This is a month for painful anniversaries. It is 10 years since the start of the benighted war in Iraq. It is also one year since March 11, 2012, the day Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly massacred 16 civilians in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan.
But I’m more concerned about a silent anniversary: the next day, March 12, 2012. It was an absolutely terrible day for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, especially those looking for jobs. It was a day–yet another day–when the headlines were about a trooper gone berserk.
This is true far too often: veterans involved in gun violence, suicide or domestic abuse, homeless veterans, addicted veterans. The woes are endless. The problems are real. But the vast majority of veterans don’t suffer from them.
And there were no high-profile public figures to stand up and speak for the majority in the days after the Bales massacre, especially for the thousands who were thanked for their service–and then quietly turned down for work because employers, well, they didn’t want to take any chances.
Full column, here.