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Stop the endless wars

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The Watertown Times reports that the military now plans on awarding “combat” medals for flying drones over Afghanistan by remote control from the United States and ranking those medals above the Purple Heart and Bronze Star that a member of my family earned the hard way. It is eelling almost bloodless — for us — war to make it OK for U.S. troops to now be in Africa, Central America, guarding Patriot missiles in Turkey, etc. We’re in “pre-war” mode in at least a half dozen new places right now.

They can con us that drones and special forces are so low-profile that we won’t notice we’re in endless war, just fewer flag-draped coffins than the conventional occupation troops we sent to get physically and mentally wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we lie to ourselves that it’s a “volunteer” Army, despite the Great Recession’s poverty draft. Unlike World War II, today’s economy will never recover as long as we’re at war. One American GI in a combat zone for one year costs a million dollars. Three million Americans have served since we went to war 12 years ago. Do the math, including the estimated $900 billion in future lifetime care for our wounded warriors.

Whenever we in North Country Veterans For Peace write these letters, local war-lovers (who seem addicted to sending more troops to die) question our knowledge, loyalty and sanity. Well, how then did a local Veterans For Peace member accomplish this: write and film a YouTube veterans outreach video titled “To Veterans with Invisible Wounds” deemed valuable enough to be published in Psychiatric Times, the most widely read psychiatric publication. This gives 50,000 psychiatrists nationwide (many working for the military or VA) access to a new tool in the struggle against veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder. I have yet to hear from a war-lover who’s done anything beyond their “Support Our Troops” bumper sticker.

Support our troops — bring them all home now.

Roland Van Deusen

Clayton

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