It's been five years since Jacob Sexton, a soldier with the Indiana National Guard, came home with nightmares after two combat deployments, and on a Monday evening in a movie theater with family and friends, killed himself with a pistol shot. He was 21-years-old. The story is horrifying, and sadly familiar. On this day, we pause to honor the 21.9 million living Americans who have served in uniform. We might also remember the estimated 8,000 veterans and 475 active duty, reserve and National Guard men and women who took their own lives last year in the ongoing tragedy of military and veteran suicide. Jacob's death, like the others, could have been prevented.
When the press ignores the discussion at hand: issues as vital to the health and security of the working class as middle class wages, the utility workers, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans employment rates, and government employee pensions, one shouldn't be surprised that the public transit system is begging for school supplies.
In 2005, while Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol were sitting at desks in Washington, my unit was fighting their war in Iraq. They were playing armchair general. We were kicking in doors, getting shot at and driving on IED-planted roads in unarmored vehicles designed for amphibious assaults.