Eleven years after 9/11 there are more frequent overt expressions of support for US troops. But with so few Americans in uniform, military families say, the true cost of service is little understood.
Eleven years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks – and more than a decade after America’s longest war began – the troops still fighting overseas say they feel a greater appreciation than ever for the work they do.
On the anniversary of 9/11 and throughout the year, they get standing ovations at sports stadiums and robust applause on airplanes.
But whether most Americans actually understand what members of the armed forces do or share in their sacrifice, they add, is another matter.
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“I fear they do not comprehend the full weight of the burden we carry or the price we pay when we return from battle.”
Clearly, it’s not from lack of compassion in the American public, Mr. Mullen and others are quick to stress. But the standing ovations and care packages for troops – while well intended – often only reinforce the impression among military families and spouses that a wide gulf of understanding separates them from the rest of America.
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