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The Bottom Line on a New Obama Troop Policy
Thursday, July 07, 2011 9:16 AM

Mark your calendars people.  

This day doesn't come very often. 

I actually AGREE with the President on something. 

OK, I know that sounds a little disingenuous, but in all seriousness I agree with what the President is trying to do here. 

He is reversing a long standing policy of not sending condolence letters to the families of service members who commit suicide while in a combat zone. 

"This issue is emotional, painful, and complicated, but these Americans served our nation bravely. They didn't die because they were weak," Obama said in a written statement. "And the fact that they didn't get the help they needed must change." 

I agree whole heartedly Mr. President. The American military serviceman/woman is under more pressure today than they have been than under any other time in history. 

No really. Here's why: Never before has the American Armed Services had to do so much with so little. Yes budgets are bigger, but things cost more these days, and constant troop drawdowns has made it so that service people must make that dollar stretch further. It means that deployments are longer, and harder as violence increases.  

And let's be honest, the enemy is different today than other era's. It all started in Vietnam, with the military having to worry about citizens as well as soldiers.  

Now we aren't really even sure who is an enemy and who isn't. Terror doesn't have a face. 

And now, mental health problems have been estimated to affect about 1 in 5 troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Battle takes its toll in an individual in a manner that is quite unique, and only people who have been there can truly be sympathetic to what these brave men and women actually go through. 

I am in no way condoning suicide, I might add. I think we need to do more to get help to where help is needed. 

And one more fact, the President isn't condoning suicide either. But you can't punish the family for someone taking their own life. I do agree that we should offer our condolences. 

thebottomline@afr.net 

@afrbottomline 

Check out my podcast! www.afa.net/radio/talk/podcasts and click on The Bottom Line 

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7641721.html 

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