Nearly 18,000 military personnel have been wounded in combat since the war began in Iraq more than three years ago, according to Defense Department statistics. Some have lost legs and arms, suffered horrific burns to their bodies and gone home permanently.
But the vast majority have remained in Iraq or returned later - their bodies marked by small scars and their lives plagued by aches and pains.
I know that the majority of the Left simply can't understand the military. And I don't know anymore if that's really a bad thing.
Many of the injured soldiers have begged their commanders to let them come back. One soldier was sent home after a bomb exploded in his face and damaged his eyes. He likely will never return to Iraq, but still asks. Another was sent home because of a heart condition, but returned to Iraq three times, according to Lt. Col. Thomas Kunk, a commander in the 502nd Infantry Regiment.
Kunk, who is not a doctor, decides every week which wounded soldiers can return to duty. Often the soldiers research regulations and argue endlessly, he said.
It's heartbreaking when he has to say no, but he does.
"Sometimes there's too much 'Hooah!' in us guys," Kunk said. While he doesn't want to dampen that enthusiasm, he said, "I don't want to hurt the guy the rest of his life."
So, tell me again about how the military is a bunch of dumb morons who get suckered into going to Iraq? Tell me again about how the military doesn't want to be in Iraq?
Yeah, right. These men and women believe in what they're doing. And they prove it, every time they go back into the desert.