This Veterans' Day, world peace feels a long way off. The United States is in its 14th year of war. After all these years of bloodshed and trauma, we as a society still haven't grappled with the burden our military, and their families, continue to bear.
Religion, race, ethnicity, or even tribe, (as in South Sudan), are frequently employed as the weapon to target potential victims and as means for authoritarian political leaders to rationalize their hold on power by promoting fear of the other and hate.
This Veterans Day, do something that can make a tangible difference in the lives of our veterans. Go to www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org and get training in Mental Health First Aid so that the next time you ask a veteran, "Are you okay?" you'll know what to do if they say, "No, I'm not."
It's January 2007, the first moments of our first Coming Home Project retreat, an opportunity for veterans and families from around the country to come together to share stories and support one another. We gather for our first circle, thirty-three veterans and family members from seven states, with four facilitators.
We must remember that this week, a girl was stoned to death, Katy Perry was declared the highest earning female in music and Kendall Jenner celebrated reaching 40 million Instagram followers by flashing an underboob.
"Who one is and what one will do will be determined by the story one sees oneself as a part of." In other words, free will is dictated and limited by how one perceives one's self, and fate is only a consequence of a narrative that may be completely imaginary.
While relatively few Afghans are anxious to see the Taliban's return, many seem willing to believe their promises to govern differently than in the past. Incidents like the strike on Kunduz's Doctors Without Borders hospital by American gunships can also serve to channel anger against a Kabul regime reliant on foreign troops.
Only one year after a massive scandal in the Veteran's Administration, things are shoddier than ever. It's like the movie "Groundhog Day," but instead of just reliving things over and over, they get worse.
During the last 14 years, we had everything but a leader. To secure the achievements and overcome the massive challenges, it's the right time to review quickly the unprecedented achievements of the last fourteen years as well as the challenges that remain and lie ahead.
There have been so many claims of "progress" these last 14 years (and so many air strike apologies as well) and yet each announcement of further success seems to signal the very opposite.
Ten months ago, on December 28, 2014, a ceremony in Kabul officially marked the conclusion of America's very long war in Afghanistan. President Obama called that day "a milestone for our country." That was then. This is now.
This stark imagery of war notwithstanding, there is actually very little conflict that takes place in Kabul. Some nights might be interrupted by the muffled sound of a small explosion occurring somewhere in the city or the odd exchange of gunfire, but for the most part, the city is mostly free of any actual violence.
There has been concern in the western world for some time, and rightly so, that Russia under the rule of Vladimir Putin wants to assert itself as a superpower resembling the defunct USSR.
People deserve to hear more about Afghanistan and Afghanistan deserves to be heard. For its hardships, and its accomplishments. I don't make a point of looking for incredible stories of positivity and perseverance in Afghanistan.
"Relating to Project America Run I think I have shown people the power of persistence and that if you believe in it you will do it."
With the drawing down of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, President Obama put in place the final phase of his Afghan policy, announcing, with Disney CEO Robert Iger by his side, the purchase of Afghanistan by Disney.