I happened to be at our local airport when some of the local National Guard troops returned home from their service in Iraq.
Ours is a small airport where the planes come only a few times a day and you stand in the terminal watching the arriving passengers walk down stairs from the plane onto the tarmac only a few feet from you.
To see these young men and women step off the plane and rush into the arms of their families was a moment I will always cherish. In those embraces I was witness to the best of the unprotected human heart. It was as if all the suppressed fear and loneliness those young people had felt for all their time away had been left behind, and they were once again young American boys and girls who were happily in the embrace of their families.
I loathe this unnecessary war and the tiny man who started it, and not a day goes by when I don’t think of the mothers and babies and elders in Iraq who have died for our adventurism. But none of that cuts a whit into the feeling of joy and respect that I experienced seeing these young men and women return to the arms of their families.
I only wish we were welcoming them home from service in our forgotten city, New Orleans, which has been ignored by our government for two years to the day today, instead of from Iraq, where we are spending three billion dollars a week — yes, $3,000,000,000 a week — to serve some nefarious and ill defined purpose of a government run amok.
May we at some point in the future become the country we all know we can be, and reach out to help our fallen brothers and sisters rather than sending the best of our young people to advance the causes of men and women who see profit, not kindness and service, as the highest purpose of the American nation.