No sir, we are not “numb”

War-weary U.S. is numbed to drumbeat of troop deaths

KOMO News:  It was another week at war in Afghanistan, another string of American casualties, and another collective shrug by a nation weary of a faraway conflict whose hallmark is its grinding inconclusiveness.

After nearly 11 years, many by now have grown numb to the sting of losing soldiers like Pfc. Shane W. Cantu of Corunna, Mich. He died of shrapnel wounds in the remoteness of eastern Afghanistan, not far from the getaway route that Osama bin Laden took when U.S. forces invaded after Sept. 11, 2001, and began America’s longest war.

Nearly every day the Pentagon posts another formulaic death notice, each one brief and unadorned, revealing the barest of facts – name, age and military unit – but no words that might capture the meaning of the loss.

Cantu, who joined the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade on Sept. 11 last year and went to Afghanistan last month, was among five U.S. deaths announced this past week.

American troops are still dying in Afghanistan at a pace that doesn’t often register beyond their hometowns. So far this year, it’s 31 a month on average, or one per day. National attention is drawn, briefly, to grim and arbitrary milestones such as the 1,000th and 2,000th war deaths. But days, weeks and months pass with little focus by the general public or its political leaders on the individuals behind the statistics.

Each week at war has a certain sameness for those not fighting it, yet every week brings distinct pain and sorrow to the families who learn that their son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother was killed or wounded.

As the war drags on, it remains a faraway puzzle for many Americans. Max Boot, a military historian and defense analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, has called Afghanistan the “Who Cares?” war. “Few, it seems, do, except for service personnel and their families,” he wrote recently. “It is almost as if the war isn’t happening at all.

The war remains at the forefront, naturally, for members of the military such as Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly, whose son, 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan in November 2010. “America as a whole today is certainly not at war, not as a country, not as a people,” Kelly said in a speech Aug. 28 at the American Legion’s national convention. Kelly is Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s senior military assistant.

“Only a tiny fraction of American families fear all day and every day a knock at the door that will shatter their lives,” Kelly said.

I beg to differ with the author of this article.  We are not “numb” to our soldiers’ deaths.  We read about it everyday.

As Tom wrote, what we want is to withdraw our troops now, bring them home, and stop letting Obama stroke his ego as a wartime president with the blood of our troops.

We are not “numb” and we support our troops. For the past four years I have been serving Soldiers’ Angels, sending letters and care packages to my “adopted” soldiers.  If you would like to support our troops, visit Soldiers’ Angels or


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8 years ago

Bring our precious men and women home. This war is unwinable. Not only because of the occupier in the WH, but because the people of the muslim countries do not want change. Well, I’m sure the women and children want change, but the men of those countries are evil and demonic – the descendants of Ishmael. The Bible says that they will always be at war with everyone. I do feel for the small pockets of Christians within those countries and of course for the women and children and pray for them. Our sons and daughters will continue to pay… Read more »

8 years ago
Reply to  liz

Part 1 right here… follow-on the rest on YouTube.

8 years ago

There are too many “the war is over” attitudes out there… Iraq may be over, but that’s it (complacency doesn’t guarantee peace).

Teresa Rice
8 years ago

I have mixed feelings on the War in Afghanistan. But I’m leaning towards thinking that its time to bring our troops home since political correctness has our soldiers hands tied around their backs. We’re not in it to win it now or we’re not running the war in a way to win so I think we need to bring our troops home.