Over 2 million combat troops have fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 12 years defending America's democratic values (compared to 9 million who served in Vietnam between 1964-1975)
6,656 American lives have been lost in Iraq and the US military effort in Afghanistan has resulted in the death of 2,316 of our soldiers.
But these figures are not the main story.
These numbers are just a part of the larger story as we ask just what have we accomplished?
Why just last year in Iraq, the United Nations reported that 8,868 people were killed.
Have we contained weapons of mass destruction?
two years into the American intervention in Iraq
Have we finished and then exited a mission that is 'accomplished?'
Have we achieved a peace in Iraq, while rooting out an elusive terrorist enemy in Afghanistan?
(Why JUST TODAY it is reported that 24 innocent lives have been taken by terrorists in Iraq as the Sunni insurgents try to disrupt the first democratically held elections since US troops departure in 2011.)
But the most horrific story that Cavanaugh's article deals with is the hundreds of thousands, yes HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS American troops that now suffer from severe emotional and mental distress.
This is making a nightmare for these returning serviceman, but is also an ongoing tragedy for their families, parents, spouses and children who must bear the unwelcome diurnal stresses placed upon them.
PTSD ([post traumatic stress disorder) is just one of the severe long-lasting disorders that CBS has been brave enough to expose on national TV.
The underlying apathy of America to her returning servicemen is intolerable.
The media is also to be apprehended for its shielding its readers from the horrors of these wars---over so many years --because of its failure to give daily prominence to the ugly butchery.
Does the American public even know that over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been sacrificed while we fought on her foreign soil?