Filner ended by telling the crowd, "I support the troops, bring them home."
Dave Paterson from Veterans for Peace spoke of the rallies they have every Thursday in front of General Atomics in Poway. He addressed an issue that has troubled me for a while. "People are beginning to think that sending their sons to war is not ok, but maybe it is by remote control."
He added, "they think it is great, not to send their sons to war and who the hell cares who gets killed. Less than 2% are known terrorist." This has troubled me for some time. War is becoming too easy, because nobody on our side is at risk.
Perhaps, as Paterson went on, the fact that the FAA is getting pressured to open US Skies to drones, that might bring the point home. It is not ok. He invited the audience to join them every Thursday at Poway.
Retired Colonel David Gapp took the stage next. He reminisced that his father was killed in Vietnam when he was young. His father left behind kids who were between four and twelve years of age.
This war also is seeing an average in the dead that is low. For example Kamela Sleed was 31, and she was a resident of the City of San Diego.
Gapp also reminded the audience that while the war in Iraq is over, we still have one hundred thousand contractors still in country. He added that so far for Afghanistan we have lost 4, 485 casualties (not just American, this is the total for the coalition). Among them was David Emmanuel Hickman who was 24 and died on November 14, 2001. He was the first casualty of the war.
"Before Obama took over, 650 were killed, now 2115 dead." He spoke of the surge as well, as the estimated Afghan casualties, that right now are around twelve thousand, with over one million internally displaced.