Veterans Day 2013: Our Debt to the Wounded

by Cap Black
Exclusive To The Bold Pursuit

From the colonists to the latest combatant in the asymmetrical “War on Terror,” Americans have taken up arms in defense of this land.

In 2013, many of the 9/11 era of vets find themselves disproportionately in need of mental health, employment and housing assistance, after risking all for this bountiful land.

I’m sure some clinical Pentagon war planners will dismiss this toll as acceptable within the margins of the mission thrust upon America after September 11, 2001.

I’m not blaming nameless war planners because such cold calculus is the stuff of victories and maintaining national defense.

Instead, I think about a former Force Recon Marine I met: a tragic mix of strength and vulnerability in the wake of his service in the War on Terror.

I watched a young man, whose physical strength and war fighting skills were plainly obvious, now needing counseling and medication to comfort his tortured spirit.

His pain should become all our pain because he freely offered himself in the prime of life to defend lives of people he’s never met.

The War on Terror will be a fixture of American life and national defense strategy for the foreseeable future and the public must be loud and organized in demanding the best care for wounded warriors, whose wounds often are on the soul and not necessarily physical.

Veterans Day 2013 finds me thinking about this tortured young man and millions of men (and increasingly) women who’ve become veterans in this twilight battle against a genocidal ideology which few imagined we’d one day fight!

Cap Black is a One Man Street Patrol of urban and inner city areas and the coordinator of the Home Defense Foundation of New Orleans. http://www.hdfnola.org

Cap Black is a Contributing Writer to The Bold Pursuit®

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