Another Two thousand dead of related illnesses.
Seven thousand killed in action in the wars.
Figure a good Fourteen thousand and more killed in action long after they came home; whether wrapping cars around trees, swallowing their sidearms, or making a nightcap cocktail they never woke up from.
And for what?
Iraq and Syria effectively exist only on paper, Afghanistan is still the graveyard of empires, our SOF forces have been cut down from a claymore to a dirk, and on the homefront we have a populace that either sees a jihadi behind every tree or is too terrified of being unwoke to admit that they're looking one in the face.
We got our news from comedians so long, but everyone's surprised that we elected clowns in the process.
The 4th Amendment effectively no longer exists. The 1st and 2nd only do because enough people are still fighting for them tooth and nail on a daily basis.
And those who came home with their shields and didn't become someone else's problem until they punched their own ticket? A good chunk of the grunts became cops.
Only America doesn't hire cops anymore. It hires Sin-eaters. People we can pawn off our dirty, ugly, dangerous work of dealing with humanity in all its wretchedness, then tear them a new one up city hall and down social media when they stand between rocks and hard places and have the audacity to make choices then and there, instead of the impossible we wanted. Then we have the fucking gall to wonder why we can't get good cops. We give them our dirty work then sneer at them while we fear becoming their dirty work all in the same heartbeat.
Nobody owns a truth, just what they can get a mob to agree to. Gods help us on election day of next year, when half the country will suddenly gain a reason to be exponentially more pissed off.
There's nowhere else I'd rather be.
No other country on earth or in history that tries harder to live up to the expectations it was founded on.
One of our biggest crises happening now is because so many people the world over think we live in the promised land.
And by comparison to a lot, we do.
I hope we're good enough to keep it that way for generations to come.