The anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq is a big story this week.
A lot of the coverage is “big picture” with plenty of opportunity to re-run those videos of Shock and Awe explosions in Baghdad.
But there are hundreds of thousands of little pictures, important pictures, personal pictures, of our friends, neighbors, family members, colleagues and fellow citizens. They are pictures of those who served in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan, and Vietnam.
Some of those pictures are a little brighter. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 vets dropped last year from 12.1 percent to 9.9 percent.
But other pictures are very dark. They are stained with physical and mental damage, poverty, violence and suicide. While those pictures are true, mercifully they aren’t the big picture.
The vast majority of veterans make great employees and deserve every break we can give them. Their unemployment rate should be below the national average. On their behalf, we also need to get the Veteran’s Administration where it needs to be.
Joe Klein calls the V. A. a “national disgrace” in the current issue of Time Magazine. Please read his column.