Memorial Day: Among post-9/11 veterans, deepening antiwar sentiment
This Memorial Day the Iraq war is over and the Afghanistan war is winding down, but they're weighing heavily on post-9/11 veterans, 33 percent of whom said they weren't worth the cost.
Despite the end of the Iraq war and the scheduled drawdown in Afghanistan, this Memorial Day arrives against a backdrop of deepening – and some say more troublesome – antiwar sentiment among military veterans.
One of the most vivid and replayed images of protesters at the NATO summit last weekend in Chicago was a group of some 40 vets lined up to toss their war medals over the chain-link fence to protest what former naval officer Leah Bolger calls “the illegal wars of both NATO and America.”
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 33 percent of post-9/11 veterans say that neither the war in Iraq nor the war in Afghanistan was "worth the cost,” and this among a highly motivated cohort who chose to serve.
What this means, says retired US Army Col. Ann Wright, who resigned from a State Department post in 2006 over US policies in Iraq, is that there is a widening gap between the government, military policies, and the soldiers that carry them out.