tour. We are very proud of him for making the choice to serve our country.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Heidi Kohl

    How can we forget for even just one day? That remark brings tears to my eyes...lets see...9/11, American, then Canadian troops getting deployed...my heart dropped that day watching men my age or younger than me kissing their wives goodbye, hugging their kids with tears in their eyes. My side, that hurt me to the core. I got so depressed, I lost my husband almost 7 years ago as a result of being so depressed. I grew up hearing first hand stories of WW11. I had a room mate who was scarred from Vietnam. I thought we were smarter in the year 2000 than to go to war...so yes TROOPS, who I do care for deeply, many were affected even before you left, and personally I want to hug you all. Enough about me, be strong, look under that moon each night, and know there are millions who care for OUR TROOPS...love you guys! Heidi Kohl

    September 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Oregon

    Dear U.S. Soldier, You are in the thoughts and prayers of my family every day and we look to the day when you come home.

    To the Media: Quit the crap about Kate and Jon, the latest bickerings and contests between so-called hollywood and sports "celebrities" in La-La Land and pay attention to what this article is saying.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Gerald

    I am a disabled vet from a time when we weren't at war. My daughter just married a disabled Iraq war vet. The ceremony was held at a VFW post. At their wedding were several friends of his from the rehab center at Ft. Sam Houston, one missing part of an arm, another missing a leg and a third missing part of one leg. Great guys. I think about them every day. I think about those who have come back, whole or not, those still over there and those who will never come back.

    I was and still am against the invasion and occupation of Iraq and I am against a continued occupation of Afghanistan beyond what is necessary to pursue Al Qaeda. But that doesn't mean I am against the service members who are doing the jobs asked of them by their leaders. The do their jobs with honor and deserve our utmost respect.

    Remember them, whether you are for against the policies which put them where they are. Consider giving to an organization like the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America – IAVA.org – and always remember that they swore to do a duty. And they do it well.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  48. AF Mom

    You ask, "But does supporting the overall mission go hand-in-hand with supporting the troops?".
    Not necessarily. From what I've been able to research, the mission from the get go was about Shell's Gas Pipeline. Yet, one day the US Gov't throws up images of poor Afghani women forced into an archaic servitude (like human shields) to tear at our hearts. The next day the Gov't is trying to negotiate with with their tormentors. So, no, I definitely do NOT support the "overall mission" .
    On the other hand, I support production of Dragonskin and every other conceivable body armor, weapon and super-vehicle to keep our people from being maimed and killed. Though I'd remind the Gov't. that no amount of gas pipelines or gov't contracts is worth even one their precious lives.
    I think about our people in Iraq and Afghanistan every day.
    I'm alarmed and grieved that so many have been killed and hurt recently. I do believe the Gov't realizes that this war is not winnable. And though I wonder if I'm heard, I continue to pray for our service people to stay safe while they are there.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  49. Joe

    Unfortunately as a soldier you don't get to pick the fight in which you find yourself. It sucks to be there but they are doing their job and everyone knows they are their. Personally I think they're doing a great job, an unfortunate but necessary one.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  50. Spc Hubbard, US ARMY

    Im glad to see that someone actually posted this on the internet. I am currently in Afghanistan myself, and wonder from day to day if the people that are back home still think of us. I know we all do. We do discuss it from time to time. We know our families think of us, but its always just a thought through the head. We appreciate all your support through this war, and we hope to come home soon. Until then, just please keep us in your prayers and we hope to return home soon. Thanks again for the support!

    Spc Hubbard

    September 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
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