Sixteen years ago, President George W. Bush created the President’s Commission on Care for Americans Returning Wounded Warriors, also known as the Dole-Shalala Commission, which assessed the quality of care our injured military personnel received once they came back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The commission wanted to assign an advocate for the wounded warriors and their families, to help them navigate cumbersome bureaucracy.
One of their recommendations was to establish a corps of Recovery Care Coordinators (RCCs), and I wanted to get involved. I yearned to partake in what I considered the most patriotic duty, second to serving: advocating for our war-wounded and their families.
My time with the wounded warriors allowed me to witness firsthand what our combat heroes went through in Iraq.
I watched, heartbroken, as a grief-stricken mom walked away from her son’s hospital bed in anguish because she had prayed the night before that she would go into his room the next morning and his face, disfigured from an explosive blast, would be healed.
I cried with a triple amputee who told me how devastated he was that he wouldn’t be able to cradle his newborn baby with his own arms.
Contrary to what the hawks circling Bush’s Cabinet claimed, Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the United States. The Iraq War wasn’t an honest mistake. It was a calculated effort executed to fulfill a political agenda.
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