Mar 30, 2010

War, what is it good for ?

by Ethan Massey

The course of human history has long been defined by war, but never has war been as vital to peace as it is in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

An American war was once a romantic adventure to young men across the nation. In the era of World War II, boys barely 18 would come in droves for a chance to join the military. However, it was not long until the honor and prestige of war disappeared almost entirely.

Of the 16,112,566 soldiers to enter WWII, 405,399 men were never to see their country again, according to the Congressional Research Service. But it was not until the Vietnam War became televised that many Americans were able to see the atrocities of war for the first time. Due to the unpopularity of the conflict, many Vietnam soldiers arrived back at home without the support of their country.

Operation Iraqi Freedom has struck a somewhat different tone with Americans. Though war is still an unpopular idea, “Support the Troops” has become a common theme across the U.S. However, this general support is not enough to make the war effort matter, according to Master Sgt. Robin Sheehan.

Sheehan has recently returned to America from her third tour in Iraq. Despite the hardships she has faced and the nearly three years she has missed of her daughter’s life, Sheehan feels that the chance to serve her country was worth it.

“I see the memorials of the fallen here and the numerous e-mails of our warriors,” Sheehan said in a letter home. “They hit me deep down. I still get a lump in my throat when I salute our flag.”

Since the beginning of the war in Iraq, nearly 3,500 soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. These men and women have given up their lives for something more than a cause or a standard. They have laid down their lives for the freedom of millions of people they will never meet.

The fear of the soldiers, who have given so much of themselves, is that their effort in Iraq will not be enough. Summing up these fears, Sheehan said that the Iraqi government is constantly being attacked and discredited by the insurgents in the area.

“(The insurgents) say that if we can show the people of this country that … the military aren’t able to do their job of keeping this country under control, then we’re showing the people that, ‘Hey, America’s wrong,’” Sheehan said.

America must do more than supporting the troops that have been sent to Iraq. It is vital to America’s success in Iraq that the U.S. supports the effort for Iraqi freedom. There will always be a level of unrest in this area, Sheehan said. The true war effort is not one against weaponry and tyranny, but for the prosperity of a nation in turmoil.

Contact Ethan Massey at

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