As of today, American forces have been doing battle in Afghanistan for the last decade.
Families across our nation have sacrificed dads, sons, husbands, and brothers; they have sent daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers off to war.
The branch of service or rank makes little difference when the loss hits home; it is equally painful for every family. To date more than 13,000 injured warriors have returned from Afghanistan. The death toll for U.S. troops stands at nearly 1800.
The numbers for Afghans lost in the conflict get murky…Civilians killed by U.S. forces, civilians killed by insurgents, insurgents killed by U.S. forces. Who will ever really know?
But the war chugs on and the sacrifices continue for families who have currently deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and yes, private contractors.
Most will come home safe-and-sound. But many will come home and their lives will be changed forever from wounds that are both visible, and the worst kind, those that are not.
Our soldiers have seen a way of life in Afghanistan that hasn’t changed much in the last 2000 years but most feel like they made a difference during their time in country.
The schools and hospitals our soldiers have built, the water systems they have installed along with all the humanitarian aide they have distributed will no doubt have an impact on the Afghans’ lives, hopefully on a long-term basis.
I am heartened every day that Americans still respect the work our warriors are doing and continue to send support from home. After a decade, their resolve to keep up troop morale has never wavered.
Our soldiers are doing the hard work and as a nation we must continue to do our part to support them while they are deployed and as importantly, when they return and adapt to their non-combat roles back home. Some will return to civilian jobs and some will do stateside duty until their next deployment, which will probably take them back to Afghanistan.
For anyone reading this who would like to directly support a soldier deployed to a combat zone with letters or boxes from home, one of the best ways possible is through the website AnySoldier.com.
Please keep the support coming for the soldiers and their families on the homefront. Reaching the ten-year milestone in Afghanistan has made the news this week, but for our deployed troops, it’s just another day.
Click here to see a video of ‘another day’ for the 3/7 Marines.
Thank you for your service.
It takes the courage and strength of a Soldier to ask for help. If you are in an emotional crisis call 1-800-273-TALK.