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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-12 02:53 AM
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9 more Iraq, Afghan war veterans joining Congress
Nov 23, 10:49 PM EST

9 more Iraq, Afghan war veterans joining Congress

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Tammy Duckworth sees it, her path to Congress began when she awoke in the fall of 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was missing both of her legs and faced the prospect of losing her right arm.

Months of agonizing therapy lay ahead. As the highest-ranking double amputee in the ward, Maj. Duckworth became the go-to person for soldiers complaining of substandard care and bureaucratic ambivalence.


Veterans' groups say the influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is welcome because it comes at a time when the overall number of veterans in Congress is on a steep and steady decline. In the mid-1970s, the vast majority of lawmakers tended to be veterans.

For example, the 95th Congress, which served in 1977-78, had more than 400 veterans among its 535 members, according to the American Legion. The number of veterans next year in Congress will come to just more than 100. Most served during the Vietnam War era. In all, 16 served in Iraq or Afghanistan, not all in a combat role.

"We're losing about a half a million veterans a year in this country," said Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America. "We are not going to be in a world where a significant plurality of people spent some time in the military, so to have 16 men and women who fought in this current Congress is incredibly significant."

In the (relatively) recent past, most (not all) members of Congress who had served in the military had volunteered for World War II or been drafted for Vietnam, or maybe had volunteered so they could choose their branch or specialty before they were drafted as infantry.

For the first time, we are getting members of the all volunteer Army.

I have very mixed feelings. In other news, I no longer thank members of the military for their service. I do wish them things like a safe return home. I just don't thank them for having volunteered and I react very negatively to the near military worship we are falling into.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-12 06:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm with you, No Elephants.
Edited on Sat Nov-24-12 06:18 AM by Enthusiast
This new ultra nationalism and super glorification of everything military is an extremely dangerous trend. It is especially troubling in light of today's political realities.

We have a massive portion of the nation that is utterly in thrall to and under the spell of the purveyors of FALSE right wing propaganda.

The way our elected representatives are ignoring the clear wishes of the people while allowing corporations to actually write legislation is a clear example of fascism.

And what the media won't say, but should tell the American people, "The Bush Administration did a horrible job of connecting the dots leading up to 9/11. Horrible doesn't even begin to describe how they ignored six very specific warnings that even warned of planes being used as weapons. And there was no evidence of of Iraq participation in 9/11 or the threat of WMDs. The Iraq threat intelligence evidence was completely manufactured."

Until the media blurts this out, right in the face of the American people we can rightly consider the media seriously unreliable and compromised. If that was everything, but it only scratches the surface of the entrenched corruption and in our face malfeasance that is being completely ignored by law enforcement and the justice system.

I guess I should love it or leave it. Or adopt a "My country, right or wrong." philosophy.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-12 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. After Vietnam, military reverence was mostly a RW thang, but it's for everyone now.
Edited on Sat Nov-24-12 07:51 AM by No Elephants
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-24-12 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't really understand how this whole military worship thing came about
I appreciate that veterans are in Congress because the people there should not be voting to send kids to war if none of them served themselves.

Maybe we're moving in the same direction as Egypt.
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