Via the fire-breathing pinko commies at FDL, a reminder that the cost of war is more than just an unbalanced budget:
During the first week of the war in Iraq, a Military Times photographer captured the arresting image of Army Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer as he raced through a battle zone clutching a tiny Iraqi boy named Ali.
The photo was hailed as a portrait of the heart behind the U.S. military machine, and Doc Dwyer’s concerned face graced the pages of newspapers across the country.
But rather than going on to enjoy the public affection for his act of heroism, he was consumed by the demons of combat stress he could not exorcise. For the medic who cared for the wounds of his combat buddies as they pushed toward Baghdad, the battle for his own health proved too much to bear.
On June 28, Dwyer, 31, died of an accidental overdose in his home in Pinehurst, N.C., after years of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. During that time, his marriage fell apart as he spiraled into substance abuse and depression. He found himself constantly struggling with the law, even as friends, Veterans Affairs personnel and the Army tried to help him.
Read the whole thing, as it is just heartbreaking. In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right.
Meanwhile, those who have already paid a heavy price for this country continue to sacrifice:
Martin Onieal, 92, a patient at the Veteran Affairs medical center, registered to vote Monday, courtesy of the state’s chief elections official — Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.
“There was nobody here to do this last year,” said Onieal, a World War II veteran of the Italian and North African campaigns, formerly of Hamden and a resident of the VA center since 2007.
Bysiewicz and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Monday registered Onieal and a handful of other VA patients, and threatened a lawsuit if they couldn’t come back to demonstrate how the new voting machines work.
Bysiewicz conducted the impromptu registration session outside the VA entrance after she said her office failed to get a written response to two letters seeking permission to go to the state’s VA centers, and was denied access in a follow-up phone call Friday.
Bysiewicz and Blumenthal were protesting a ban on registration drives issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last month, which based its decision in part on the Hatch Act, which bans federal workers from engaging in partisan political activity.
“I believe that there is a concerted effort going on to suppress voter registration,” Bysiewicz, pointing to the department’s directive, and a separate ban issued for Indian reservations, because they are on federal property.
More here. It may very well be that there is no intentional malfeasance here in this case, and the VA is merely doing what they think the law requires them to do, but after all these guys have given (particularly when you consider that the Bush administration used the issue of military absentee ballots to aid them in the 2000 election), no expense should be spared getting every one of these guys who wants to vote registered. Period.