By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Debt owed to veterans can never be repaid
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
Even when all the evidence is in and the experts have spoken, we may never truly know why Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan turned on his fellow servicemen at Ft. Hood last week.

Religious zealotry? Islamic terrorism? Mental meltdown? Evil incarnate?

Was his shooting spree anti-American? Anti-Christian? Anti-military? Or just the violent outburst of a broken psyche?

We don’t know, not really, not yet. We may never.

But this we do know:  those he targeted, the victims he killed and wounded, were at that place, that day of reckoning, on our behalf.

That is the way of the American military, men and women volunteering to put themselves in harms way for the rest of us.

The timing of Hasan’s attack is ironic in that it comes as we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day this week. The suddenness of death at Ft. Hood serves as a stark and bitter reminder to us all of the sacrifices we expect from those who don the uniforms of the nation’s military.

There are those who confuse the politics of war with the sacrifice of military service. The men and women of our armed forces don’t get to decide where the nation will wage its battles; those are decisions made by political leaders. Those who blame the soldiers for the battles they are asked to fight do a disservice to all veterans, past and present.

There is no other group to whom the nation owes such a debt of gratitude, yet seldom do we pause to consider what those who serve in the military are asked to do on our behalf.

We will pause next week to reflect on the debt owed our veterans, and then go about our daily routines with little thought for the soldiers who stand between us and the enemies of our nation.

They deserve more.

We may never understand the actions of Maj. Hasan, but this we do know: those he attacked were there because they chose to put personal sacrifice above personal gain and patriotic honor above apathetic ambivalence.

Pause on Wednesday to say a silent thanks to all of those who choose to serve, and offer a special prayer for the fallen at Ft. Hood, taken without warning from a battleground upon which they never knew they stood.