Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2003


A Cost of War

This war has had a tremendous cost and we're not even in it yet.

The economy— two-year Treasury notes at their all-time low. The Dow Industrials lost 2-percent of their entire value on Monday alone. Gas pushing $2.50 a gallon in California. Diesel so high that some truckers have had to park.

But those aren't the big costs. The more burdensome price is being paid by our military kids. Armando Escobar is one of 'em. He's eleven. His dad Ernesto is a sergeant in the Third Armored Cavalry. Dad's tank has already been shipped to Kuwait and dad will be there soon. The other day he was packing his gear, and Armando saw the gas mask.

Where do kids hear things? Here's what the 11-year-old boy said: "Does your mask protect you against the nerve gas that makes your tongue swell and choke you?" His dad said yes. "Does it protect you against the gas that makes your eyes bleed?" His dad said yes.

The Wall Street Journal said Sgt. Escobar told his son, "I'm always going to be in a tank. Nothing can hurt a tank."

I believe Armando will be considering that sort of thing a lot while his dad is off to Gulf War II. Thinking about it in bed before he goes to sleep. In class. Watching TV. Imagining stuff that might get dad. Wondering what would become of his family if something did. Armando and thousands and thousands of other military children.

That is a high cost of war already, without even being in it yet.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.

The Wall Street Journal 3/11/2003
Today's Military Kids Often Say Bye to Dad -- and Mom

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