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Monday, August 22, 2011

The New Greatest Generation

In my article for Commonweal I quoted with strong agreement President Obama’s words that “it is time to focus on nation-building here at home”. What I did not write about, but what I have felt deeply the last couple years, is that we need our soldiers home in their communities and families. They have served tour after tour in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have suffered physically and mentally, and their time to come home is long past. I was heartened then to see this week’s Time magazine cover story by Joe Klein on precisely this subject—the positive impact of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on their homeland. This line from Klein dovetails perfectly with Obama’s: “veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are bringing their leadership lessons home, where we need them most.” We need these men and woman, and we need to help them. Our politicians have betrayed them with their militaristic policies, but we as a people can do right by them by helping them make the difficult transition home and by urging our politicians to think of the price them and their families have to pay for the decisions they make.

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