The lost of life and burden of the ongoing battle will continue to be a weight carried exclusively by Special Operations. There’s little avoiding the reality of the world. It’s dangerous and wild. There’s a higher probability of low intensity conflict around the globe than larger, conventional, open warfare. There’s a war in the shadows of the world. That is where Special Operations, and Special Forces exist.
Two Special Forces soldiers died in Afghanistan. Another died during scuba training. Three more brothers are lost in Jordan. I keep seeing KIA SF team guys floating in my news feed on Facebook. The war is never over for Special Operations and our folks are still dying. Whenever we hear the rhetoric about bringing our troops home? What does that mean to SOF? It means nothing to Special Operations Forces.
The evidence is blaring and for everyone to hear. No matter what, the world is a dangerous place and will continue to be dangerous. SOF will always be in those areas, where your life is at risk. Many of us wouldn’t have it any other way. But to the normal person – it’s not an enviable position. So many of those in SOF are lucky to be alive. The most recent loss of life is both terrifying and sobering to a reality that the world is extremely dangerous.
This Veteran’s day – I do hope many Americans reflect on the state of the world and those who come and go from their own society to improve it – and for security. This was a tumultuous election cycle and by most metrics the country is as divided as it’s ever been. It’s come to a near boiling point and has been building steam over time. But it was abstract to most. Equally abstract to the average civilian are veterans and active service members. That who you vote into office doesn’t affect your job and your CEO – but means a lot to those relying on the VA and most certainly those at the whims of the administration’s foreign policy.
This is a special timing for Veteran’s day. The number of Veterans that have survived war and hard times – and are suffering. Homeless veterans from Vietnam – they may have psychological problems but they’re also in the blind spot of society. The VA is still a mess. In fact, politically it is literally a place where careers are sent to die. As presidential appointments go, it’s not even considered a consolation prize – it’s a sign that you might want to do something else. That’s because it is so messed up and slow-moving you won’t find progress. That, alone, needs to change. The country is as pro-veteran as ever but a fear is that it is rhetoric alone used for political expedience.
However, returning to my original intention – SOF veterans and active duty are returning home and coming from dangerous zones and the hot spots of the world. Like no other force, SOF is and will continue to be the tool used for a wide variety of the most common problems in global national security. I think they deserve special consideration on Veterans Day.