I was struck by a couple of things as I watched Nightline tonight. (For future reference, tonight was the show where Ted Koppel read off all the name of American soldiers who have died in Iraq. Each name was accompanied by the person’s photo.) First, I felt I could tell the National Guard soldiers from the regular army troops. That was kind of weird. They seemed more obviously civilian or something and looked different than both the fresh-faced teenagers and the middle-aged lifers. Both the young recruits and the lifers were volunteers for active duty; the NG thought they might be helping out in the event of a national disaster!
The second thought, especially upon seeing the faces of so many that were old enough to have families of their own, was that a casualty isn’t just one fallen soldier; it affects his or her entire family. Having undergone 2 deaths in our family in the past couple of years, it was easy to imagine the loss felt by the over 700 families of these fallen soldiers.