By Gary Kopycinski & Rosemary Piser
Those of us that are old enough to remember watching the nightly news during the war in Viet Nam will tell you that seeing the caskets of the dead being taken off the planes almost nightly, made us understand the reality of war all too clearly. These images eventually lead to many of us questioning the wisdom of the war and became active in efforts that many claim were instrumental in ending it.
Today, the images of those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq are rarely seen. And even though someone in the military dies almost daily as the result of the United States’ War on Terror, it gets little mention in the Press and the notices are buried in the Defense Department’s website.
Likewise, all who serve today serve voluntarily. Military conscription is no more. Very few of those who choose the path of valor are from the upper classes in America.
In their book AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service — and How It Hurts Our Country, Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer (Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism), his semi-autobiographical Portofino: A Novel (Calvin Becker Trilogy), and Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the U.S. Marine Corps, to name a few.) lament in a compelling manner the absence of the upper classes from service, the courage of parents who learn of the deaths of their children, and the media’s obsession publishing body counts for political reasons, and ignoring the courage of those who serve.
Some quotes from the book, this one an example of valor:
In 2004, Brad Kasal led a handful of Marines into an insurgent-held house to rescue three trapped and wounded comrades. During the course of the rescue, Kasal was shot seven times and used his body to shield an injured comrade, absorbing forty pieces of shrapnel. He survived, as did the injured Marine and all but one of the other Marines.
Regarding the media:
It is a shame that stories of heroism are ignored. A whole generation of Americans is growing up without knowing that very ordinary young people such as themselves can rise to great heights of bravery.
And this, also about the media:
Often very ordinary people do stunningly heroic things while in uniform. In previous eras, it was common for the newspapers just mentioned to cover these stories often, to give them prominent attention in a front section. Today most of the time our prestige press seems to regard the heroism of their fellow Americans in uniform as something not fit for publication.
And why we need to know:
We need to know these things, not because they glorify war—they don’t—or boost the standing of political leaders, but because Mindy’s and Mark’s lives give us a glimpse of grace.
Whether you support the United States’ War on Terror being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq or not, the fact is that many courageous individuals are dying for the principles upon which this country was founded. We at eNews Park Forest believe that they should be honored.
eNews Park Forest has begun publishing the names of these brave individuals as our small way of paying tribute to them and keep a running total of the number of lives that have been lost. eNews Park Forest will continue tell the stories of the heroes who have answered the call to serve.