We now have 3,000 konfirmed killed in action (KKIA). We have 3,000 young men and women who went off to a war that only a handful of people wanted. We have 3,000 grieving mothers and fathers who are searching for answers to the question, why their child? Why did he or she have to die when so many did not?
I have some questions of my own. What were you thinking, Moms and Dads of the KKIA when your child decided to become a soldier? Why did you ever let them go so far away from you to die in a meaningless incident in an innocent place invaded for no good reason?
Mom, did that uniform mean so much to you? Did he or she really look that good in dress blues, or combat fatigues? Did the useless and meaningless medals for marksmanship, technical training or whatever else they bribed your child to get him to die, really mean so much that you willingly encouraged him to go?
Dad, when you were in 'Nam, or Kuwait, or even Panama, did you leave something on the table that only your kid could bring back to you? Did you really tell him that you were proud of him to follow in your useless, killing footsteps? Did you want him to be better than you, or did you just dare him to measure up to your drunken standards?
No matter why they enlisted, the process started a long time before the child could make that decision. And you started it for them. In many ways, they are doing your duty to God and Country because they believed in you. Your dead "hero" died because he or she thought you would not lead him to harm. That your high opinion of the military's might and right to train killers was reason enough to go.
When they hand you that folded flag that draped the coffin you dared not open because IEDs make such a mess of loved bodies, ask them to give you back your child. Don't be too surprised if they laugh at you, the few, the proud, the assholes like you.