Friday, August 3, 2012

We Remember Our Fallen

As we battle the heat, try to keep cool and nurse our flowers during this weather—we need to still remember the war that still rages and those that come home in boxes.In South Carolina in just the last few weeks three of our young men came back home in flag-draped coffins.

If you have followed my blog you know that for a while I was listing the names of those killed in the war and where they were from and how they died. But that number grew so long I had to finally quit listing the names. But we still need to remember all those who fight for us and those who won’t be coming home alive. I have studied the CNN list of War Casualties this week. Most of those who have died have been in their twenties. Some are older but the majority are very young. Every part of America has been touched. Palm Beach, Florida...Holland, Michigan...La Verne, California...Lebanon Ohio...Austin, Texas...Lyman, South Carolina...Birmingham, Alabama to name a few cities and towns. 43 were killed in the month of July. Only one was killed in Iraq while the others died in Afghanistan. 

They were soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors and some civil-employees. To date there have been 7,800 War casualties from twenty countries. Iraq has had 4,802 casualties. In Afghanistan we have lost 3,095 of our service people.

But that is not the whole picture. Since this war started there have been 32,227 US troops wounded. 13,095 have been wounded in Afghanistan and 19,132 have been wounded in Iraq. Time Magazine has reported that every day one US soldier commits suicide. There has been 18% increase in suicides among US active troops in 2012, compared with 201. Among all veterans a suicide occurs every 80 minutes round the clock. Read the story for yourself. But these figures don’t tell the whole story. Wives and children who have lost someone. Parents and grandparents, siblings and friends who have all been touched. Not to speak of the losses from our communities.

The Greenville News carried this sad story this Friday morning.

“Twenty-six year Navy veteran and Army veteran George Ross marched solemnly across the hot tarmac at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport to a flag-draped casket that had just been lowered from a chartered jet. 

There, he knelt for a moment, embracing the coffin that held his son’s body, as a crowd of more than 100 watched in silence from behind a chain link fence. 

Pfc. Adam Ross, 19 who had followed in the footsteps of his father and older brother to serve in the U.S. Army, was home at last. 

Jut three weeks into his tour of duty in Afghanistan, he paid for his decision to serve his country with his life, becoming a casualty of a war that stgarted when he was eight years old. 

Ross was the third member of the military with Upstate ties to return home to a hero’s posthumous welcome in little over a month.” (written by Ron Barnette)

"Never again...young women and men should dream
of breezes in trees, soft rain, sunshine. Never again."
--Vince Gotera, Veteran,  U.S. Army

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