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Struggling Back from War’s Once-Deadly Wounds

By kkominky Oct 10, 2008 1066 Words
Denise Grady’s (2006) article sound a strong wake up call for the American government and for the American public to re-evaluate their guiding principles towards war in Iraq and the continued presence of the American soldiers in the Iraqi soil. Grady delineated the enormous damages the war had costs in not only monetary terms but also the future of thousands of promising young and talented men and women sent in the Iraq War; that had no clear benefits to them or the American people.

The story of Jason Poole as presented by Grady is a clear picture of the ravage of the potentials of soldiers in the face of war, and the wrong priorities of the American government in spending billions of dollars for the war that have no clear advantage for them or the American people, that is worth dying for. The sending of potential young men and women in Iraq to sustain its war lacked the basic objective that warrant their sacrifices, as well as the billions of dollars spend in pursuing such unclear purpose that is wrongly labeled “war on terror.” As per records, American fatalities in Iraq as of January 20 stood at two thousand two hundred twenty five (2, 225), while casualties numbered at 16, 472 (The New York Times, par. 8). Grady cited that medical treatments for brain injuries in Iraq alone would cost fourteen billion dollars.

In the light of the enormous figures, the question that has to be answered is, are these spending justifiable? On the other hand, are the injuries that ruined the life of Corporal Poole and those of others justifiable? Can his goals in his life be worked out for him by the government, now that he is disabled? Can Justice be served to him for losing a relationship because of that war? Grady pictured Poole as a man full of dreams. He dreamed to enter college and to become a teacher some day and raise his own family (Grady, 2006, p 332). Now, these dreams were all shattered by war. The war in Iraq is snatching young men from their love ones only to meet their brutal death in a foreign soil, or get severely injured that will forever disable them. It is clear that these soldiers like Corporal Poole have dedicated their lives to their profession as a soldier to the point of risking their lives just to prove their loyalty and dedication to their profession. However, the legitimacy of Iraq war for such sacrifices is unjustifiable as there is no clear rationale why soldiers have to risk their lives in that foreign soil; Grady demonstrated that the Iraq war is not worthy of all those sacrifices or of the interest of the American people. It is clear that the prolong stay of the American soldiers in Iraq is no longer necessary as the real war was over. Grady’s portrayal of Poole’s story depicts the absurdity of the war in Iraq and the wrong priorities of the government in spending financial resources. The evident point is that the continued war in Iraq is grossly unnecessary and it only ruined the lives, the dreams, and the future of every American soldier sent to Iraq. Grady emphasized that men and women with devastating injuries like Poole are the new face of the wounded, which is the legacy of war in Iraq (Grady p. 332). It means soldiers wounded in Iraq were physically ruined for life. Grady’s portrayal of Poole as a handsome, well built, skilled, full of potential, and active (p. 334) depicts the bright future of the young men being brutally devastated by the prolonged war that is unnecessary anymore. The disability that Poole and others like him incurred in Iraq now deprived them to live their lives the way they wanted. Poole was totally ruined to the point that it was not clear for him how he would face life on his own. I agree with Grady that the United States should do greater efforts to take care of people like Corporal Poole and engaged him in the community by employing him decently to compensate his own dedication and hard work (Grady 2006, p. 341). Poole is still very young at twenty-three and it seemed unlikely that he will spend the next fifty years of his life idly on his $2400 a month pension from the government. After all, it was during his tour of duty that he was brutally injured. Grady noted that people like Poole who has suffered crippling or brain injury or whatever disability in the Iraq war, needs community resources to help them realign their lives after their injury. In this, I agree totally. Nevertheless, although Grady powerfully conveyed his idea of the war in Iraq by using the story of corporal Poole, the feelings of the readers are focus on the need to stop maintaining the war on Iraq. While this is important and urgent, it seems that the author had deliberately allotted limited space on other victims having similar or may be even have worse situation than Poole. I believe that the story would have been more forceful if the writer had cited at least a few more people whose situation is as colorful as with Poole. However, the author was fair enough to cite the government efforts to provide medical care for Poole during his entire treatment until his full recovery. On the one hand, seeing that the government lack of post recovery program, the author offered a suggestion to engage in the community, people like Poole for them to feel they are still part of the society. I believe this is a good suggestion, as most of the injured soldiers are young and they will most likely spend the rest of their lives as useless people if they would not have some participation in the society. Conclusion

The government must take their turn to show appreciation with injured soldiers as they had risked their lives for the country, by creating post recovery program design to help disabled soldiers to become productive members of the society despite of their physical limitations caused by their injuries. They may not have understood why and what they had fought for in Iraq, but the fact that they had risked their lives for the country, they deserve appreciation, and care from the government.

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