Friday marked the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and the Bush administration is eager to congratulate itself on a job well done.
But the casualties continue to rise, and families with loved ones serving in Iraq are wondering when they'll see their children, their spouses, and their parents return home safely. We should take time to remember the incredible sacrifices of military families and the enormous price of war, so it's never again used as anything other than a last resort.
The casualty count is rising daily. More than 650 coalition troops (including more than 550 American service people) have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and more than 3,200 have been injured. Thousands of Iraqis also have been killed and injured.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 40 percent of all troops serving in Iraq soon will be either reservists or National Guard members. Many of these soldiers thought they would be serving overseas for six months. Now, they're being told they'll be spending a year or more in Iraq. According to The Washington Post, thousands of families had less than a week's notice to prepare for this separation.
Families of reservists and Guard members don't have the established support resources that families of full-time soldiers have at military bases. Many of these families will have to get by on less money because reservists and Guard members often receive less money for their service than their regular jobs pay.