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Archives for May 2014

Our Debt to Vets

For me, Memorial Day isn’t just a reminder of friends who didn’t come home from Viet Nam; it’s a day to remember all those who have served. In the past few years I’ve met several disabled vets, survivors of our wars in the Mid-East. I’ve gotten to know some pretty well during the time I’ve spent helping them sell or purchase homes.

Every war is cruel, every war results in death and injury. Spend a few hours at any VA facility and you can begin to get a feel for the ongoing cost of our wars.  I served 1966-1970, and in the years since have seen the physical damage done by agent orange, as well as the psychological effects of coming home from an unpopular war to an ungrateful nation. With the possible exception of Desert Storm (wherein we liberated Kuwait), there hasn’t been a war since WWII which was supported by a majority of Americans. I think it is incumbent upon our leaders, and particularly our presidents, to be certain of that consensus before sending any more of our young men and women into harm’s way.

My friend Robert DeWare, a veteran of the Iraq war, was blown out of a Humvee twice…the last time earned him a trip home. He still carries the scars from his time served, but he’s recovering, and enjoying his quiet life in a cabin on old family property near Jefferson. This Memorial Day I’ll be installing a new American flag and thinking of both those who did, and didn’t, make it home.