I was talking with a friend the other day about the differences in today’s society verses when we were just out of our teens.

I was in my 30s when I experienced a time that we were not at war with someone.

Of course all the wars after WWII were fought under the Geneva Convention meaning they were fought as “politically correct” wars.

There were now “rules of engagement.” Go down a checklist before you are allowed to defend yourself. It really doesn’t work well during split second life and death decisions.

War In The Living Room

When the Vietnam War started America was gung ho and we “were in it to win it.”

Stop the spread of Communism at all costs.

The Vietnam War was the first war we could watch on the six o’clock news. Blood and death served with fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

The 60s were off and running. Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll were the order of the day. Over the next few years, opposition to the war began to build.

We were baby killing mass murderers in the eyes of the American public. No one applauded when we walked though airports.

Thanking a serviceman or woman for their service would have been unthinkable during that time.

Fast Forward To Today

CNN was the number one network in the 90s as we learned about smart bombs and technology warfare. We had really cool weapons where soldiers didn’t have to get their hands dirty.

Wars, while still going on, were “old hat.” Out of style, no longer news worthy. If you’d seen one building destroyed by a smart bomb you’d pretty much seen them all.

I can’t remember the last time I saw any kind of news reports out of Iraq or Afghanistan other than helicopters either crashing or being shot down.

No Body Count No News

In Vietnam the daily body count was reported. Fifty-three thousand dead names on a wall over a seven-year period.

Less than 5,000 lives lost in two wars lasting twice as long were being fought in the Middle East.

The first 2,000 or 3,000 made news and produced protesters but then the administration changed and no one cared anymore unless your loved one was there.

Politicians railed about the treatment and appreciation of our returning vets but the needle to help barely moved. The VA is accused of letting veterans die on long waiting lists for treatment.

“Heads will roll,” they scream but again not much change is visible.

Some Final Thoughts

One of the things all vets have to live with is, “Why you?” Why is someone else’s name on that wall and not yours?

Why did you get to come home when so many didn’t?

Times have changed. We have bigger fish to fry than to worry about a small war in two countries most of us couldn’t find on a map.

After all it’s the final season of American Idol.

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