This WaPo story is based on interviews with 100 of the some 500,000 veterans of the war in Iraq. (In other words, these are anecdotes, not data. Interestingly, however, if theres an agenda driving the choice of interviewees and topics, its not the one you might expect. This isnt "Iraq veterans oppose war.")
Two points stand out. First, theres the gratitude and support coming from ordinary people--spontaneous applause in airports, for example (which Ive seen as well). Second, theres this, which reveals such agenda as there is:
But perhaps the worst is when [people] dont say anything at all and just go on living their lives, oblivious to the war.
Which is exactly what Army Capt. Tyler McIntyre was trying to explain to some family members while eating at an Italian restaurant when he was home on leave a couple of years ago.
He looked across the restaurant and saw everyone stuffing their faces with pasta and drinking wine. "And everyones kind of just sitting there doing it," he said.
Which is really sort of extraordinary, he said. The country is at war. People are fighting at this very moment. Dont these people know whats going on? Dont they care?
No, he decided. They have no appreciation for their easy, gluttonous lives and dont deserve the freedom, prosperity and contentment he was fighting to protect.
He wanted to yell, "You dont know what you have! You dont appreciate it! You dont care!"
But he didnt. He kept his mouth shut. He was only home on leave. Soon, he would be going back to the war.
Republican (that is to say, non-bourgeois) virtue, anyone?