Filed at 5:18 p.m. ET
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) -- He was one of America's first defenders on Sept. 11, 2001, a Marine who pulled burned bodies from the ruins of the Pentagon. He saw more horrors in Kuwait and Iraq.
Today, he can't keep a job, pay his bills, or chase thoughts of suicide from his tortured brain. In a few weeks, he may lose his house, too.
Gamal Awad, the American son of a Sudanese immigrant, exemplifies an emerging group of war veterans: the economic casualties.
Sorry 'bout that, Gamal. You might have to lose your house. Suck it up, for god and country.
We can only concentrate on so many casualties at one time in this country. Busy place. Gotta stay on top of things. Wars are wars, but it's a deal-a-minute out there in the real world. The current sub-prime disaster has sucked all the oxygen out of the financial markets and the concern is for loans to people with bad credit, not hero credit.
We have priorities, you know and you are not up to bat right now, priority-wise.
Big (and stupid and greedy) banks, hedge funds and mortgage houses are at bat, 'cause they might lose a buck in the backwash of all their greed and stupidity. Congress can't let that happen to their major bribers. You understand. Those bank loans were palmed off on the unsuspecting and gullible, the poor and (in some cases) the greedy.
We gotta worry about them (the mortgagees with the lousy credit) as well.
Mortgagees, yes--amputees, no.Lotta greed around these days and not much patriotism--at least not for the dead, dying and wounded. Straighten your shoulders, Gamal, it's a great country.
We just don't have time for defenders of the big, fat majority of the country that doesn't want to dirty its hands (or get them blown off) by actually fighting America's wars. The George Bush-Dick Cheney paradigm taught us we don't have to get hurt (or even inconvenienced) by putting ourselves in harm's way.
That was another generation--a generation we're (finally) honoring now, when they're all in their 80's and dying off. That was George Bush's father. We're beyond all that. The poor and the mercenaries fight our wars these days.
Hang in there, Gamal (what the hell kind of name is Gamal? Arab?)
We might get around to honoring you when you're 80.