A reader writes:
Three generations of my family have endured a family member going to war. As a Marine, I've left my family to go to war (Afghanistan, Iraq). It was the toughest thing I've ever done. And when my Dad went to war (Desert Storm) it was tough on me (probably tougher on him). Both my Mom and Dad remembered vividly their fathers leaving during WWII, even though they were both only six. This video, and the young girl's reaction, captures all of the extreme emotions a family endures in such circumstances.
I can see my parents as young children in her. That memory never leaves you. But now it is worse, when the deployments repeat over and over again, and weigh so heavily on one small part of our population, it is traumatizing beyond description. It makes it worse that the rest of the country goes on as if nothing is happening.
The price of war can be seen all over that young girl's face. Can you imagine if she were finding out not that her father had come home early, but that he would never come home again?
This is what must be considered when we ask, about any particular war, "Is it worth it?
I think we should have listened more closely to those who had seen more war than most, people like Gen Anthony Zinni and LGEN Hal Moore (of We Were Soldiers fame), who said that Iraq was not worth one American life. It was also was not worth breaking one young American girl's heart.
If I have to go back again, my greatest fear will be for my children. I will be hoping they don't have to endure the loss that so many other American children have already had to endure in this war. This little girl's emotional outpouring brings that possibility immediately home to me. God bless her and her father.
Let's hope we can find a way out of this madness soon.