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The Cost of War

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Sometimes war is necessary. I can accept that premise.

I personally think it’s very rare that war is necessary, but I accept the assertion that sometimes… it is necessary.

However…

We should be very sure it’s necessary before we decide to support it.

We have to ask ourselves if the price of that war is worth the potential good that will come from it.

When people debate the cost of war, they usually talk about it in terms of dollars. A war costs blah blah blah. The cost of building a base is blah blah blah. The cost of medical care for our soldiers is blah blah blah.

That last one is significant because it’s actually talking about our soldiers but it’s referring to the dollar amount of treating them.

Well, there’s a cost to war that I rarely (if ever) see discussed by politicians, which is sad because it’s the most important cost of war.

Our Children. 

Yeah. We pay for war by sacrificing our children to it.

And I’m not just talking about the young men and women who die. I’m also talking about the ones who survive and make it home.

Every veteran of war is a wounded warrior.

Every single one.

Even the soldiers who make it home without a scratch on their bodies will carry scars for the rest of their lives.

Deep scars.

They’re never the same again. Ever.

They suffer until the day they die.

If you don’t believe me, I can only assume you don’t know any veterans who fought in a war.

The war never goes away. It never leaves them. Even if they manage to build a happy life, it’s not the same kind of happiness you and I feel. There’s always pain there. There’s always darkness.

Some of those soldiers break. I have a friend who’s a Vietnam Veteran. He came back without any physical injuries. He married a lovely woman and raised children. For several decades, he had a family and a happy life. Everybody thought the war was finally behind him.

Then… late one night… he got a rifle and filled his own house full of bullets because he thought the enemy had invaded his home.

Why?

Because veterans may leave the war zone, but they can never leave the war. It follows them everywhere. It’s always there.

Some learn to live with it. Some don’t.

But they all suffer. They suffer for the rest of their lives.

So before we decide we have a moral obligation to go to war, we must ask ourselves:

Is this worth sacrificing the souls of our children?

Because that’s what we’re doing.

If someone came to you and said, “Hey, those people you don’t know are suffering. There’s a small chance we can help, but the only way to do it is if you agree to let me torture your child for the rest of  his or her life”, would you agree to do it?

Because that’s exactly what the politicians are asking you to do every time they ask us to go to war.

So yeah… maybe sometimes war is necessary. But we should always be aware that the cost is about more than dollars.

The cost is paid with the hearts, minds, bodies, and souls of our children.

–Jerry

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