Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Quiet War: Iraq vs. Vietnam

The front-page of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried the article by Michael Phillips entitled “The Last Letter Home: When a soldier falls, commanders face a profound task: Accounting for a lost life to the family.”

After I read the article (and wiped away tears), the phrase “the quiet war” popped into my head.

At first I didn’t know what this could mean. Then it dawned on me that this was a comparison between Iraq today and Vietnam over 30 years ago.

Because today it is an all-volunteer army and there are not frequent mass anti-war protests and because of the multitude of news channels (tv, cable, radio, internet), the reality that the U.S. is fighting a war in Iraq and Afghanistan does not seem as much of an everyday realization for the majority of Americans as it was during the Vietnam War.

During the Vietnam War, the main news channels (only tv and radio) were filled every night with news of both the fighting and the protests along with constant reminders of the draft. Regardless of what you thought about the war, you were usually daily aware of it.

Even though we as a nation may not be as aware of the day-to-day fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as we were during the Vietnam War, we should try to remember – and be grateful for – that each day there are men and women fighting in our name.

You can go to to show your gratitude. Or how else can you show your gratitude?

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