There are honorable deaths, there may be necessary wars. But this was neither honorable nor necessary. Does telling the truth blame the soldiers? It shouldn't, but it certainly should make the powerful less comfortable.
I was able to speak to Wahl recently for a rare interview, to shed some light on a life with more twists and turns than any movie script, as well as the charitable causes that are spurring him back into the public eye.
I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. Here's what I do support: I support them coming home. And the best way you can support me -- and the ideals our country says it believes in -- is to get out of the military as soon as you can and never look back.
Soldier families suffer indescribable pain and suffering from dealing with those hundreds of thousands of casualties. But to most of us the above is a stat sheet; merely numbers. We are unable to relate to what those numbers mean in a practical, emotional, and spiritual sense.
As we honor the service of gay service members, remember that they have families who should be honored as well. Denying these families the same support and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts is not the way to do it.
Being anti-war does not mean that you still can't value the mission of the soldiers as the guardians of our liberties and our way of life-or their status as "heroes," particularly those who fought and died.
When you see my Purple Heart, you see my sacrifice, but I see and feel much more. I see the people I killed, the civilians that I failed to protect, and I am reminded that there will be no Purple Heart for them.
One fundamental premise of Obama's presidency has been his push for change, for civility, to heal splits between warring political parties. He wants us to make links that can withstand the threats by some to tear apart our culture.
No doubt, painkillers are often an absolute necessity to veterans suffering from excruciating and debilitating pain. But even in these cases, we need to go further in offering substantive, long-term treatments that will help veterans return to their lives and fulfill their dreams.
Every time I see a soldier in uniform at the airport, duffel bag tossed over his or her shoulder, waving a tearful good-bye to a wife, husband, fiancé, mother or father, my heart overflows with gratitude.