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The Price Of Service

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As a naturalized American citizen who has served in the Israeli military, I am familiar with the price that a soldier must pay for serving his country.   It is a price that does not only come for the possible ultimate sacrifice he or she may be required to give, it is also the price his family and loved ones must pay as well... alive or dead.

 

I was pleased to discover that our government values a soldier's service to the extent that in certain cases they will pay $80,000 in hard cash for their re-enlistment -- but shocked to learn only approximately $10,000 cash should they return in a body bag.  And even more stunned to learn that should a soldier pay the ultimate price for his country, that there is no ongoing support for his family; at least until his children are 18 and his spouse remarries, as it is in some other countries.

"Freeze Frame" brings to a viewer's attention the fact that more Vietnam vets died by their own hands since coming home, than were killed in action.  But these numbers do not reflect the cost to their families.  Now that the same phenomena are going on with our present wars, what will the true body count be?  Not in terms of the actual men killed in action, or by their own hands, but in terms of the families that are destroyed; the families that can't meet their mortgages; and the families that can't pay their bills, without support from their government.  And by the support I do not just mean the cost of the funeral... or possible housing allowances... or tax deductions... but I mean enough support to allow these families to stay in their homes -- to feed their children -- to pay for medical care.  Can we afford to have our vets begging in the streets for their families after coming home?  Can we afford to see one out of every four of these men end up in prison as did their brothers from Vietnam?

Ben Browder put it most elegantly when he said that "a nation's ability to fight future wars will depend on the way they treat veterans from past conflicts."

We must remember that the oath to Duty, Honor, and Country, does not supersede a man or woman's obligations and responsibilities to their families and their loved ones -- nor their government's duty and obligation to assume the role of provider, should our brave soldier's pay the ultimate price.

If our great country can bail out Wall Street, the banks, and Detroit, I am certain that they can find a way to support those who serve and those who wait at home for their return.

Galit McCord, Director
The Story of An Iraq War Veteran -- A short film.

External Publication

  • Freeze Frame 4 Vets
  • Galit McCord
  •   Thursday, 01 January 1970

Copyright

© Copyright © 2009 Limelight Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.

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